Due Diligence In Real Estate Transactions

811-Due-Diligence-When-Buying-Real-EstateReal estate transactions involve a significant amount of money and rights of individual. The due diligence process minimizes the risks and provides safeguards against determinable issues that may affect the real estate transaction.

Making the right decisions in real estate transactions can be a challenge without complete and accurate information. A traditional legal principle is “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware.” This is from the traditional rulings that courts would make that the buyer was stuck with whatever he or she purchased and would have limited recourse. Due to this likely result, buyers had to be extra cautious when making buying decisions.

Due diligence provides for a thorough investigation into a transaction. It helps the buyer learn more about the property, the documents, environment and operational fundamentals of the deal. This process helps avoid surprises after the transaction when remedies may be limited.

The actual scope of the due diligence process depends on the buyer’s needs and the transaction itself. If the buyer is a developer, he or she may have very different needs than when the buyer is purchasing the property for lease or investment. There are individuals who have a pending court case and interested in knowing the property to determine the site and use as evidence in court.

The due diligence process begins by determining the expected use of the property and use this information as a framework. Due diligence seeks to address a number of issues and identify important information for buyers. This information includes determining the property’s owners, boundary lines, the rights that come with the sale, the expected future use of the property and highest and best use as development options. The process should identify any issues related to the property title, easements, encumbrances, liens or other hurdles to complete ownership. Additionally, the due diligence process can reveal if there are any restrictions that might affect the use of the property or its development, such as environmental issues, zoning restrictions or legal compliance matters such as abiding by Agrarian Reform Law, NIPAS Act, Agriculture and fisheries Act, road right of way act, government programs and more.

The due diligence process can also reveal information as it is uncovered. For example, the technical description plotting cannot be close may pop up after the document analysis is conducted. Additionally, it is important to determine the real estate market and demographic data to predict the future demands in the area.  Site inspection will determine the actual topography, terrain, shape, boundaries, neighbourhood and existence of any occupants or informal settlers in the property.

Last but not the least, is the environmental assessment, to uncover any daunting environmental hazards or issues of the property such as gas leak, wet lands, or use of the property as manufacturing in the past.

The due diligence process is very important. Adequate time must be reserved for this process to be conducted thoroughly and carefully. Party in a transaction should be encouraged to provide specified documents and information to ease the transaction. Be aware of all interests, liabilities, expenses and possible uses for the property.

This information will allow parties in transactions to make an informed decision.

Tips in Litigation Appraisal

downloadI attended a court hearing recently, and when the presiding judge read the facts of the case and the lawyer’s motion to nominate an Appraisal Commissioner, his (Judge) immediate response is “What is the qualification of Mr. Appraiser ?”

An appraiser play an integral role in every part of today’s civil litigation. Litigation appraisal involves taxation, estate planning, expropriation, litigation support, property settlement and others. That is why when selecting a real estate appraiser, a lawyer always perform comprehensive conflict-of-interest checks  on background and qualification before hiring or accepting appraisers.

This conflict of interest check is vital in cases where a lawyer is dealing with large business that offers myriad services and types of clients. While in checking the qualification of an appraiser, a lawyer does it in a profound way through the following attributes such us technical acumen, experience in appraisal, educator and communicator and readiness to appear and have demeanor in court.

Experience in Appraisal – An appraiser should have broad experience in appraisal of different types of properties such us office, retail, warehouse, industrial, apartments, hotels, memorial. Have knowledge in different type of appraisal like fee simple, leasehold or lease fee interest, insurable, retrospective, raw land development method and prospective appraisal.

Technical acumen – associated with professional experience, organizational experience for broader real estate and economic counselling skills capability to solve complex problems requires a greater depth of skills sets. Technical skills are key to an accurate and comprehensive expert report, thoughtful review and critique of the opposing expert report, depositions, and testimony.

Educator and communicator – an appraiser should be ready to explain and discuss  the report in the commissioners meeting or in an open court. A lawyer should pursue in selecting an appraiser’s prior publications and writings. The reasons for examining the expert’s writing are two-fold. First, this type of examination can help a lawyer to further determine the appraiser’s qualifications. Second, how an appraiser presented their arguments and the manner of reasoning and  arrived at their opinion. Is their analysis persuasive? Does the report and opinion make a sense to a lay person?  Have they presented their report in an easy to read and logical manner?

