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House Valuation de-valued?


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Old 5th January 2018, 9:11 AM   #1
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House Valuation de-valued?

As my wife and I have been separated for over a year, and going through a messy divorce (financial split), we are having to get an independent valuation of our home.

She still lives in the home, and an independent valuer has been instructed. She has halved the value of the house, in her accounts contradicting what she said it was worth when we were together.

Already on the form, which we can see, she has asked for subsidence, drainage etc to be taken into account. These were all fine before I left as I maintained them.

The court document dictates that no conferring with the valuer to diminish the property, can take place.

I can be present to negate anything like this, but i think this would just cause a huge row infront of the valuer, as she picks up on everything not working, or problems in front of him.

As I don't live there, she could have done anything to devalue the property, and roped neighbours in to back her up.

Do I take my solicitor along for the valuation, and attend myself (could be long and expensive as its city centre) or stay away?
I just don't want the final value to be de-valued as she has the edge that she lives there, and once its completed, its impossible to get redone or change the figure, plus its costing to get the report done.

Any help would be great, thank you.
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Old 5th January 2018, 9:25 AM   #2
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Why don't you go with the angle that because there's so much wrong with it you two should just sell? This way she may shut up about it.

What kinds of things is she bringing up? Maybe you should set a repair price in your head to see what you're really stressing about. Personally I'd think anything less than a $2500 repair would not be worth my worry but it will definitely help you to put a money value on these things to see just what it is you are arguing about.
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Old 5th January 2018, 9:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHarts1970 View Post
As my wife and I have been separated for over a year, and going through a messy divorce (financial split), we are having to get an independent valuation of our home.

She still lives in the home, and an independent valuer has been instructed. She has halved the value of the house, in her accounts contradicting what she said it was worth when we were together.

Already on the form, which we can see, she has asked for subsidence, drainage etc to be taken into account. These were all fine before I left as I maintained them.

The court document dictates that no conferring with the valuer to diminish the property, can take place.

I can be present to negate anything like this, but i think this would just cause a huge row infront of the valuer, as she picks up on everything not working, or problems in front of him.

As I don't live there, she could have done anything to devalue the property, and roped neighbours in to back her up.

Do I take my solicitor along for the valuation, and attend myself (could be long and expensive as its city centre) or stay away?
I just don't want the final value to be de-valued as she has the edge that she lives there, and once its completed, its impossible to get redone or change the figure, plus its costing to get the report done.

Any help would be great, thank you.

Get a structural survey done. Ask the surveyor to indicate the problems. Then get a contractor to estimate the cost to fix and deduct that from her half of the equity.
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Old 5th January 2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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The thing with property, it doesn't really have an "independent" value. It's worth what someone will pay for it.

That's why valuations are generally done by estate agents. They will tell you the value that they would initially market it for, and how much they expect it would actually sell for. A valuation is not simply a number. When I sold my house last year, I had 3 valuations, and each of them were 20+ pages long. Lots of information, reasoning, and most importantly comparables. That is, properties similar to yours in the local area which have sold recently. For example if a similar sized property with the same number of bedrooms a few streets away from you sold last month for £200k then the valuation might well say yours doesn't have a downstairs toilet so it's worth a bit less, or yours has a bigger kitchen so it's worth a bit more. That's how valuations generally work. Most of the work is done before they even get to the property.

You can find comparables using rightmove. It is a great resource. Go to the "House prices" menu and select "Sold prices". Find some nearby, recent sales for properties similar to yours. Many estate agents will turn up with print-outs of exactly these pages to show you why they are valuing the house as they are and they form a major part of the valuation.

There are a few things which she may (try to) say or do to reduce the value, for example neighbour disputes (maybe even ask the neighbours to act out while the valuer is there!). Any factors affecting the value should all be highlighted on the report you receive, and will highlight how much they affect the value. If you see anything suspicious or incorrect, don't hesitate to point it out.

I don't think you or your solicitor need to attend the valuations but you should make it clear that you are expecting a full valuation report, justification for the value and local comparables, not just a number. Make sure you are in direct communication with the valuer, not receiving it all second hand from your wife.

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Originally Posted by heartbrokenlady View Post
Get a structural survey done. Ask the surveyor to indicate the problems. Then get a contractor to estimate the cost to fix and deduct that from her half of the equity.
I think this is the wrong thing for OP to do. A structural survey will highlight any problems, and they always find something or other. His wife will use it to reduce the overall house value; after all why should she be stumped with the cost of making them right?

Certainly if the valuation highlights issues that reduce the value such as subsidence, japanese knotweed etc, then you should have a proper expert confirm it. You say she mentions it in previously but what proof has she provided? If she wants to claim subsidence then she would have to prove it. She is not a chartered surveyor and can't just say oh yeah it needs £50k of underpinning. Valuers and certainly laymen are not experts at identifying or costing these types of issues. If she makes a claim she will have to provide documentation from an expert.
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Last edited by PegNosePete; 5th January 2018 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 5th January 2018, 12:43 PM   #5
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Thank you.

