Retrospective Value Appraisal

Most appraisals are for current market value. So the very day an appraiser comes out and inspects a property, the value will be “as of today”. But there are appraisal that determines the value of a property from the past. It is called Retrospective value appraisal.

What is a Retrospective value appraisal? It is a historical determination of the market value. With a retrospective appraisal, the effective date of valuation is what the property was worth on a particular date in the past-maybe last month, last year or last 10 years ago.

What is the purpose of a historical appraisal? Many and varied reasons. Accountants and financial planners need to determine the value of property held in estate when the owner dies. This is known as a “Date of Death” appraisal. The BIR want a professional appraisal in the file to document the value as of that date. Lawyers use the historical appraisal to determine what assets belong to which party.

Historical appraisal is also needed in court litigations involving expropriation of private lands for public use, and ejectment cases. The court will appoint appraisal commissioner to determine the market value of the property on the date of taking. If the property was taken from the owner last year or five years ago, the date of the valuation will be the same.

I recently appraised a property using retrospective appraisal. The property was expropriated for a government project. To determine the market value as basis for just compensation, my client hired my services. In this case, I valued the property based on the comparables, market data and analysis at the time the expropriation took place.

If the appraisal is for court litigation, we may be called on the witness stand to testify to our report and defend it against the opposing lawyers and his witness. There are additional fees for this type of testimony. But be sure your report is defensible and ready to thwart any questions of the opposing counsel.

In this more complicated retrospective or historical appraisal, it is important to hire an appraiser with experience and familiar in the market area. An appraiser with sufficient experience has insight in this area before, during and after changes that have occurred over.

As a professional appraiser it is my responsibility to be the best and be credible as possible for my client. If you have questions on real estate appraisal, feel free to contact me.

Appraiser on the Environment: The Case of Inner Niger Delta

Real estate practitioner should also be concern with the environment. As my contribution to the campaign in preserving the Inner Niger Delta River in Mali. I am sharing the summary of my paper submitted to the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) on how to augment the present effort on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Inner Niger Delta River.

Ecosystem Based Adaptation

The Inner Niger Delta in Mali is a 3,000,000 hectare wetland consisting of flood plains, lakes, river branches and small pockets of flood forest. It is part of the 4.200 kilometres Niger river catchment, which flows through 10 countries before discharging in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also classified as a Ramsar site in 2004, for its extraordinary importance having a large range of water dependent plant and animal species.

The Inner Niger Delta is vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, flooding and loss of livelihood of fishermen, farmers and cattlers.

The integration of Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Ecosystem-based Disaster and Risk Reduction integration in Inner Niger Delta will bring more benefits to the people and the environment. Integrated approach of structural and non-structural projects will help restore the forest and prevent flooding and brings livelihood of the people. Furthermore, ecosystem based adaptation is more beneficial being a cost-effective measure and more effective.

There are activities currently done in the river but other measures should also be adopted like reforestation programs, construction of natural channels and water reservoir, experimentation of other suitable farming methods and more.

Reforestation will raise the water level and will help maintain the river flow. Regeneration of the tree cover will not only raise the water level of the water but this will also another source of livelihood for the people and will greatly help in preserving different flora and fauna habitat.

To prevent flooding and control rivers during heavy rains there should be natural channels and water reservoirs to be constructed.These structures could re-channel the waters to the reservoir and be absorb by the soil naturally.

Non-structural measures includes reforestation of riparian areas and strengthening of organization framework for disaster management. These projects and land restoration initiatives increases soil structure and thereby improved the watersheds ability to hold and store water.

In the agricultural village, the effect of climate change are the drying up of the soil vegetation and irrigation system . There should be innovation and experimentation with traditional farming methods and agroforestry techniques. Depending on the soil characteristics, with the above measures, people can have a better crop yields, regeneration of tree cover, as well as other additional economic and environmental benefits.

