In the Nigerian scene, Estate Agents and Estate Surveyors/Valuers are often both erronoeously referred to as Estate Agents. They however differ in terms of job description and both offer distinct services. According to Mr Sam Eboigbe of Sam Eboigbe & Co. Properties, an Estate Surveyor/Valuer is a professional who has been trained to advise clients on investments with a view to making positive returns. In addition to provision of advise on land use and site selection, the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV); the governing body of Estate Surveyors/Valuers in Nigeria, outlines the role of Estate Surveyors/Valuers as the following:
- Determining the value of all descriptions of landed property and of the various interests therein;
- Managing and developing real estates and businesses concerned with the management of landed property
- Securing the optimal use of land and its associated resources to meet social and economic needs;
- Surveying the structure and conditions of buildings and their services and advising on their maintenance alteration and improvement;
- Measuring and delineating the physical features of the earth;
- Managing, developing and surveying mineral property;
- Determining the economic use of resources in the construction industry and the financial appraisal and measurement of construction work;
- Selling (whether by public auction or otherwise), buying or letting, as an agent, real or personal property or any interests therein, and to maintain and promote the usefulness of the profession for the public ad vantage.
In addition, Estate Surveyors/Valuers in Nigeria are also relevant in cases of compulsory acquisition, that is, a situation in which land is forcefully acquired by either the government, public utility companies like PHCN, oil companies and so on. In such a situation, an Estate Surveyor/Valuer could be retained by either or both the claimant ( land owner) and the acquiring party (government or other such bodies). His/her responsibility would include procuring briefs from the claimant, survey claims, issue professional fees, assess compensation, prepare valuation report and pay compensation.
An Estate Surveyor/Valuer is also equipped to carry out feasibility studies for building projects like housing schemes and factories in addition to handling project management, in which case the supervision of on-site engineers and architects is done. Also, they could source for funds for housing scheme projects on behalf of their clients.