This has gone past the Estate agents, as she had 3 low valuations, as obviously she played them down.

This is a Red Book surveyor who hopefully cannot be influenced as easily.

My worries are that she has lived there all this time, and could say things are now no longer working, or bigger problems with the house.

Hopefully a professional won't be influenced by this, but its a 50/50 as to which way it goes, and then more costs in getting anyone else to look at any problems, especially as they were not evident when i lived there and left.
But its my word against hers that these were fine, when i lived there
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Old 5th January 2018, 12:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TwoHarts1970 View Post
This has gone past the Estate agents, as she had 3 low valuations, as obviously she played them down.
But did she give you the full valuation report with price justification and comparables? Or did she just give you a number?

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Originally Posted by TwoHarts1970 View Post
My worries are that she has lived there all this time, and could say things are now no longer working, or bigger problems with the house.
They will all be mentioned in the report. If anything looks wrong, you dispute it or ask for proof.

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Originally Posted by TwoHarts1970 View Post
its my word against hers that these were fine, when i lived there
It's also completely irrelevant. It doesn't matter what the house was worth when you left. All that matters is what it's worth now.

This is (one reason) why you should NEVER move out of a property until the divorce is final!
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Old 5th January 2018, 1:31 PM   #7
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I think you should attend the valuation with your solicitor. To the extent that there are problems with the house that lower its value, and it can be shown that your wife’s actions (or inactions) caused those problems, you would be able to argue that her share of the valuation should be reduced proportionately. But you have to go to the house and observe the claimed problems to have any chance to offer evidence that the problems are your wife’s fault.
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Old 5th January 2018, 3:07 PM   #8
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You need to get your own valuation.


If you think there is funny business going on no matter how much it costs for you & your lawyer to be there, consider doing that. At the very least you go & video tape if you don't want to pay the lawyer's hourly rate. Consider asking the lawyer to send an associate or para-legal for less money.
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Old 5th January 2018, 5:31 PM   #9
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This is a court valuation and only one.

I don't think there is anyway that i could have remained at the house, and living with my wife @PegNosePete - I would have been killed by now!

We both got estate agent valuations, and as she is living there, she got a few, and obviously had an influence on the agents.

I don't live there, but got some online valuations, and older valuations

The discrepency meant that we now need a proper valuation from a 3rd part valuer,
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Old 5th January 2018, 5:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHarts1970 View Post
I don't live there, but got some online valuations, and older valuations

The discrepency meant that we now need a proper valuation from a 3rd part valuer,
The older valuations mean zilch as so many variables on which the valuation is based can change.
YOU have not been there for a year, so you really have no idea what the condition of the house is now.

No valuer worth his salt is going to put his name to anything based on hearsay
from divorcing spouses.
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Old 5th January 2018, 6:19 PM   #11
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Is there any way that you can use the first valuation to prove that she has failed to maintain the property and negotiate the difference if there is any by holding her financially responsible as part of the settlement?
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Old 8th January 2018, 3:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TwoHarts1970 View Post
We both got estate agent valuations, and as she is living there, she got a few, and obviously had an influence on the agents.
But did she just give you a number, or did you get the full valuation report from the estate agents? You've consistently failed to answer this question every time I've asked. You need to MAKE SURE you get the full report from the independent valuer! House prices are not set in stone. Houses are worth what someone will pay for them. It's very important to know WHY an individual has valued it as such, not just to get a number.

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Old 8th January 2018, 4:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by PegNosePete View Post
But did she just give you a number, or did you get the full valuation report from the estate agents? You've consistently failed to answer this question every time I've asked. You need to MAKE SURE you get the full report from the independent valuer! House prices are not set in stone. Houses are worth what someone will pay for them. It's very important to know WHY an individual has valued it as such, not just to get a number.
She just gave a number from 3 independent estate agents, on their headed paper (direct from them)

Therefore this newer more in-depth valuation is needed.
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Old 8th January 2018, 4:45 AM   #14
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She just gave a number from 3 independent estate agents, on their headed paper (direct from them)
It's pretty surprising that your solicitor let her get away with that. Unless you were self repping at the time! Certainly you should have been in direct contact with the estate agents yourself and have received the full report direct from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHarts1970 View Post
Therefore this newer more in-depth valuation is needed.
Right, make sure she does NOT get away with doing that again! Make sure you are in direct contact with the valuer and get a copy of the full report including price justification and comparables.
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Old 29th January 2018, 5:34 AM   #15
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Thank you for your advice.

I have now been told to get housing particulars for possibly 3-5 houses that would be suitable. My solicitor she said to use Rightmove and do this via the internet, (which i suppose is easier and the usual way to look at property today)

Do I use the £ figure only given in my Form E to obtain property up to that figure, or can it be anything that would be suitable for my needs, within reason?

Also if our own property is valued very low, so that the wife wants to stay there, can I as 50% owner, ask for vacant sale, so that both of us look for new property to live in?
This way if the property was sold to a 3rd party, suddenly I would guess the magical valuation figure would increase if it went on the open market!

Thankyou.
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