Coordination among the stakeholders and users of the river should be implemented.There should be coordination among the population in upstream and downstream part of the river with regards to the use of the river. Creation of water governance bodies in downstream and upstream and a bigger bodies that coordinates all the stakeholders. This body will conduct mapping of the entire area and pinpointing the possible or potential area that are prone to disaster and hazards.At the same time, conduct training on preparedness on different hazard events.

These measures needs people support and to achieve it, there should be a massive information and educational campaigns and conduct of trainings among the populace.

Maintenance of water flows in Inner Niger Delta is a major campaign to help preserve our wetlands. We should throw our support and give our next generation a chance to benefit the beauty of nature and the ecosystem.

I hope this was interesting to you. Thanks for being here.




Appraisal 101: How an appraisal is done

It has been a normal scene for prospective client and practitioners to ask an appraiser for the value of a certain property. Some people also thought that after site inspection, an appraiser can render a value opinion already. So, there is a need to answer questions on how an appraisal is done? And why it is important to follow the process?

Appraisal may seem as a simple and fast process. An appraiser shows up at a property for a short time with a camera and tape measure and that’s it. However, the property inspections are only a part of a big process. A typical appraisal report requires 12 to 13 combined hours by appraiser and staff to complete.

Ordering an Appraisal
The process usually begins when a client call or visit the appraiser to order an appraisal. In the telephone or in-person conversation, the appraiser will asks data of the property such as title, building plan, tax declaration, as well as preliminary information of the client, and agree on the scope of work and professional fee. The most important is scheduling of the site inspection.

Identifying the Property
In preparation for the site inspection, the appraiser will study the documents provided by the client focusing on the location, shape and size of the lot, design of the house and decide on what valuation approach that he will use. Additional research will be done in different government offices for the identification of the property.

The Site Visit
Then the appraiser conducts a careful physical inspection of the property and the neighborhood. Take photographs and verify area measurements. Don’t worry about the kids, toys or household disorder. The appraiser is looking at the structure, condition and features of your home.

The appraiser will also roam the neighborhood to observe, estimate the distance between known landmarks in the area. Also, to look for any factors and characteristics that may affect the value of the property, and searching for comparable properties or “comps”. In the language of appraisal, ‘comps’ are sales and listings available in the market.

Pulling It All Together
Next, the appraiser performs in depth analysis of all of the available data. Returning to office is crucial part of the appraisal process. The appraiser will gather all the information about the properties and the financial aspects. Make phone calls to agents, government offices and other parties involved in the transactions to confirm observations or to gather more information. Examine the title and tax declaration for any encumbrance, annotation and non-compliance with the law. Often, property information from several sources is in conflict and it is the appraiser’s task to determine the true state of affairs by means of research, experience and good judgment.

Guided by the principles of appraisal, he will analyze the neighborhood, market, zoning, the predominant use of the area and determine the highest and best use of the property, as vacant and as improved.

In using market data approach, the appraiser will select at least three comps, but generally four or five are necessary to support the basis for the final appraised value. The appraiser makes adjustments to reflect differences in comp properties. Upgrades like painting, chandelier, air conditioners, recent redecorating, or home improvements may add value to a property.

There are other approaches or methods in valuing properties. Every approach is made to substantiate the appraiser’s opinion of market value.

Finalization of a Report
The last part is the preparation and printing of a detailed report, outlining the value of the property appraised and the approaches to value with several addenda including copies of title and neighborhood maps as well as photographs of the property.

The completed appraisal is packaged and transmitted to the client—the property owner, lawyer or company representative who ordered the appraisal.

Thus, appraisal is not a mere “opinion of value”, it follow process and guidelines set by authorities and international standards. Following thoughtful and thorough procedures will provide a complete and credible appraisal.

Bagging an appraisal contract

A big corporation contacted me for an appraisal work. They asked for my credentials and if I’m a bank accredited appraiser. Previously, they hired a research group to do the valuation, but not satisfied with the result.

