Typically for couples, the marital residence is the most expensive asset obtained during the marriage. Whether you or your spouse wishes to retain the home after the divorce, it is important that a fair and accurate value is obtained for purposes of property division. In this situation, an attorney will require an appraisal to settle divorce or estates for equitable distribution of property based on fair market value.
A divorce can be a particularly traumatic experience for both parties and is often further complicated by the difficult decision of “Who gets the house?”. In most divorce cases, the Court does not require the parties to “buyout” the other party’s interest but it may order the sale of the home so each party gets an equal share of the equity. Regardless of the situation, it’s a good idea to order an appraisal so both parties are fully aware of the home’s true market value.
If the parties want to sell the home, they’ll have a better idea of what price to set without the need for a real estate agent. And if a “buyout” is the chosen option, both parties will feel confident they’ve gotten a trustworthy assessment.
In addition to your emotional investment in the property, you and your spouse have likely spent years paying for it. You must make a choice between selling it or deciding that one of you will keep it. A fluctuating real estate market can make the decision even more difficult.
For example, if you are requesting to keep the marital residence, and you are attributing value to the property based on a 2009 assessor’s value at $625,000, but a recent appraisal values the property at $675,000, you will have forfeited $25,000 to your spouse. Thus, the cost of an appraisal is often a worthwhile investment.
Conversely, if your spouse is requesting to keep the residence, and you have inadvertently valued the property too high, you could be losing out on equity in the home to which you are entitled.
Establishing Fair Market Value
Most state courts require a recent appraisal to determine a home’s fair market value. Oftentimes, each party obtains their own appraisal and occasionally, the appraisers are called to the witness stand to testify on the accuracy of their reports. This is not a time for just any appraiser. An informed and well-spoken appraiser can make the difference that is measured in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
An analysis performed more than six months ago may no longer be viable or acceptable. We as appraisers typically begin by inspecting your home and making a comprehensive list of all its features. We then compare your home to others like it that have sold in your area during a specified time period, normally no more than one year. If your home has marketable features that the others don’t share, the appraiser will add to your home’s value.
Divorce is never easy, but we can help.
At Hudson View, our Expert Appraisers can provide a home valuation that lets you know what your assets are legitimately worth. Your home’s equity — its value minus any mortgage and/or tax liens — which must be divided between both parties.
If you would like to learn more, please visit the FAQs section, or contact us today to Get Started. Or visit us at LinkedIn. Use our services for managing your appraisal needs in the New York & Connecticut areas.
Hudson View Appraisal Services has many years of experience in the business, we have a proven track record of reducing lenders aggravations, efforts, and costs in managing the appraisal process.