Property valuations are incredibly helpful tools used by Lawyers and parties to determine the current market value of real estate subject to Family Law matters. These reports are often relied upon as crucial evidence in property negotiations and Court proceedings. A property valuation must be completed by an accredited valuer. These reports can cost from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending in the type of property being valued. There is an expectation that both parties are to equally share the costs of the valuation reports. If one party cannot afford pay their half the other party may pay the total amount upfront and then be reimbursed 50% of the cost once the matter is finalised or settled.
However, if you are recently separated and only in the early stages of a property settlement it may be helpful to firstly obtain a few ‘kerb side valuations’ to provide to your lawyer so that they can more precisely estimate the value of the asset pool before engaging with the other party. Kerb side valuations are a free service provided by most local real estate agents. Usually, the agent will input your address and property details into their database and run a report of the most recent comparable sales in your area to provide you with an estimate of the current value of your property. This is a very helpful first step to consider when preparing to engage in negotiations relating to a property settlement.
It is important to note that formal valuations can be relied upon as expert evidence in Court proceedings and are more persuasive in negotiations. Whereas, kerb side ‘quick valuations’ are used more as an informative tool for the parties in the initial stages of discussions and are usually not relied upon in lieu of a formal valuation during Court proceedings. In some circumstances where an asset pool is relatively small and the matter has not proceeded to Court the parties may decide to forgo the cost of a formal valuation and instead agree to calculate the equity in the property based off the kerb side appraisal figure.
If you are separated and seeking advice and guidance in relation to a property settlement or real estate valuations please contact our experienced Family Law team on (03) 9614 7111