Whether friendly or fierce, a divorce usually requires the services of a professional appraiser. In most cases there are two separate appraisals completed – one for each partner. Certain instances may even call for the use of a third appraisal to settle any additional disputes in regards to value.
If two appraisals come in with significantly different amounts, a judge may order a third independent appraisal be completed to help settle the matter. So the appraiser’s role in a divorce is helping assess value for the division of property.
Your attorney will usually advise you of this anytime there is property involved. While the cost of your divorce may be adding up fast enough to make your head spin, you simply cannot skimp on the appraisal process. It may seem like a formality, yet you should realize what you end up getting out of the split is based a great deal on the report from a professional appraiser.
In some cases the attorneys or the couple may agree to use just one appraiser. This works for couples who may already have an idea of what the value probably is and do not intend to be out for blood when it comes to splitting property and assets.
So what does the process include?
- The appraiser visits the property and will ask the owner a few questions. Some may be about potential issues and others may be about anything that should be pointed out the appraiser may not notice otherwise. Also, has there been any remodeling or upgrades the appraiser should know about?
- The appraiser will also take measurements, check how recent the electric and plumbing is, peek in crawl spaces and attics, note the various amenities and upgrades the home has to offer including their condition, and more.
- The appraiser will also be looking for things which may make the property unique to the neighborhood. Do you have a swimming pool that may increase value? Are you located near any adverse external factors such as apartments, a freeway, or high voltage power lines? Or did you convert the lush green lawn into a concrete slab for a future patio, which may actually hurt the property’s value?
- After the inspection the appraiser then researches to compare your property with a minimum of three other similar properties within the area. These normally would be homes that had sold within the past 3-6 months. Homes should be comparable to square footage, number of bedrooms, condition, lot size, features, and other similar details.
- From all of this compiled data the appraiser then provides a final value estimate for your home.
So how could appraisals differ?
One of the main reasons are unique features. One appraiser may value the in-ground pool much higher while another may feel, for that area, it should be standard. And keep in mind that all appraisers are not the same in terms of qualifications so you should only work with the most experienced appraisers and not hire someone based strictly on their fee…as that could cost you dearly in the long run.
Keep in mind too that the value for a property tax assessment is not necessarily the same as the appraised value. These numbers can actually be quite different and usually are.
An appraiser should be professional and have plenty of experience working with divorces. It is also important to find an unbiased third party to conduct the appraisal instead of someone close to either of the parties involved.
I hope you found this helpful and if you have any additional questions, thoughts, or comments please leave them down below.
Altermatt Appraisal Services specializes in appraisals for divorce, bankruptcy, estate, date of death, tax appeals, pre-listings, and more throughout the greater Toledo area. For more info contact us at (419) 754-3396, visit our website at ToledoAppraiser.com, or email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org.