If you have decided to divorce, one of the most challenging practical consequences of that decision is dealing with the marital home. Chances are that your property divisionsettlement will be greatly impacted by whatever you decide to do with your home. Whether you choose to sell, remain in your home or entertain another middle-ground option, it is important to obtain a current real estate appraisal on your home before you can factor it into your asset division strategy.
Once a real estate appraiser has assessed the home, your attorney can help you determine what the best course of action will be related to your eventual divorce settlement agreement. However, you should keep some things in mind when determining who you will allow to appraise your home.
First, ask potential appraisers how they determine the value of a home. Most of the time, their answer will involve the concept of comparable sales supplemented by any unique features that the home possesses. Because of this, it is critical that the appraiser have knowledge of comparable sales in your geographical area within a recent period of time. If few comparable homes have sold recently or if your potential appraiser has no knowledge of them, you may not end up with an accurate appraisal.
Second, understand that if your home has some truly unique qualities, you may need to have it appraised by multiple experts. These features will be harder to calculate than comparable sales are, so you will need a few opinions before you can be confident in the accuracy of the results.
Source: Forbes, "Seven Key Points Divorcing Women Need To Know About Real Estate And Real Estate Appraisals," Jeff Landers, Jan. 22, 2013