An appraiser may take into account any sale or contract to sell, or a lease regarding the property being condemned or comparable property, if freely made in good faith and occurred before the filing of the lis pendens. [Evid. Code §§ 815, 816, 817] Note that forced sales of property — such as those under auction, execution, bankruptcy or foreclosure—are generally not considered “freely made” and are thus not to be considered. [Redev. Ag. v. Zwerman (1966) 240 Cal.App.2d 70, 74-75]
An eminent domain appraiser may not generally consider as evidence of value:
- the price or terms regarding the sale of property to a public agency with the power of eminent domain, where it was acquired for a public use (even if eminent domain was never threatened or even mentioned).
- The price at which an offer or option to purchase or lease the property was made (including bids made in bankruptcy proceedings).
- The assessed value of property.
- Appraisals of property other than the property being valued.
- The capitalized value of the income from property other than the property being valued.
- Bankruptcy sales of comparable property.
[Evid. Code 822]