Land and property valuers estimate the market value of land, buildings and commercial property (real estate) for clients, with a view to maximising profit from sale or rental income. Their valuations are also used as a basis for property taxation and rating levels set by local authorities. Valuers are normally qualified surveyors who specialise in this particular field. They work for private companies, local, regional and national government.
Part of the work involves compiling detailed reports for clients on the land or property concerned. Once details are agreed, the agent will organise the auction, market it to attract potential bidders, and manage the auction process itself until a successful conclusion is reached.
Other aspects of the work include business and insurance valuations, compensation assessment, investment appraisal and performance measurement, rating and taxation, funding, financing and the measurement of property for agency and valuation purposes. Valuers need to have an appreciation of elements that can influence price such as site, business potential, and legal, social and economic factors.
Some valuation surveyors specialise in dispute resolution, which may include appearing as an expert witness if the parties start formal legal proceedings. Valuers can also specialise in valuing and auctioneering plant and machinery.
Valuers normally work 37 to 40 hours a week, however, for viewing property and holding auctions, some weekend or evening work may be necessary. Many auctions are held at weekends to attract the maximum number of potential bidders.
Outdoor work is common for land and property valuers. Auctions may also be held out of doors, when conditions permit. Valuers should be willing to travel and usually need a driving licence.
To be a valuer and auctioneer you should:
Language skills will be extremely useful if you want to work for transnational companies involved in valuing assests in Europe and further afield.
Opportunities exist in private practices such as estate agencies, auctioneers and surveying firms. Financial institutions, the Civil Service and local government, the Valuation Office Agency are other possibilities.
Many opportunities depend upon building up relevant experience, as well as possessing appropriate academic qualifications. Some valuers become consultants and work on a freelance basis. There may be opportunities to work with firms offering European cross-border valuation services, as land and property markets open up. The development of international valuation standards due to increased globalisation in the market place will also lead to opportunities for those with the right experience and technical skills.
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