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It is likely that publishing houses of repute must be running their business successfully for many decades solely on the strength of the authors, writers, singer and musicians who make up their clientele. Hence, it is not expected that even the best of publishing houses will have assets worth millions of dollars. Most of the assets that they will have would be intangible in nature and would mostly be restricted to contracts that are in force with them and the various writers, and authors. The more the number of such writers and authors and the higher their reputation, the better the quality of such publishing house would be.

Hence, if you are planning to buy out a publishing house, you should certainly take the services and help of good property valuers. However, it may not be very useful if you look out for conventional real estate valuers who are more experienced in valuing buildings and other such mmovable assets. As mentioned above, when it comes to valuing a publishing house, it is the intangible assets that make up the major chunk of the value of any publishing house.

Hence, as valuers it is expected that these valuers should be in a position to come out with valuation based on such intangibles rather than anything else. However, it does not mean that the other immovable assets should be left behind. They should be also valued efficiently using the right methods and tools and the total value of the publishing house should then be established. It certainly is a process that is quite complicated and does take a lot of time and effort.

In this article we will try and find out why there is a need for regulating property valuation companies and individuals. We will also try and get to understand what the main roles are of these regulators and what should be their scope of functions. The main role of a property valuation regulator is to ensure that valuation companies and individuals play by the rule book as far as valuing or a property is concerned. This is because even if there is a slight misrepresentation or facts or if there is a camouflaging of information it could prove very costly both to the buyer and seller.

Even though there could be genuine mistakes and errors from the valuers’ perspective there must be checks and balances to ensure that such errors are very few and far between. The main objective of such regulators should be to ensure zero error in reporting of valuation figures and also zero tolerance towards misrepresentation or false representation of facts by these professionals. 

There are many ways and means by which regulators can go about performing their jobs. As a first step they should invite application from valuers. Once the applications are received from valuers, the regulators should go about and register such valuation companies and individuals in their database. Once this is done, the regulators could go about checking on the various parameters which would make these valuers regulatory complaints. 

When regulating or inspecting a valuation company there are a number of factors that should be taken into account. As a starting point, it is important to have a look at their entire process flows from the time a valuation request lands on the table of such valuers. Once the entire process has been gone through and if it is found okay, the valuers would give a compliance certificate. However, if there are some lacunae in the process they should suggest remedial and corrective steps. They should give a reasonable to the valuer to make such corrections and changes. Once these have been completed, the regulators should again inspect or audit the processes to ensure that they are fully in compliance with the guidelines set down by them.

The sheer importance and critical nature of any property valuation is perhaps the biggest reason that it should be regulated and supervised. Whenever a property is valued it has quite a few ramifications and consequences. Buyers take decision to buy properties which could run into thousands or even millions of dollars. Capital gains tax or property valuation taxes are also dependent on such valuation reports. Hence, there are a lot of monetary and commercial interests involved in a small paper called the valuation report.

Because of this there is a need to ensure that valuers do a thorough and honest job of property valuations. While there is no doubt that a majority of property valuers are very professional and ethical about their property dealings there could be a few who could be spoiling the broth. Hence, a good regulatory and monitoring mechanism could go a long way in ensuring that property valuation is done the way it should be keeping the customers interest and other stakeholders’ interest top most in mind. 

When regulating a property valuation company there are quite a few important factors that must be taken into account. As a starting point it is very important to be sure that the company or individual in question has the right credentials to do the business. They should be registered and certified under the laws of the land. Secondly, the main stakeholders who are running the valuation business should be qualified and have a certificate on the subject matter. 

Apart from these basic requirements, once the regulatory compliance certificates are issued to the valuer, the responsibility of regulatory bodies does not end here. There should make it a point to ensure that they follow up the performance of the valuer on a regular basis. Regular audits and checks should be conducted to ensure that everything is fine. The regulator should don the mantle of an enabler rather than someone who is snooping down the shoulders of valuation companies. Genuine errors and mistakes should not be made a big issue but at the same time mistakes that are done purposefully should be dealt with an iron hand. Hence the regulator should know how to do a fine balancing act.

While not denying the fact that valuation of real estate and other movable and immovable property is very important, there certainly is a need to regulate and monitor their performance as is the case with other services. For example, we do have a central bank which regulates and monitors the various banks that are functioning in our country. In the same light there are also many insurance companies which are again regulated and overseen by a central Insurance Regulatory Authority under government control. In the same light there is also a need to ensure that valuation companies and individuals are doing their job properly and for this there is a need to have central overseer or regulator. Let us try and find out what are the various benefits when we regulate real estate and other property valuation businesses.

