Probate Valuations - What you need to know.
If you are the Executor of an estate of someone recently deceased, you will need to arrange an Inheritance Tax Liability Probate Valuation i.e. to have any property they owned, valued at the Date of Death.
Estate agents or property valuers can carry this out, some for no fee, others make a charge. In fact, you can carry out your own valuation for IHT purposes. However, having a letter from an estate agent on headed paper is a hassle-free alternative especially as agents should know the area and property market well enough to give the correct value. This can save stress at a difficult time.
Find an agent with local experience. Local Brighton and Hove properties are often quite individual and one cannot only look at Land Registry Sold prices to ascertain value, especially as the date of the sale is critical. So an inspection from a knowledgeable agent is worth your while.
If you have a solicitor involved in the probate, they may recommend an estate agent. Solicitors often have a relationship with certain local companies but a friend from the area may have an equally valid recommendation. The main thing is that YOU need to trust the agent knows what they are doing.
Talk to the agent and ensure they don’t attempt to ‘hype’ or artificially lower the price as the Inland Revenue can challenge this. This is another reason to engage a third party rather than try to assess the value yourself.
An agent may make a small charge for the valuation; after all, they will be spending time and effort in visiting the property, then doing research and finally writing up and sending a letter. If you subsequently ask that agent to sell the property for you, they will normally deduct the cost of the Probate Valuation from their sales commission. If they don’t suggest it, you should ask!
If you use a reputable, professional local firm, you can be confident they know what they are doing.
Paul Bonett F.N.A.E.A. M.A.R.L.A.