Divorce – The Appraiser’s Role
- September 29th, 2014
- Matt Frentheway
- 21 Comments
Whether friendly or fierce, a divorce often times requires the services of an 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 appraiser. If two appraisals come in with two very different amounts, the judge may order a third independent appraisal 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 advise you of this anytime there is property involved. While the cost of your divorce seems to be adding up quick enough to make your head spin, you cannot skimp on the real estate appraiser. It may seem like a formality, yet you should realize what you end up getting out of the split once the dust settles 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 homeowner a few questions. Some of the questions may be about potential issues or if there is anything that should be pointed out. 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 throughout the home including their condition, and much more.
- The appraiser will also ask about or be looking for things that make this house unique to the neighborhood. Do you have a swimming pool that could increase the value? Are you located near any adverse external factors such as a freeway or high voltage power lines? Or did you transform the lush green lawn into a concrete slab for a future oversized patio, which might actually hurt the home’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.