FAQ

The real key is that, without suitable professional advice, you may be able to make or save substantial sums which you otherwise may not have been aware of.  Ask yourself,

  • Am I paying too much rent (or am I charging too little)?
  • Am I paying the right price for that investment property?
  • Am I being paid enough for the land being taken for that new road?
  • Am I making enough returns on my development to make it viable?

If you are not sure, you may need a valuer.

A valuer can provide you with property advice that will assist you or your financial advisor determine your investment strategy.  A valuation is not financial advice, but can assist in the decision making process.

IVWA provides no obligation free quotes.

Provide us with a few key details and we will provide you with a formal quotation by email, fax or even post.  We can be contacted by phone on 9271 9500, email us, or use the convenient short ‘request for quote’ form available on this site.

Don’t forget to provide us with a few basic details about the property and what you need the valuation for – the more information, the more appropriate and accurate is our quote to meet your needs.

If you are happy with the price, sign the form attached to our quote and return it to us.  We will then allocate the best qualified valuer for your property type and purpose and they will call you to arrange an inspection as soon as possible.

If you are not sure or have a particularly complex request, please call IVWA on 9271 9500.  We are always happy to talk about your property with you, it is our passion.

Property is the biggest investment you are ever likely to make whether it is personal or corporate.  And that investment should be protected to the best of your ability.

A professional valuation provides you with that protection and gives peace of mind.

The simplest and most basic fact is that a valuation is guaranteed.

You will be dealing with a licensed professional who meets stringent industry standards that are enforced by an independent Government agency as well as effective self-regulation through a professional industry based association such as the API (Australian Property Institute).  Your valuer will carry insurance to cover you if the worst ever happens.

Protecting your investment in property means insisting on a professional valuation and ensuring that your chosen valuer is properly qualified and has the relevant expertise to value your class of property.

Objectivity and Independence

An experienced valuer can look at a property objectively, highlighting problems you might not want to see and pointing out positives that you may have missed.

A valuer’s independence will look past the excitement and enthusiasm that can sometimes blind us to a bad purchase, sale or leasing decision.

Ensure a Thorough Valuation

Spending a few dollars more will ensure a thorough job.  Unfortunately, a cheap valuation is likely to cut corners and make unrealistic assumptions to meet targets.

A thorough valuation takes time – time to fully appraise the relevant strengths and weaknesses of a property and how these relate to market demand, time to research sufficient relevant evidence to make a balanced and accurate assessment of value, and time to investigate statutory conditions and restrictions such as planning, heritage, contamination and the like.

Do not accept a cheap “kerbside” valuation as these cut the most corners, are not accepted by major users of valuation advice and are not usually covered by insurance.

Insist on Proper Qualifications and Relevant Experience

As a minimum, your valuer should be licensed.  Without a licence, a valuer is not permitted to practice in this State.

Preferably, your valuer should be a member of a professional industry based association such as the Australian Property Institute.

To ensure that your valuer’s training is up to date, look for one that maintains CPV or Certified Practicing Valuer status.

Not all valuers are trained or experienced in all areas of valuation.  Ask what level of experience your valuer has with the type of property you need them to value and what experience they have in the locality where your property is situated.

IVWA is not your more typical suit-and-tie style of valuation practice.  And for good reason.

We often work on dirty and potentially dangerous sites that need to be treated with respect.  So we dress accordingly.  You may find us wearing drill trousers, steel cap boots, long sleeve shirts and no ties to get caught in machinery.  We respect the environment in which we work and we care about the safety of our staff.

Although we may present more casually, we are still professional in every aspect of our work.  This, of course, includes a healthy respect for safety.

IVWA encourages and supports ongoing education of all staff to ensure valuation knowledge and skills are up to date.

Additionally, some of our staff teach valuation units at Curtin University and others are active members on the board of the Australian Property Institute.

Overall, we employ initiatives that are designed to develop skills, knowledge and professionalism and ensure all staff maintain their Certified Professional Valuer (CPV) accreditation.

Valuation staff education is principally achieved in the form of sponsored training through the Australian Property Institute.

Other initiatives include regular Valuation Study Group meetings and in-house training workshops to highlight and discuss the latest changes in valuation practice and principles as well as reinforcing other key skills.

