There is a difference and it is important to know when a formal valuation is required as opposed to obtaining an appraisal.
An appraisal is simply an estimate or an opinion of a property's current market worth, considering what the market is responding to and other factors. They are only intended as a guide to pricing and are generally only requested by potential vendors to get a ‘feel' for the local market. Appraisals are usually offered as a service by real estate agencies, or can be requested from real estate salespeople. Appraisals are not definitive and have no legal standing.
When requesting an appraisal, it is recommended that you contact a real estate agent who is familiar with the area in which your property is located.
A formal valuation is a written report prepared on the property and a fee is charged for this service.
It can only be conducted by a qualified Valuer who has undertaken prescribed education and training in this field to ensure that they take into account all features and issues relating to a particular property. Valuing is a complex task and will take some time to complete. A formal valuation will take into account things such as:
Valuations are required when a definitive value is needed. Reasons for this include a property settlement, obtaining finance from a lending institution or establishing the value of a deceased estate. A Court may also order that a valuation be obtained as part of the process of resolving a dispute.
If you do require the best indication of price, engage the services of a qualified Valuer so that you can be sure of the true value of your property.
Having worked as Real Estate Broker since 1994, and additionally as Valuer from 1997, I obtained a wealth of experience and knowledge pertaining the Real Estate Industry, as well as the trends and values of Real Estate in Trinidad and Tobago. Especially in the South Western peninsula of Trinidad, where I am based.
Since 1994 Siparia Real Estate Agency is a Registered Business and since 1995 regulated by the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA). Additionally the company is FIU registered (Financial Intelligence Unit) since 2011, and RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Registered since 2015, and RICS Regulated since 2019.
RICS is Nation wide acknowledged by our Government institutions, Attorneys, the banks and and other Governmental and financial Institutions in Trinidad and Tobago, as the world leader in standards and qualifications in land, property, infrastructure and construction.
An RICS professional designation is an internationally recognised and respected mark of excellence and integrity, and every RICS Member will use it with pride and play their personal part in promoting the vital contribution of our professions to successful markets, economies and wider society.
With the RICS professional status comes obligations to meet the high standards our clients and stakeholders expect from us. Qualifying as a professional is the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of best practice reinforced by continued learning and development (CPD) and underpinned by the RICS rules of conduct on all aspects of professionalism from technical competence to ethical practice.
For more info on the RICS please check their Website at: rics.org
HOW DOES THE VALUATION PROCESS WORK, WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED, AND WHAT IS THE COST?
The first stage of the valuation process is to collect as much information as possible concerning the property to be valued. We also need to get some information of the Applicant (the person requesting the valuation) as well as the purpose of the valuation. This allows us to give you the best possible guidance and advice.
Please note: By choice we don't do valuations for loan or mortgage purposes for the banks. However, we do valuations for selected Credit Unions.
I also have to mention that we prefer to stay in the South Western peninsula of Trinidad. To give an idea of the area we cover; if you draw a line on the map of Trinidad starting from Retrench Village / Golconda (just to the East of San Fernando), straight down to the South Coast, we handle all areas to the West (left) of that line, all the way to Icacos.
If you need a valuation outside of this area, we will refer you to our RICS regulated Associate that handles your area.
If it is determined the valuation can be done by us for the by you intended purpose, you will be requested to fill out and sign a Letter of Engagement which not only states that you request our company to carry out the valuation on your behalf, but also the Terms of the Engagement.
The next stage is setting up an appointment to do the site viewing and inspection of your property.
Before or at the time of the site viewing and inspection, a deposit (see price table at the end of this page) is required. The balance (if any) is paid when you collect the Valuation Report.
In general the Valuation Report will be ready within 5 to 10 work days after the site visit.
In case you are not in Trinidad or you can not be present at the time of the inspection, the required documents as well as the Valuation Report can be sent by e-mail (see "Upon completion" paragraph below) and the payments can be made by bank to bank wire transfer, or Western Union (preferred).
However, at the time of the site visit and inspection, we do need someone to be present who is familiar with the property, to firstly confirm the location and boundaries.
Secondly, to avoid us being considered as trespassers.
And thirdly, in case there is also a building that needs to be valued, someone has to open up and let us in.
List of required documents if the Property to be valued is ...
Aditionally and if available, for homes or dwellings that are built after 1984, the Town & Country Approvals or the Completion Certificate. Not available? ... No problem! The property can still be valued, but there is a chance you might not be able to do what the valuation report is intended for (e.g. selling the house to a buyer that needs a Mortgage). But don't worry, we'll advised you accordingly.
In connection with other bookings it is preferred to book the appointment for the site viewing and inspection at least one to two weeks in advance.
The day before the site visit, I will contact you to confirm.
Site viewing of Residential and Agricultural land without buildings:
We need to see as many accessible boundaries or markers as possible. If you have dogs or other potentially dangerous animals, regardless of size and friendliness, please secure them safely. This includes bulls, cows, goats, sheep, pigs .... etc.
Estimated time of site visit and inspection: Residential land: approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Agricultural land: depends on the accessibility, and the size of the land.
Inspection of a building:
We need to measure the exterior of the building, so please make sure all sides of the building are free of debris and can be accessed. Interior access to the entire building is also required for the inspection.
If you have dogs or other potentially dangerous animals, regardless of size and friendliness, please make sure to secure them safely.
If you have tenants occupying the property, please give them ample notice, and the day before the appointment a reminder that access to their home is required for inspection. It is preferred the tenants are present, or make arrangements for someone they trust to let us inside.
It is also very important that the tenants are going to be cooperative, on time, not obstructive, and allow the valuer access throughout their entire apartment of house.
Estimated time of site visit and inspection of the building: approximately 2 hours, more or less depending on the size.
Upon completion of the Valuation Report you have the option to:
You will receive:
The cost of a Valuation depends on what kind of property it is; e.g. residential or agricultural land, land only or house and land, a commercial building ... etc.
In general in Trinidad and Tobago the cost for a valuation is part of a percent of the value of the property. This can be 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4%, depending on the property and value.
However, I prefer the cost calculation to be more transparent, and therefore we have set fees which are as follows:
IMPORTANT!: In general, Valuation Reports are valid for a period of 3 to 6 months especially for Legal purposes, such as a Conveyance (Title Transfer). If the Report is older than 6 months you'll have to get an updated Valuation Report. Also take into consideration that whatever the purpose is, it will usually take some time to get done what needs to be done, so make sure that the 6 months do not expire during this period. Therefore I recommend to only do a Valuation at the time you actually need it.
If the property in question is land only, it will only take about 1 week after the site visit to prepare the Report. In case it's house and land, it will take 10 to 14 days (depending on the building size). However, as mentioned above, when setting up the appointment for the site visit and inspection, there is a chance a date cannot be set within 1 to 2 weeks due to previous booked appointments. So as soon as you need a Valuation Report, get in touch with me at your earliest convenience to set the date and time of the site visit.
The best way to get in touch with me is via WhatsApp or e-mail, as I am frequently out on site visits, at which time I do not answer my phone.
WhatsApp and e-mail are the most used methods I contact my clients, so please let me know if you have specific hours you prefer not to be contacted via WhatsApp.
CLICK HERE to fill out a Valuation Request Form.
Ronny Drappier AssocRICS, RICS Registered Valuer, DipEng.