Getting a Real Estate Appraisal During A Divorce

By jim • October 8th, 2010

Going through a divorce is a difficult period in life and anything that can be done to ease the process is helpful. One aspect of a Divorce that typically becomes a point of contention and creates more stress for both parties is the court mandated Real Estate Appraisal requested for the couples mutually owned home during a Divorce proceeding. This is undeniably an important aspect and the tips outlined in this article can make the Divorce Appraisal more accurate and a smoother experience for all involved.

What is the House Worth? Getting the Divorce Appraisal

If the divorce trial appears to be adversarial, your lawyers will most likely ask you to get separate updated and accurate real estate appraisals of the house in the divorce. This is typically done through two separate registered residential real estate appraisal firms- the very same type of appraisal companies used during the home purchase process. A professional registered real estate appraiser will visit the home, take detailed notes and measurements about the home and the surrounding area. They will then use this information to provide a thorough and updated appraisal of the homes value. When you are your spouse are cooperative in the Divorce proceedings, you may avoid the occasional pitfall of the “dueling appraisals” that arise from two different values that come out of this process.

Getting Familiar With Your Homes Value Before the Divorce Appraisal

One approach is to drive around in your neighborhood together or separately, gather information on three different real estate agents who have signs outside houses that are similar to yours. This will tell you that these agents are familiar with the properties in your neighborhood. Invite two or three agents to house when both you and your spouse can be present. This won’t give you a “firm” value. Instead, you and your spouse will hear together what the agent would be likely to list the house for and what price they think will likely sell the home. It is in their best interest to price it correctly if they are to sell the home and earn their commission. With this information, you and your spouse can agree on a base value to use for the house in your divorce negotiations.

Even with this knowledge you will want to have your house appraised to reflect recent changes in the market, particularly since the valuation will reflect the home’s worth at the time of the divorce. A timely appraisal by a qualified third party is required to settle a divorce in most states. To avoid potential conflicts of interest and additional acrimony, divorcing spouses are asked to each get independent appraisals. If there is a disparity in the two, the divorcing parties- or the divorce judge- may decide to meet somewhere in the middle. Having had an independent sense of the value by two or three real estate agents during this process helps both parties settle the disparity that may appear from two independent residential real estate appraisals.

Getting Just One Divorce Appraisal

If you both decide to get just one appraisal done, make the choice of appraiser by mutual consent and ensure that both of you are present when it is being done. Any perception by either party, or the judge that either of you is trying to unduly influence the appraisal will cause additional legal pains for everyone involved. Also, make sure you are using a reputable, licensed local real estate appraiser who is experienced with “divorce appraisals” because these types of appraisals must be supportable in divorce court. The appraiser should also be familiar with the timing and procedures used to best match the appraisal’s effective date and value with the date of the divorce.

AtlasAZ Appraisal’s (a highly reputable and registered Phoenix Real Estate Appraisal Company) offers what’s called a “Spot Appraisal” program which can put an accurate, detailed appraisal report in your hands in as little as 24 hours. It is fast becoming the most popular program for those requiring a Divorce Appraisal of their home’s value. AtlasAZ has an established, respected position in the Phoenix, Arizona appraisal community and is often the goto company for Divorce Attorneys, Loan Brokers, Banks and Residential Real Estate Appraisals. We do our best to help your divorce go more smoothly and are ready to provide a “Spot Appraisal” at any time. You can call us at 602-955-4641 or request a “Divorce Appraisal” online at Phoenix, Arizona Real Estate Appraisal Request.

Read More About Divorce Appraisals:

BankRate.com Article:
Pay For Two Appraisals During a Divorce

Lamb Hanson Appraisals:
Real Estate Appraisal During A Divorce

Comments

By Property Appraisals on October 12th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

House appraisals sometimes seem to be more of an art than a science. Homeowners might wonder why their tastefully decorated home appraises for the same amount as the outdated eighties-style house down the street. Home appraisals are more about square footage and bathroom counts than decor, though, and they can make or break plans to purchase or refinance a home. California requires home appraisers to be certified professionals who pass standardized tests and requirements.

 

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