If you’ve separated and don’t want to put your home on the market, you need a professional property valuer’s services to determine your home’s market value. They also value investment, commercial and industrial properties for settlement in separation and divorce.
You can get an unbiased valuation from a trusted independent property valuer registered with the Australian Property Institute. Your property valuer should understand what your report is for and know the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia requirements. Make sure the valuer you choose has experience with family law settlements.
Why do I need a property valuation?
If you’re both confident about your judgement, you can simply agree on what your house is worth for your property settlement.
However, there are benefits to a formal property valuation when you separate and times when it is compulsory.
- Have peace of mind. A professional valuation ensures you both understand the asset pool and that the settlement agreement you negotiate is transparent and fair.
- Understand your financial position. An expert valuation early on can help you know where you stand so you can decide if buying out or selling is your best option.
- Settle a dispute with your spouse. An unbiased valuation will help you reach a figure if you can’t agree on the value of your property.
- Use as evidence. In cases that go to Court, you must submit a valuation report from a registered independent property valuer as evidence.
There are other ways to estimate the current value of your property. Each of these has its own drawback.
- Purchase price of the property. This is usually out of date.
- A recent sale of a house in your street. It’s unlikely to be an exact comparison to your property.
- Real estate market appraisal. You can use these early in the process to agree on a value for negotiations, but there may be a conflict of interest if the agent is trying to win the sale. The value may be overinflated or vary from agent to agent.
- Bank valuation. These are often under current market value as they are approached from a risk setting.
What determines the market value of my home?
A professional valuer uses their property experience and knowledge of the market to estimate your home’s current market value. They assess what a fully informed, willing, but not anxious buyer may be willing to pay.
The valuer will visit your home in person for a physical property inspection.
They write a detailed report to justify the value, including
- a description of the location of your property and its features
- house size, land size, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces
- outdoor features and garden
- age and quality
- design and period appeal
- proximity to transport, amenity and school zones
- comparative sales in the area
- how much income it generates if it is an investment property.
Of course, the only way to be 100% sure of the current value is to put your house on the market. If you don’t want to sell and both of you jointly appointed the independent valuer, their estimate is your best option for settlement.
When is the right time to get a valuation?
The housing market can change quickly.
Often, time passes between separation, negotiating an agreement and the final settlement.
You may start negotiating based on an agreed estimate and wait until your orders are drafted for a formal valuation.
Professional valuation reports are often relied upon for an extended period. If you decide to get the security of a formal valuation early on, you can pay a fee to have it refreshed if the market has changed significantly.
Who arranges a property valuation?
A single valuer is appointed and instructed by both parties. You both pay an agreed share of the cost of the valuation.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court require that one single expert witness gives evidence about the value of your house, so it’s important that you agree when you choose your valuer.
If you’ve already engaged a lawyer, they may put forward a valuer they work with and trust. Your ex-partner’s lawyer may suggest someone else. It’s up to you both to choose.
Save money by arranging a valuation directly through The Separation Guide trusted Network rather than a law firm doing it for you – fees for arranging these extra services add up along the way.
Meet the property valuers in our Network
Armstrong Biggs Fallon specialises in valuations for family law matters, providing a professional and compassionate approach. All family law valuations are conducted by a member of their management team, all professional senior Australian Property Institute certified valuers. The broad knowledge, experience and professionalism of their valuers can give you confidence in the valuation you receive.
Book a free initial chat to discuss your needs or purchase your valuation below.