My experience in real estate conflicts began with service on a Realtors' ethics and grievance committee. Since then I have been an expert witness in many ethics and eminent domain cases, including helping law firms structure their cases and advise clients. I recently helped California homeowners in their negotiations with the California DOT, increasing their compensation 10 fold without going to court. I have served on government land use advisory committees, served as a witness for both condemnees and condemnors, as an arbitrator in construction disputes, and as a court appointed commissioner hearing valuation cases.
Finding Hidden Value in your Home
Recognizing all the values that make land, a home, a business, a farm, or a public space important to its owners and users, is where conflict resolution begins.
From the North Carolina Court of Appeals on testimony about the value of a small landholder's property being taken by an airport authority.
"The record reveals that Mr. Kaufman testified that the defendants' property was worth $429,000. In reaching this figure, he used two appraisal methods, the comparable sales approach and the income approach. The value he calculated using the income approach was $500,000. He testified that "I took a look at the two different approaches and basically my decision was that the value indicated by the comparable sales was the most probable value and that was my opinion of value." Thus, Mr.Kaufman's opinion of value was based primarily on the comparable sales approach, which is proper in a condemnation case."
Experience and Knowledge Make All The Difference
Buying, selling, owning, and using real estate is not only a great financial venture, but it often involves intense passions and emotions. When conflict arises, you want to go to someone with broad and deep experience. How do I know the field? Let me count the ways:
1. I have both built and bought the homes I've lived in.
2. I founded a real estate brokerage that was known for its integrity and social involvement.
3. I created Saralyn, Inc., a small company that pioneered environmentally sound land development and energy efficient building before most people ever heard of these things.
4. I've been a licensed Oregon construction contractor.
5. I've mediated and arbitrated hundreds of real estate disputes
6. As a professional appraiser I've appraised for land conservancies, utilities, governments, and homeowners and courts have cited my testimony in eminent domain cases.
7. Shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed I served as resident adviser to the government of Kazakhstan for housing and land reform creating associations of apartment owners, privatizing land, creating a mortgage system, and proposing a safety net for the poor.