Just say no. No to survey crews, no to buyout offers. On average the property owner is far better off to force a condemnation. A condemnation costs the pipeline company 80% more than a buyout. If every property owner on the proposed alignment forced a condemnation, it would double the cost and triple the time, putting the project in jeopardy. A good place for it to be. This is the worst kept secret in the real estate business: a condemnation is better for the seller than a negotiated sale. But pipeline landmen use the threat of condemnation to force a sale. And naive landowners succumb to those threats and sell out. Big mistake. Pass it on.
A study at the University of Texas found that, on average, a landowner gets 78% more if they force the pipeline company to condemn the property:
Environmental groups are accusing Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC of resorting to false claims and scare tactics to gain entry to private property to survey land for a proposed billion-dollar underground pipeline system extending from Linden , New Jersey to Albany , New York .
The company came under fire from the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club last week for circulating letters to residents living along possible routes for the pipeline stating the company has been granted the right of “eminent domain” to begin construction and urging them to sign agreements allowing surveyors access onto their property or have it seized if they do not comply.
“This is part of a harassment and intimidation campaign by Pilgrim and their attorneys that is morally wrong, legally false and is being done to try and threaten homeowners and property owners to allow them onto their land when they have no right of access,” said New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.