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Comparable evidence in residential property valuations
When residential property valuation files are critically examined, usually after some time has elapsed since the valuation was completed, the supporting documentation relating to the comparable evidence used to justify the valuation is frequently found to be incomplete or inadequate. This paper reviews the process of selecting and applying comparable evidence with particular emphasis on the need for structured analysis and recording. It contrasts historic practice with current requirements and draws on the RICS Information Paper Comparable Evidence in Property Valuation (2012) and some relatively recent court cases. It suggests that for many residential valuation file documents the term ‘site notes’ is a misnomer and the entire file should more accurately be regarded and described as the valuation record. It suggests adopting a structured approach for dealing with comparables to reduce the risk of potential difficulties when files are later reviewed for any purpose.
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Philip Santo is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with over 40 years’ experience as a residential surveyor and valuer. He has acted as a consultant for RICS, represented RICS on the Council of Mortgage Lenders Valuation Panel and has contributed to a number of professional guidance notes and papers. He sits on the RICS Residential Survey and Valuation Group and the RICS Property Journal Editorial Advisory Group. He chaired the Working Party which developed the RICS Information Paper Japanese Knotweed and Residential Property in 2012. He is RICS media spokesperson on the subject of Japanese Knotweed and is currently supervising a proposed second edition of the paper. He provides a range of CPD training and presentations and is a visiting lecturer at Portsmouth University. He writes for a number of professional publications and has edited second editions of two books about residential surveys published by Routledge: Inspections and Reports on Dwellings: Assessing Age and Inspections and Reports on Dwellings: Inspecting.