I commended their effort to look for a licensed and experienced appraiser, and gave them my credentials. I explained to them the difference between an experienced bank appraiser and non-bank appraiser.

It pays to be able to discern between the two.

What are the difference?

Non-bank appraisal is a market niche, often best suited for appraisers who think outside the box. These assignments include appraisal reports performed for situations such as pre-listing, financial reporting, divorce settlement, other litigation related cases, and government agencies appraisal needs. Intended users need to find the most qualified and experienced appraisers. Well-vetted experts are most applicable when testimony is a possibility or when looking at unique properties.

Take lawyers, for example; They need someone who can report not only well enough to be reliable but also defensible in court and a communicator. It takes a good professional to write a report, but an even better one to be effective to withstand in court trials and argumentation with fellow commissioners and lawyers. An appraiser should know how to convince the commissioners in court of his valuation, and come up with a recommendation, thereby hastening the trial process.He must also be able to communicate complex valuation theory to assessors, lawyers and judge who may have no deeper understanding of valuation processes, approaches and adjustments. In other words, the appraiser must become an effective teacher in addition to being a good report writer.

Meanwhile, many appraisers who work primarily with banks are confine within company scope of work. Banks often require appraisers to utilize comparable sales within a “price range” of an area, and not to exceed company guidelines when adjusting comparable sales and in using valuation approaches.

Clients and user of appraisal work should tread very carefully when selecting appraisers. Choosing an appraiser with limited experience could result in less than optimal results.

After the discussion with their top management, they decided to get my service. Another big corporation in my client list.

Challenges In Appraising Warehouse Properties

Appraisal of a warehouse can appear straightforward compared to other appraisal assignments. A warehouse appraisal involves comparing a building that is primarily an open shell to similar buildings. Some appraisers tend to assume that one “box” is pretty much the same as another. However, a number of warehouse characteristics can present challenges during the valuation process.

Some appraisers end in using Cost Approach method as a generic method in appraising buildings. But there are several critical differences appraisers need to keep in mind. First, knowing the remaining economic life of a structure is a big factor in determining what method should be used. Appraising old structures using the cost approach method may generate an incorrect result. Income approach is the reasonable method in this situation. Second, the importance of solving the question of the highest and best use of the property- as vacant and as improved, gains ground when the subject property is old and located in a neighborhood where other best use is possible and more feasible.

In appraising these warehouses using Income Approach, it is essential to carefully consider the following factors in selecting comparables:

• Excess land
• Truss height
• Percent of office space
• Loading facilities
• Truck maneuvering distance
• Floor thickness/loading capacity
• Power service
• Land-to-building ratio
• Size relative to typical building size

The most important, location-related factors can differentiate warehouses located within the same community. The value of a warehouse facility is tied to the ability to move goods efficiently in and out of the warehouse. Any inefficiency reduces profitability.

In a challenging profession, an appraiser should think “out of the box” in looking methods that will result in a reliable and unbiased opinion of value.

What they say on Appraiser Gus?

Let our clients and peers speak.

Gus Agosto has been perceptive enough to have realized the potential conflicts of interests with regards to meeting the sellers and has been able to navigate and maneuvered satisfactorily around it, and still come out with a justifiable figure that satisfies both parties.

Of course I would recommend him to others as he has performed what was expected of him and more.”

Richard Azares
Managing Broker
DiamondCrest Real Estate Services

“Gus Agosto is highly competent and much more knowing him in the high level of ethical standard and practice. He is knowledgeable and trustworthy in his assigned work.

We were doing the appraisal business together and yes Gus Agosto is commendable.”

Tom Academia
Magaca Appraisal & Konsult

“As a fellow appraiser, I can say that Gus is professional and considerate to his colleagues suggestions and opinions.
He is much updated with information and current events that could have an impact on the real estate industry especially the appraisal service.

Yes, I recommend him, because one does not only get an appraiser that can present you the technical aspect of the property but also a broker that knows the marketing conditions of a given location.”