A few years ago, our Managing Director successfully undertook some part-time teaching of valuation at Curtin University.  On the strength of that experience and professional skills shown, he was recently invited back to undertake ongoing lectures in the area of compensation valuations.

If you want to know more or are looking for a no obligation free quote, please call IVWA on 9271 9500.  We are always happy to talk property with you, it is our passion.

It appears sometimes that property value is created by valuers and real estate agents.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Value is determined by informed buyers and informed sellers negotiating a price.

Both the valuer and the sales agent use these markers to advise less well informed buyers and sellers what a fair price is likely to be.  Property professionals generally have better access to the information required to make an informed decision and are generally more experienced in interpreting the volumes of data available.

Primarily, a valuer provides independent, confidential, fair and honest advice on real property matters.

A valuer advises owners and government agencies on what is fair compensation when land is required for a public work.  Whether that property you wish to buy is good value, or is the offer you have received fair and reasonable.  Valuers advise banks on the merits of lending against a particular property, or developers as to what they can afford to pay for a parcel of land to subdivide or build on or what level of return they may expect to achieve.

The list is almost endless, but when you need to know the price of a parcel of land and its buildings for whatever purpose, you need to talk to a valuer.

IVWA undertakes a wide range of valuation types over most of Western Australia and enjoy some of the more challenging types of valuation.

We undertake most types of property valuation within the Perth Metropolitan area and extend outward to the rural and urban areas of the Wheatbelt up to Geraldton.  We also have a strong presence and experience in the rather unique market in the north west and the Pilbara in particular.

We also enjoy some of the more challenging types of valuation.  Amongst others, these include compensation, most types of rural property including broad hectare farms, determination of rental disputes, retrospective valuations, rating and taxing, airports, seabed leases, Family Law valuations and expert witness.

This is just the tip of the IVWA iceberg.  If you have something difficult and unusual, please ask – we have been involved in some most unusual valuations and may just have the skills and experience you need.

Value is different things to different people.

To a valuer, value is defined by legal precedent which has led to world-wide standards being adopted as the basis to the valuation profession.

Put simply, value is the estimated amount a property would sell for if the property were marketed properly and both the vendor and purchaser were fully informed, willing to sell/purchase, and neither being so anxious as to ignore normal business considerations.

The most famous and still relevant precedent comes from the High Court of Australia in the 1907 case, Spencer v The Commonwealth of Australia.  The key point of this case is that it defines the principle of “willing buyer and willing seller” which, in turn, defines “market value”.

This principle is now embodied in The International Valuation Standards Council definition of value which has been adopted by the Australian Property Institute.

The modern interpretation of this precedent is,

The estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s length transaction, after proper marketing and where the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion.  (ANZ Valuation and Property Standards 2008, p3.4.4)

This and many other definitions and standards along with key legal precedents, guide valuers on how to analyse the market, apply those analyses, and how to accurately value real property.

A valuer is just one part of the vast network of property professionals that make up the Real Estate industry.

Quite commonly, people know of their local Sales Agent, arguably the most prominent branch of this industry, but are less aware of other property professionals such as Property Managers, Property Financiers, Property Lawyers, Land Economists, Developers, property analysts and, of course, valuers.

In the end, a valuer is a less recognised, but a no less important part of the real estate industry providing an accurate and impartial opinion of real property value.

At parties, functions, seminars, whenever or wherever you meet new people, what is one of the most commonly asked questions once you have been introduced?  Doesn’t it always seem to be, “And what do you do for a living?”

The answer, “valuer”, often gets some unusual looks.  It is not a particularly well known or understood profession, even though a lot of people have a mortgage and will have crossed paths with a valuer at some time in their life.

The property valuation industry is not particularly well understood and some people do not realise it exists at all.

Without knowledge of what services a valuer can provide, you could make a potentially costly mistake by simply not using a valuer when needed or by selecting a property professional not suitably qualified for a given purpose.

An appraisal is a very useful tool when viewing the real estate market, especially during the early investigative phase.

