Real estate agents question valuation discrepancies

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Propmate Realty Fiji agent Anil Prasad. Picture: MERI RADINIBARAVI

Vast variations in property valuation figures has prompted local real estate agents to question the principles and standards that the Fiji Institute of Valuation and Estate Management use while appraising properties in Fiji.

The questions were raised by the agents at the 5th National Real Estate Conference held last Friday at the Pearl Resort in Deuba, where they said there were instances when properties that were appraised by three different valuers would arrive at figures that contrasted each other by more than 50 per cent.

“If your (valuers) are guided by the principles of the institute, I would like to know why, for example, four different valuers are valuing in with four different values,” Propmate Realty Fiji agent Anil Prasad asked Fiji Institute of Valuation and Estate Management president Taraivini Ratumudu.

“For example, there is this beachfront lot that I’m selling. One valuer put $400,000, one at $800,000, one at $1.2million, one at $500,000 and the owner wants $1.5m. If you’re guided by a principle, if you have a standard and you use whatever approach you use, you should be very close in the figures you put in.

“I’m not going to say on behalf of everybody, we find it difficult to sell because the owner obviously is looking at the higher figure. So which report do we take in consideration and how do we sell that?”

Another agent said that honesty needed to be practiced in the valuation process by valuers.

In response, Ms Ratumudu said the complaints were currently considered “speculations” until a formal complaint is made.

“I would say again, here goes our blame game. Who is to be blamed? Private valuers or real estate agents?

“I must apologise for the experience that you encountered, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to take your side on that because it seems like, for me, it’s a speculation.”

She encouraged local real estate agents to lodge complaints with the valuers registration board so that it could be looked into.