b'words: Jo Gaultchoosing and using a. picture: iStockvaluerAn independent valuers report will help ensure you dont pay more for a property than its worth.How much is that house really worth? The real estate agent is telling you one thing; the rateable value carried out two years previously suggests differently. But who can give you a truly independent expert opinion?Helen and her family moved to Auckland from Wellington last year and were quite daunted by the prospect of nding a good buy. When youre new to a city you have little or no feel for what represents a fair price to pay for a house, she explains. We looked around and did our homework as much as we were able but when it came to making a purchase, we didnt hesitate in using a valuer to ensure the property was a sound investment and we werent paying over the market odds. When making potentially one of the biggest purchases of your life it makes excellent sense to employ a local expert to check out all the facts.So what can you expect from a valuer? Of prime importance is the quality of the advice youre getting. A valuer is someone who thoroughly knows the local house market and the locality in question and has accurate information that enables them to give you a genuine impartial, independent opinion. In preparing a valuation for you they will rst do a visual inspection of the property, noting any issues that affect the value of the property, such as dampness, leaks and poor design. Where appropriate they will recommend you use a building inspector or engineer to further investigate. They might also advise on ways to add value. As part of the report they will check the certicate of title, which is important for crossleased/ unit titled properties, to highlight any potential problems such as right-of-ways, shared driveways and so on that may need a solicitors help to resolve.Using their local knowledge they will be able to inform you of any proposed developments in the area, such as new shopping malls or transport links or any changes to the local business zoningcould a new business park spring up next door, for example? They can provide a list of recent house sales and a view of how the market is performing. From this research the valuer will then make their value recommendation. Unlike council rating values, which are usually only done in bulk every three years to set council rates, you can be assured a valuer has assessed your property individually to determine the current market value.96 |'