However, there are times when a more detailed view of a property’s value is needed.  These times are most commonly for legal or business reasons where a higher duty of care is required.  A valuation also gives an independent view of your property, a higher level of detail in reporting and investigation as well as providing a high level of accountability and protection to the client.

So what does a valuation provide that an appraisal does not?

  • It provides a legal duty of care and responsibility that is protected by legislation and professional standards and ethics
  • Provides a higher level of detail in reporting including observations of strengths and limitations, impact of external factors and market trends
  • It is an independent view of your property

An appraisal does not provide the same level of detail or protection and may not be truly independent.  A valuation is guaranteed, an appraisal is not.

When the property is more complex or the outcome more critical or you are accountable to others, it is time to consider a valuation.

Many large scale businesses insist on a valuation to protect themselves and provide accountability, why shouldn’t you?

The key to being a good valuer is professionalism and impartiality.

Large scale clients such as banks will only seek valuation services from licensed and insured valuers.  Some also insist on membership of an industry based association.  You too should insist on this level of professionalism when looking for a valuer.  It is good practice.

The starting point for a good valuer is to have appropriate qualifications.

The absolute minimum is a Licence under the Land Valuers Licensing Act in WA.  A valuer is not permitted to practice without a licence.  If anyone provides you with a valuation and is not Licensed, they are breaking the law and you have no protection.

Membership of an industry based association such as the Australian Property Institute (API) provides ongoing training, contact and interaction with other property professionals, and a framework of ethics and valuation standards, principles and practice.

Membership should be to the level of Certified Practicing Valuer.

Essentially, a good valuer will,

  • Be Licensed;
  • Be an active member of an industry association;
  • Have relevant experience and skill;
  • Produce a properly detailed report;
  • Be independent; and
  • Carry appropriate insurance cover

 

Skills and Experience

Your valuer should have appropriate skill levels and relevant experience.  Due to the wide range of property types and locations, valuers tend to specialise over and above the basics.  Find a valuer that practices in the district where your property is located and has valued your type of property reasonably recently and reasonably often.

Most valuers will be quite capable of valuing relatively straight forward residential and commercial properties in most districts of Western Australia.  However, as the properties become more complex or are located in districts with more complex or unusual economies, a valuer with more specialised knowledge is a definite advantage.

A good valuer will also let you know when they are not sufficiently qualified or experienced to undertake a particular valuation.  They should also be able to recommend another valuer who is.

Peer and Mentor Interaction

A good valuer will interact with other property professionals, to get a broader feel for a market and to share valuable information.

Valuers often look to expand their skill base.  To do this, they will find a mentor who will assist in the valuation process and teach the valuer the extended skills that they need to be competent.

No Kerbside Valuations

A good valuer will not provide a “kerbside” valuation.  A full and thorough inspection is the only way to properly understand the physical attributes and detriments of a property.  From the kerb, these can only be estimated.

Insurance companies will not cover a kerbside valuation and you should not accept one either.

Size of Practice

A single valuer operation is more likely to undertake general valuation work with limited specialisation.  A small to medium sized firm is likely to provide specialisation in certain districts or for certain property types.  And larger valuation firms are likely to have a more diverse range of specialties.

However, you will find that many valuers from differing practices will discuss and share information increasing the skill and knowledge base.  Ask whether your valuer regularly interacts with their peers.

Good Reporting

A good report provides a level of detail that will let you know that the valuer has a proper understanding of the property’s features, strengths and weaknesses.  It should also provide you with a strong mental picture of that property.

Not all clients will have the luxury of knowing the property.  Such clients may include your bank manager lending you other people’s money, the judge or magistrate presiding over property settlement or division or the government representative purchasing your land for a road widening.  These people need to have trust in the valuer’s observations to pinpoint everything they need to know to make a balanced decision when dealing with the property valued.

A good valuer will always provide a good level of detail of the property and external factors that impact upon it, whether the client is familiar with that property or not.

Insurance

The valuation firm you deal with carries an appropriate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance.  This protects you if things go wrong.

Independent -v- Advocate

A valuer must act with independence and not be subject to bias.  If there is a conflict of interest, that valuer must declare that interest and decline instructions to value.

In this sense, beware of “advocate” style valuers who will not provide truly independent advice.  Although they will give you what you want to hear, ultimately they will cost you time, disappointment, expectations and possibly money.

