Property Settlement Valuations
Expert legal advice on getting valuations in property settlement matters
In a property settlement negotiation, it is common for parties to obtain a valuation using an agreed expert if an item of property is not agreed. The following items of property are commonly:
- Houses/investment properties;
- Commercial property;
- Chattels (e.g. motor vehicles, boats, jewelry, artwork, and antiques);
- Plant and equipment;
- Businesses, companies, partnerships, trusts.
Valuations are usually obtained by the parties jointly using a single expert valuer.
To obtain a joint valuation the following process is required:
- identify the item/s of property to be valued;
- agree upon an expert registered valuer;
- prepare a joint letter of instructions to the valuer and provide the valuer with the necessary information/documentation required to enable them to carry out the valuation;
- attend to access arrangements for valuer if inspection of property or business premises is required;
- pay your share of the valuation fees;
- the valuer usually releases the report to both parties simultaneously.
There are a number of approaches available if you do not agree with a valuation. These include:
- asking the valuer questions (note there are strict timeframes for this process if the matter is in Court);
- obtain the opinion of your own separate valuer (this is called an adversarial expert if the matter is before the Court);
- holding a conference between your expert and the joint expert to try to resolve the issue/s in dispute;
- If your case proceeds to a trial, the single expert is likely to be cross-examined on his or her valuation report.