Legal Documents Must Be Used In Property Evaluation – FUTA Don

A Professor of Property and Environmental Valuation at the Federal university of Technology, Akure, FUTA , Victoria Bello has disclosed the importance of using legal documents before undertaking valuation of property.

She made the disclosure while delivering the 147th inaugural lecture of the university held on Tuesday 24th January, 2023 at the Obafemi Awolowo auditorium of the institution. Bello, who spoke on the topic “Valuation: An Indispensable Paradox of Art and Science in Decision Making”, defined valuation as an act of determining the worth of something.

She said for reliable valuation that will meet the demand of high quality investment decisions, there is need for Estate Surveyors and Valuers to demand for the legal document of any property to be valued and examine the documents properly before undertaking any valuation. She added that this will give the Estate Surveyor and Valuer first-hand information as to the interest subsisting in the property to give a proper valuation opinion.

Speaking further and alluding to the biblical principle of cost of discipleship which says “which of you intending to build a tower, will not sit down first and count the cost whether he has sufficient to finish it” said the era where valuers apply cost method of valuation in almost all decision making cases should stop.

She urged valuers to employ techniques other than the conventional valuation methods in arriving at opinion of value. According to her, the valuer can achieve this by updating his knowledge in the areas of basic principles and methods (especially the contemporary models) of valuation. She said the models when used will reduce valuation inaccuracy, variance, uncertainty, clients influence and bias which is a major problem in valuation.

Bello, the second female professor in Estate Management in Nigeria further recommended that “most of the higher institutions offering Estate Management in Nigeria needs to incorporate the teaching of the contemporary models in their curriculum and programmes, so that we would not have crop of new graduates without knowledge of the models joining the existing valuers without knowledge.”

Similarly, she called on Professional bodies like the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in conjunction with the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) to create a property market data bank and embark on regular training of its members through Mandatory Continuous Professional Development (MCPD) programme to enhance their skills to collect good quality data and produce high quality valuations.

Addressing the governments at all levels and the public at large she said, “It is important therefore, that government at all levels and the public at large while making decisions in relation to real estate properties, engage the services of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers in valuation and avoid engaging quack because according to her valuation is not just a science and anyone can come in and learn but an art also which requires the heuristic knowledge of the trained valuer. She added that “since each state in Nigeria is now embracing Land-Use Charge and Compensation, there is the need to have the office of Valuation General to provide fair and transparent land values and to offer specialist valuation and property advice to government.”

Professor Bello further recommended that regulations and standards guiding the profession of estate surveying and valuation should be reviewed regularly to enhance the property market operations, especially valuation issues. She said if properly implemented, it will act as a check on the valuers when carrying out valuation.

In her concluding remarks, the don said “investment market in real estate property cannot operate unless reliable valuations are produced. The valuation needed is a complex process, requiring a range of skills and experience on the part of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers. The Estate Surveyors and Valuers who by law are liable to carryout valuations and arrive at opinion of value, rely on judgement by making adjustment where necessary and also adopt research and science in producing the final valuation report from which decisions are made. If valuation were to be based purely on science, probably there wouldn’t have been need for a valuer. Hence valuation exercise is a blend of art and science.”

In her address as the Chairman of the event, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji, described Professor Bello as a veteran in her field of study who has churned out quite a number of professionals in addition to serving in several committees in the university. She commended the excellent delivery of the lecture which she said will improve the knowledge of practitioner’s in the field of estate management.

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