Germaine Ouano
Managing Partner
Intech Property Appraisal, Inc.

“Gus is a new breed of appraiser that can be relied on the opinion of valuation. He is very active practicing appraiser/ someday a lecturer on the update of the Real Estate Profession and economic trend in the Philippines and ASEAN.”

Oscar Labrador
Cebu Appraisers

Appraising Appraisals

As 2014 come to a close, let me share some highlight of major career accomplishments in appraisal.

It was a great leap in my appraisal career. I served clients from different stratum of our society-property owners, lawyers, brokers, accountants, ambassador, company, cooperatives and foreign individuals. More and more assignments means more places visited. It was a year of valuable experiences.

After my stint with Intech Property Appraisal as its Managing Partner, series of assignments and appraisal orders came. My biggest clients were the CFI Multipurpose Cooperative and a subdivision developer. I appraised its properties ranging from vacant lot, residential, and commercial buildings and institutional. The most challenging assignment was a one-hectare residential lot. It was challenging because it has a variety of problems on its title, physical characteristics, occupants and expropriated portion. In addition to the most commonly used methods in appraisal (market data, cost and income approach) I have to use subdivision development method in appraising the said property to draw closer out with the most reliable and accurate value .

In these assignments, I learn a lot of lesson in practicing appraisal. My foundation as a researcher, as an economist and being a real estate broker helps a lot. In every appraisal assignment, I always bear in mind that I should come out with an unbiased and justifiable opinion of value.

The most challenging assignment was to be appointed by a regional trial court as member of the Commission that will study and report the fair market value of a property on trial. It is an assignment where an appraiser has to face the grilling of the judge, lawyers, assessors and other parties. It needs courage draws from experience and technical capability.

Appraisal assignments also mean travel to different places. I visited places and seen faces in different part of the country. Beautiful beaches of Camotes and Bohol, picturesque mountains in Negros and Agusan, scenic islands in Iloilo, native delicacy in Bayawan City- the baye-baye ( I keep looking for laki-laki), Marang in Cagayan de Oro, Binagol in Leyte and more.

It was a great year of raising the level of professional capabilities and experience.

Photos from the Field: The Church in Palo


In the course of my appraisal work, I visited places like Palo Church.

Palo Church is a historical landmark in Palo which was built in 1596 by Fr. Alonso de Humanes, a Jesuit who came to the place when the sitio had only two houses, who spread the gospel of Christ, baptized natives, taught the children to read and write, pray the rosary, sing church hymns or play the flute.

Newly Appointed Court Commissioner

On December 12, Thursday, at 8:30 in the morning a simple oath taking of the Commission took place at the office of Judge Victor Teves, Lapulapu City Regional Trial Court Branch. The Commission was created to determine the fair market value of a property under litigation.

“It is an honor to be part of a body that commissioned by the court and will help in settling dispute”, Gus said after the oath taking.

Dr. Tom Academia , PARCS Executive Vice President said, “Appraiser as commissioned by the court must understand that his principal is the court, not in any of the parties involved and importantly, that position is always unbias in the performance of his appraisal duty. “

Gus is not new to appraisal involving legal proceedings.” I appraised properties already for litigation support”, he said. I helped clients and lawyers in strengthening their legal defense and arguments in court.

Gus was formerly the Managing Partner of Intech Property Appraisal,Inc., a Manila based appraisal company. He appraised different properties-residential, commercial and industrial, in Cebu and Iloilo. He also appraised properties of Cebu CFI Community Cooperative in the Visayas and Mindanao.

A licensed real estate appraiser and broker, he graduated Bachelor of Arts, Major in Economics. He also earned units in Bachelor of Law. Recently, he completed the Real Estate Consultants Review and Seminar given by the Philippine Association of Realty Consultants and Specialists (PARCS).

He is currently the President of Cebu South Real Estate Board, a local board under PAREB or Philippine Association of Real Estate Board.