Appearance and demeanor – Lawyer have confidence that the expert will come across as professional and knowledgeable.  At trial or deposition, the appraiser knows the importance of establishing and maintaining credibility, presenting an appropriate appearance and demeanor, remaining composed, considering posed questions carefully, providing a simple and direct answer, giving opinions based on facts, following the standards of generally accepted appraisal practice, being impartial and not advocating for the client, and always telling the truth.

The above characteristics are interrelated. The expert’s qualifications should  matched to the demands of the case as it relates to areas such as property type, experience, or technical requirements. The expert’s ability to articulate his or her position will allow him to better convey his or her skills and qualifications to fellow commissioners, judge, lawyers and other officers of the court. Any aspiring appraiser to be part of this challenging job should muster the above attributes and be of help in our justice system.

See you in court.

Subdivision Development Method

12Land valuation is the most common appraisal assignment. An appraiser uses different method of valuation taking in consideration the purpose of the appraisal. But land differs in sizes, shapes and probable uses that an appraiser should look up to. Land which is large enough has different characteristics that warrants equal if not special attention. Besides, large tract of land requires more data and sets of comparable in using sales comparison method to arrive in a reliable and defensible market value.

An appraisal technique seldom used by appraisers in determining value of large tracts of land is the subdivision or development approach. This technique determines market value by subtracting the costs of developing a potential subdivision from its anticipated proceeds, and discounts the remainder to arrive at present value as of the date of the appraisal.

In using this technique, an appraiser should prepare a subdivision lay-out to determine the number, size and shape of lots. Through research estimate prices of lot; rental rate per square meters if improved with buildings; the development cost and developers profit and the income stream discounted to the present and arrive in its market value.

Often, land value estimates emanating from the subdivision or development approach are significantly lower than those correspondingly derived from the sales comparison approach with a lower lot sizes and different uses. In theory, if both the development method and sales comparison approach were applied correctly, the value estimates should be similar. Nonetheless, the process of reconciliation of different approaches, the appraiser should give weight to the method which is more reliable and justifiable than the other.

In the whole process of the development method of appraisal, the experience, skill and judgment of the appraiser will play with paramount of importance. There are number of methods and techniques available for the appraisers to explore and gain expertise in the practice of profession. Through our innovative effort as an appraiser, we can make an important contribution in popularizing and practicing the subdivision or development approach, in the service of our clientele and to the society.

Cavite Appraisal

 

I appraised properties in Cavite recently. My client, which is an expat living in the US, instructed me to deliver the report within three (3) days for court submission. He gave me only the exact address of the property, the rest will be produced through research.

Early in the morning I travel to Noveleta, Cavite for my first assignment, through the Manila-Cavite Expressway or Cavitex. I arrived in the municipal hall and paid a courtesy call with the Municipal Assessor, then proceed to the site for actual site inspection and research.

Then I went to Trece Martirez City to conduct due diligence for a property under dispute. I visited the site and afterwards went to the City Hall to conduct research and investigation.

I finished the assignment in three days and submitted it. My clients were happy after reading the appraisal report I sent to them.”Thank you for excellent job.”

A commendation that makes an appraiser happy.

Let us now tour Cavite.

Cavite is a province in the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the Calabarzon region on Luzon island. It is bounded on the north by Manila Bay and Metro Manila, on the east by Laguna, on the west by the South China Sea, and on the south by Batangas. It is composed of 7 Cities and 26 Municipalities. With a population of 3,090,691 in 2010, it is the most populated province in the country.

You can reach Cavite from Metro Manila through Aguinaldo Highway and Manila-Cavite Expressway or Cavitex .Situated just 21 kilometers south of the capital, it is one of the most industrialized and fastest growing province because of its close proximity to Metro Manila. Many companies, such as Intel, have established manufacturing plants in numerous industrial parks in the province. As of 2012, there are 382 actively operating companies in Cavite Export Processing Zone.

Major historic events happened in Cavite that shaped Philippines today, if you want to know more about Philippine History, you can visit Cavite and it will be like seeing the history itself not just reading them from Philippine History books.

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ASEAN IS ONE TONIGHT

We welcome 2016, not just a new year, but a new era for our country and other members of ASEAN. ASEAN is one community tonight.

The ASEAN Economic Community endeavors to become a single market and production base. It will unify the 625 Million people of 10 countries under ASEAN as a single community. ASEAN will be connected thru effective air, sea and land links. Further development of regional connectivity will help people, goods and services flow across the region more quickly and cheaply.