Without causing any aspersions or doubts on the integrity of the various valuation companies and individuals, the main purpose of such valuation is to ensure that they have proper checks and balances when they are in the process of conducting their valuation business on a day to basis. As more numbers of homes and other properties are being bought and sold there is an increasing demand for valuation companies. Hence, in the quest to ensure that customers are serviced properly often it is quite possible that the required due diligence processes may take a back seat unintentionally. This could create problems and in a worst case scenario could lead to a wrong statement of fact as far as the valuation of a property is concerned. 

Further, when we have a regulator overseeing the functioning of these valuation companies, the level of transparency and openness could also go up by quite a few notches which will be of great help to all the stakeholders. It will also enable the valuers to take course correction as far as fine tuning the processes, procedure and internal checks and balances are concerned. At the end of the day such regulations will in fact increase the efficiency and productivity of genuine real estate valuers instead of being detrimental to it. Therefore it is very important to have a good regulatory and supervisory mechanism for valuation companies without interfering in their independence of functioning.

Since property valuation is a very important step when there is a need to buy or sell a property, on cannot underestimate the need to monitor and supervise the way the way they perform. Towards this objective there is a need to have ombudsmen like authority that will oversee and supervise the way the real estate valuers go about their job. While this is not at attempt to pick holes or find faults in the way real estate valuation is being done, there certainly have been a few aberrations here and there which need to be corrected. Let us try and find out ways and means by which this can be done. 

To begin with, the starting point of all monitoring and regulation begins by finding out whether the valuer is certified or not. Registration and having the seal of approval to conduct real estate valuation business is the basic requirement that is expected of any valuer. Hence, when we talk about regularizing and supervising the functions of valuers, this should be always kept in mind.

The next important point that should be taken into account when looking into the functioning of valuers is to be sure that they follow the basic principles of good business governance. This is something that is common to all businesses and the same applies to property valuers also. Good valuers are those who run their business on sound foundations of ethical and moral standards. 

Further, adhering to timelines is extremely important when valuing a property however small or big it might be. This is because the basic reason for valuing a property could be to raise loans from banks and financial institutions. It is therefore imperative of the regulatory bodies to ensure that they are able to track the turnaround time for each and every valuation that reaches the desks of property valuers. 

The next important point is to ensure that valuers have time-tested and foolproof methods, checks and balances to ensure that there is no manipulation of information. While objective information such as the measurements of the property may not be manipulated, it is quite possible that subjective information could be manipulated on a number of occasions. Hence, the onus lies on the regulators to ensure that this does not happen and even if it happens, there must be ways and means by which this can be identified and nipped in the bud.

Last but not the least, the regulators must have some legal powers without which their role will just become that of a report compiler rather than anything else.

While the critical role of property valuers is there for all to see, there is no doubt that there could be situations where even their services could come under a cloud of suspicion and doubt. There could be many events that could lead to it. For example, many a times there could be an unholy nexus between the buyers or sellers and the valuation companies or individuals. When this happens the entire concept of representing the fair value of a property might be thrown out the windows. The baby may be pushed out of the crib and the entire property buying and selling may begin on a false note. 

To avoid such situations and also to ensure that there is fair play at all points in time, the role of property valuer ombudsmen becomes very important. They are a relatively new concept but their help and assistance is being felt quite significantly by many sections of the real estate industry. First and foremost, the primary role of these supervising authority is to ensure that each and every valuer, however big or small he or she might be has a valid license to operate and run their businesses. This is the basic premise from which the entire job of monitoring real estate valuers should start.

Though being qualified as a property valuer is still not obligatory in many parts of the country, good monitors and supervisors in this field would persuade the real estate valuers to have a formal qualification for the important stakeholders. This will be a lot of use to customers, and also the government departments for a variety of reasons. 

The next important job of any good property valuation regulator would be to regularly audit the valuation reports that are generated by these valuers. There job is to look into the methods and types of valuations, the tools and techniques that are being used, the transparency levels that are being adopted and the quality of human resources who are doing these jobs. These regulations must be done on a regular basis and hence a good property valuation company regulatory must have the right kind of human resources, infrastructure and tools to handle this job thoroughly. There is no doubt that over the years, as the real estate industry, grows to new heights, the importance and relevance of these regulators will become more important and pronounced.

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