To practice as a valuer in Western Australia, a valuer must be licensed under the Land Valuers Licensing Act.  If your valuer is not Licensed, you are not protected.

In addition to this basic statutory requirement, a valuer can be a member of a recognised industry body.  Typically, this will be the Australian Property Institute or API.  The API provides training, sets standards, and supports sharing of experiences and skills.  These underpin good valuation practice

Membership of the API is enhanced by an ongoing training program which includes regular risk management training.  Undertaking this annual program entitles the valuer to the title of Certified Practising Valuer or CPV.  A CPV is likely to be more up to date with the latest industry practices and standards.

Your valuer will note their qualifications with their signature on all correspondence and reports.  They must include their licence number and can include their API membership status (AAPI, FAPI or other) and CPV status.  Details of Professional Indemnity Insurance are usually listed in the report, but you can ask for confirmation of cover prior to commencement of work.

Licensing

Each State has its own Legislative standards.

The Land Valuers Licensing Act in Western Australia is administered by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.  The Commissioner has substantial power to set standards and discipline members who do not meet those standards.  These standards include ethics and minimum qualifications.  The Commissioner has a section dedicated to finding members who do not meet these criteria.

To get a licence, a valuer must first complete a relevant tertiary degree (most usually a Bachelor of Commerce in Property and Finance).  This is followed by a minimum of 2 years full time work in the profession as a Graduate Valuer.  Once these are completed, the would-be valuer has to prove to the Commissioner that they are of good character and submit to a verbal examination of their skills known as a “Professional Interview”.  Once accepted by the Commissioner, they advertise their intention to be licensed and, at the end of an objection period, assuming there are no objections, they receive their licence.

To find out if your valuer is licensed, the Department of Commerce maintains a register on their web site.

This is the only compulsory qualification a valuer has, but there are a number of others that enhance and extend this basic requirement.

Membership of a Professional Industry Based Association

A very important qualification is being a member of a professional industry based association.

Valuers and many other property professionals are members of the Australian Property Institute or API for short.

The Australian Property Institute represents approximately 8,600 property professionals throughout Australia and overseas.  It provides training, sets standards, and supports sharing of experiences.

The API states that its members, “provide independent, confidential, fair and honest advice on valuation and property matters [and] are qualified and skilled professionals with detailed market knowledge, practical experience and technical expertise.”

These are important skills that are actively encouraged by the API and underpin good valuation practice.

The Institute’s primary role is to set and maintain the highest standards of professional practice, education, ethics and professional conduct for it members and the broader property profession.

Members of the API are bound by:

  • A Code of Ethics;
  • Rules of Conduct; and
  • Professional Practice Standards

Certified Practicing Valuer

Membership of the API is enhanced by an ongoing training program which includes regular risk management training.

Undertaking this annual program of training and education entitles the valuer to the title of Certified Practising Valuer or CPV.  These training sessions and seminars can be tailored to enhance a valuer’s particular area of expertise and ensures that your valuer is up to date with the latest industry standards and functions.

A number of other professional industries use a similar approach to maintain currency of professionalism of their members.  You may have heard of CPA’s or Certified Practicing Accountants.

These programs provide quality assurance in the valuation industry.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

A valuer must carry appropriate and sufficient Professional Indemnity Insurance.  Without this insurance, even the smallest mistake could destroy a thriving valuation practice and the client’s ability to recover any losses.

Major client groups insist on currency and will not issue instructions if a valuer does not have or has insufficient cover.

The API, through APIV Ltd provides further assistance through a limited liability scheme in accordance with the Professional Standards Act 1997 (WA).  To be a member of this scheme, the valuer must be an API member and have suitable Professional Indemnity insurance.  Reference to membership must be placed on all correspondence and reports.

Insist that your valuer has Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover the work you need them to do.

Displaying Qualifications

A suitably qualified valuer will note relevant qualifications as part of their general salutation or sign-off at the end of a letter, email or report.  Some valuers will also note their university qualifications, but this is not necessary as they are implied through licensing.

If desired, relevant logos can also be used with the approval of the issuing agency such as the API or APIV.