ASEAN identifies professions that are allowed to practice in other ASEAN countries. Small-Medium Enterprises (SME) will become more competitive. Those who are open to ASEAN market can expand operations and acquire office space and industrial properties outside the Philippines.

ASEAN community gives us more opportunities. The free movement of goods, services, skilled labor and capital would require more commercial and residential buildings and other infrastructures.

At the same time, it brings challenges to connect. Bigger, skilled and more advanced real estate practitioners from other ASEAN countries can enter the local market. They need local partners and counterparts.

New era requires new mindset and system. It means old habits and comfort zones should be archived. It is an era where connectivity and excellence is a must.

Happy New Year!   Welcome to ASEAN Community.

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PAREB-CESOREB held its first CPD Seminar

PAREB-Cebu South Real Estate Board (PAREB-CESOREB ) successfully held its first Comprehensive Development Program last October 17-18 at Elegant Circle Inn, Cebu City. More than 60 real estate brokers and salespersons participated in the seminar.

Gus Agosto, the President of PAREB-CESOREB, in his speech welcoming the participants highlighted the objective of PAREB-Cesoreb in conducting cpd seminars, “ Pareb- Cesoreb aims to help in raising the bar of real estate professional practice in Cebu.” “Thru seminars, we can produce more and more real estate practitioners who are capable in providing professionalized services to their clients and to the public in general.”

“We learned a lot in the seminar”, one of the participant said. “We are looking for the next set of seminars “, another participant shared.

The two-day seminar were the first set in the series of seminars they will be conducting. The topic of seminars included basic property management, leasing, BIR transactions, business planning, real estate service law and professional ethics.

PAREB-Cesoreb CPD

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Metro Manila Appraisal

It was an honor and privilege to be invited by a prestigious and one of the top appraisers company in the land to join their team in appraising property in Metro Manila.

Truly it adds value to my appraisal skills and in running an appraisal company.

Great experience.

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No two properties are alike

marketvaI have a client who asked me if I am using the same appraisal report format in my practice.  I quickly replied no. Why? Real estate properties have different appraised values depending on how you intend to use the appraisal. For instance, valuation for insurance may be very different than the value in the market, estate tax, property resale, or insurance. Other assigned uses include investment, liquidation, price confirmation, equitable distribution, loan collateral, retrospective value and many more.

Qualified and educated appraisers understand the many different types of values, assigned uses, and market condition in an specific area. He or she works with client to choose the proper type of value so that they can use the appraisal correctly and effectively.

Whenever there’s a question about the value of your property, there’s also a risk involved. It may be the risk of selling too low, or of paying too much: the risk of being under or over insured; the risk of not getting your fair share in a division of property; the risk of incurring tax penalties or being audited when calculating estate taxes.

A professional appraiser helps you manage these and other such risks by providing a written opinion of value upon which you can base your financial decisions. Rather than being just an “educated guess”, the professional appraiser’s value conclusions are based upon prescribed methods of valuation, research and report writing.

Bankers, investors, insurers, brokers, trustees, lawyers, judges, government agencies – ALL are dependent upon the knowledge and expertise of the appraisers, and so are you. Too often and too late, people find out that the appraisals they have are inaccurate or misleading, resulting not only in greater risk to themselves, but also a waste of millions out of their pocket.

No two properties are alike, no two appraisals are alike.

Appraisal services with a government institution

Appraiser Gus Agosto has just rendered appraisal services to the University of the Philippines, Cebu Campus. “It is an honor to be awarded a contract and appraised properties of a prestigious institution like U.P.”, Appraiser Gus Agosto shared.

“Government institutions and agencies are good market for real estate appraisers. Appraisers can explore and participate in government bidding and contracts.” he further said.  Last year, he was also part of an appraisal team that provided appraisal services to the Cebu Appraisal Technical Committee on Zonal Valuation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

To succeed, Appraisers should have working knowledge of the Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act. Every branch or agency of the government through the head of a procurement entity forms a bids and awards committee (BAC) to conduct competitive and transparent purchases by means of public bidding. There are also alternative ways government can make purchases like limited source bidding, direct contracting, negotiated procurement and shopping,

“In winning a government contract, offering the lowest price is not the key. It is knowledge, appraisal experience and excellence in appraisal that matters,” Appraiser Gus ended.

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