Article | Creating Resilience

Ways to identify an experienced property valuer

A family law dispute involving one of life’s most valuable assets requires help you can trust. This is an expert’s guide to finding it.

November 2, 2022

By Sheila Clark


For most people, a family home or real estate property is their most valuable asset. The value of this family home is often the biggest point of dispute in family law matters. 

It’s a highly stressful period in life, which is why finding a property valuation service which delivers results with integrity and transparency is crucial for reaching a fair outcome. CBRE is an ethical organisation that only employs valuers of the highest calibre with personal values that match ours.

That’s why we’re dedicated to educating people to help them find the industry’s most respected and trusted property valuers at a time when they need it most. 

Checklist for property valuation 

In property valuation, one size doesn’t always fit all. Valuers perform best when they have acute knowledge of their geographical market. Experienced valuers will: 

  • Define the scope of work, execute the right type of investigations and information to be sourced before starting on an assignment 
  • Hold qualifications and professional membership with peak industry bodies including API and RICS 
  • Take the time to inspect every room while noting key features of the residence or detracting issues
  • Communicate with the owner to identify important features that can easily be missed (I.e., cellars, hidden storage, under floor heating)
  • Understand the features that are sought after in that market (I.e., period homes with their respective features retained throughout)
  • Understand the current market preference based on real-time industry trends, construction costs and external challenges
  • Undertake their own external measurement of the dwelling and improvements instead of relying on marketing plans that can be inaccurate
  • Select and compare the most relevant sales evidence from properties with similar attributes
  • Provide an opinion on value by applying the fundamentals core principles of property valuation

Traits of professional property valuers

  • The property valuer must have sufficient understanding of the current market conditions including the direction of the market, volume of sales and listings, rate of property sales and buyer profiles (i.e., owner occupier or investors; local, overseas or interstate buyers)
  • The property valuer must have sound local knowledge of the area they are valuing in (i.e., preferred areas in a suburb, premium streets, and lesser preferred areas)
  • The property valuer has been active in personally valuing numerous recent sales in the area
  • The property valuer has a good professional relationship with active local agents in the market
  • The property valuer has a good general understanding of proposed changes to planning issues including current zoning, proposed large scale developments, proposed rezoning, infrastructure proposals and changes
  • The property valuer works for an established and reputable company or practice with a record of professionalism and experience
  • The property valuer can produce high quality reports that are detailed and carefully considered 
  • The property valuer is presentable, respectful and has the right approach to connecting with clients under extreme emotional stress


Choosing honest and transparent property valuers 

Disputes, divorce or family law cases can involve conflicting parties and vested interests. The motivation between these opposing parties will often see them pushing for higher or lower valuations to maximise their own benefit from an asset distribution.  

This is why honesty, transparency and professionalism are paramount in all family law property valuation cases. A fair property valuation instills trust and confidence on all sides - regardless of the outcome. A lack of transparency tends to give the perception that a valuer isn’t capable or reliable enough to carry out the highly sensitive task, adding even more stress to clients. 

Any miniscule movement in a client’s property valuation can cost either party dearly, so working with an ethical property valuer will ensure the most seamless, independent and reliable outcome.  

How to verify a property valuer’s credentials 

There are simple ways to verify a property valuer before contracting their services. Clients or their lawyers can directly request a valuer’s credentials and associated certificates. They can also verify these details via the Australian Property Institute (API). All of CBRE’s property valuers are listed on the API and can present their credentials on request. 

Family lawyers acting on behalf of clients are legally obligated to propose three property valuers before one is chosen based on suitability. Clients also have the authority to refuse a property valuer proposed by the family lawyer.

Conflict of interest can also potentially implicate a fair property valuation, so valuers are obligated to declare instances where they have worked with any of the individual parties in the past. 

The CBRE difference

With so many options in the residential valuations space, it can be difficult to determine the best service to suit your needs. At CBRE, our pride comes from our reputation for delivering real estate service excellence since 1906. This same pride is instilled in our family law residential valuations today. Our team of professional property valuers understand all the intricacies of formal processes, but also excel at leveraging their years of experience and intuition to deliver accurate reporting for every type of property. 

Our biggest strength comes from our company size, which means we have a proven track record for working with lawyers on large-scale valuations. Having this breadth of resources allows us to deliver results for clients faster, operate on a wider coverage, and service migrants who own properties outside of Australia. 

The CBRE name is our reputation, but it’s our unique duty of care which defines our credibility. Get in touch with our Residential Valuation specialists to realise the true potential of your property.  

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