Hire a professional for land valuation


We bought land as a chama in the outskirts of Nairobi with the sole intention of speculation and later subdividing it into plots to sell at a profit five years ago. However, the area chief recently told us that the Government intends to compulsorily acquire parcels of land to construct a hospital and a public school. We know we will be compensated financially, but what can be done to ensure the State does not pay us below the market price?

Lydia, Nairobi


It is important to seek the services of a professional valuer registered with the Valuers Registration Board (VRB) to value your land at current market rates.

Property valuation analyses real properties and develops a professional opinion on their value using tested and proven scientific processes.

Property valuation is essential before buying or selling property, insurance, when banks are advancing loans against securities, reparation in cases of disputes, for court sureties, book value and determination of land rates.

Valuation will come in handy for you before the State acquires your private property by compulsory acquisition since you will be able to bargain not to be paid less.

Professionally, a valuation report may help to tabulate compensation amounts, and it should only be undertaken by professionals.

Valuers analyse several aspects of the property before arriving at a market price by considering the locality, state of repairs and maintenance of the property and soil characteristics.

Other variables include topography, geological and environmental components, financial factors, and prevailing macroeconomic and fiscal policies.

The argument for the different values could be that the variables that valuers consider during valuation keep changing. Professional valuers use various methods, but the common ones are the investment approach and the depreciated construction cost and sales comparable method.

The report also entails social and infrastructural services within and near the property, such as roads, electricity and piped water. Valuers also describe the type of development on the plot before winding up the report with the valuer’s opinion and estimate the market value at that time. As a rule of thumb, engaging a registered valuer in property transactions is paramount to avoid making rash decisions that may include selling at a lower value or paying more.

-  Harold Ayodo an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya


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