Valuers and appraisers establish the monetary worth of property, merchandise, business assets, objets d' art, precious stones, motor vehicles and household effects.
In recent years the term ‘valuer’ has been used to describe a person who determines the value of immovable property, while the term ‘appraiser’ is used to describe a person who determines the value of any property, merchandise, goods and assets for purposes of managing deceased estates.
Valuers and appraisers use the most readily available comparable facts and examine goods for condition and authenticity.
They provide information for the parties concerned with the sale or expropriation of property. They may also be called upon to establish the value of security offered for a loan or mortgage. They assess the value of properties to enable local authorities to raise rates and taxes. They ascertain the value of company assets and shares. They evaluate the amount of cover and claims for insurance and estimate the value of plant and machinery.
It is obvious that in every instance the good judgement of valuers is of cardinal importance to the parties concerned, because vast sums of money are at stake. The exact nature of valuers’ work depends upon the employing organisation, such as building societies, banks, insurance companies, government departments, provincial administrations, local authorities or private practices.
Their working conditions can vary widely from day to day, depending on the type of valuation required to be done. Valuers may find themselves in a very large office environment, whereas other colleagues may spend much of their time out-of-doors, inspecting properties.
However, valuers can never be entirely office bound, because no valuation can be made without a physical inspection of the property and other comparable properties. Whatever field valuers may decide upon, they can expect to travel to some extent.