During a separation or divorce, couples may split their assets, which involves either selling the family home or one party buying the other’s share of the value.
At times like these, there are often differences of opinion about the value of the home. That’s why it’s important to engage a professional property valuer who will provide a fair, objective and accurate estimate of the value of your family home.
What is a family law property valuation?
A family law property valuation is conducted by a professional property valuer who will determine the “fair market value” of your property. This value represents what a favorable buyer is willing to pay for your home, and what an agreeable seller is prepared to accept, without pressure on either party to buy or sell.
This differs from a real estate appraisal, a bank valuation, or even the amount of money you paid to build your home.
What’s involved in a family law property valuation?
A valuer will determine the fair market value of your family home by conducting a comprehensive analysis taking into account:
- Building area and the amount and type of rooms
- Location, size of the land, and layout of the block
- An assessment of the current condition of the property including any major defects, recent improvements and renovations, and the quality of the fixtures and fittings
- Recent sales of other properties in the vicinity.
The valuer then provides a report detailing the estimated value of the property as well as high-resolution photos, a location map, and a detailed comparison to other homes in the area.
The benefits of using a property valuer during a separation
If you are separating or divorcing, there are many benefits to engaging a professional property valuer.
A fair, equitable, and accurate single figure estimate
Sometimes the difference between the fair market value and other estimates or appraisals is significant. For example:
- A bank valuation, based on the value of your property at the time you received approval for your loan, is often less than the fair market value.
- A real estate appraisal, which uses the sale prices of similar homes recently sold in the area, usually provides a broad range rather than a firm price. In addition, this is based on assumptions in the property market over the coming months rather than the comprehensive and objective assessment completed by a valuer.
Jointly Appointed Valuations
To streamline the settlement process and reduce the number of matters proceeding to full Court hearing the Federal Court introduced the recommendation that parties appoint “A Single Expert” and in this regard they have a number of pages devoted on the Federal Court website with instructions to the Singly Appointed Expert. Please see – Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 Division 7.1.4 to 7.29”.
The Single Expert is appointed to act for both parties and is required to deal with the matter fairly and be in a position to defend the Valuation from one party saying he is too low or another saying he is too high. Usually when a Single Expert is appointed by both parties each of them pay half of the Valuation fee.
These Valuations are commonly referred to as Jointly Appointed Family Law Valuations. The total cost for a Jointly Appointed Valuation is usually the same as for a Singly Appointed Valuation.
The valuer is a court-appointed expert
Perhaps the most important reason to use a property valuer during separation is that the valuations can be presented in court. The approach taken by valuers is viewed in a court of law as the most equitable way to establish fair market value. The valuer who determined the fair market value of your property is then in a position to defend a valuation from claims the figure is too high or too low.
Peterson Property Valuations are reputable and registered property valuers servicing South East Queensland. To learn more or to arrange a family property valuation, call us today on 0411 514 228.