Getting a Home Appraisal During a Divorce
Divorce is a challenging thing to deal with at any stage of your life, no matter what the reason for divorce is. As you and your soon to be ex-spouse are finalizing your divorce, there are a lot of things that you will need to do, such as determine custody of your children, figure out finances, and determine who gets what.
And as you and your ex are deciding who gets what, you will need to decide who gets to keep the house or if you both want to sell it. If you both decide to sell it, you will need to have a home appraisal to determine the value of your home.
Important Points to Know About Getting a Home Appraisal During a Divorce
It’s important to point out that people should have multiple home appraisals during a divorce to make sure they are getting an accurate value. It’s also important to point out that home appraisals can become complex when they are done on the grounds of a divorce. If you are in the process of getting a divorce and are preparing for a home appraisal, here are some things you should know.
Real Estate Values Change Over Time
People that are going through a divorce often hire their own appraisers to determine the value of a home and will then let the court determine which appraisal is more accurate. Or, some ex-spouses will let the other deal with the appraisal all by him or herself.
However, it’s common for some ex-spouses to challenge their ex’s appraiser’s value and claim that it isn’t accurate. Though in some cases this could be true, it’s important to consider that the values of houses change drastically over time, and it’s likely that your home has decreased in value since you bought it. Or, the home could have decreased in value since the last time you had an appraiser look at it if something drastic happened to the home or the area around it.
Most Real Estate Appraisals Are Determined By Comparable Sales
Similarly, when some people want to challenge the appraisal value determined by the appraiser hired by his or her ex, they don’t consider exactly what the worth of the home is determined by. It’s important to know your facts such as knowing that a majority of the value of your home is determined by comparable sales. This means that your home’s value is very much determined by the price of homes in your neighborhood or around you.
Certain Features May Be Evaluated Differently By Different Appraisers
If you and your ex use two separate appraisers, you should know that the value could differ because certain appraisers will value certain features differently. Some appraisers may value unique outdoor features such as a greenhouse or aviary more than others. Or, some appraisers may value interior features more. If you are finding this is the case for your home appraisal, the court will likely call for a third independent appraisal to be conducted.
You May Need to Work With Your Ex on Preparing Your Home for an Appraisal
To truly get the best value for your home, you will need to properly prepare your house for a home appraisal, and you will likely have to work with your ex to do this. Working with your ex to prepare your home can be a challenge, however, if you want to get the best value for your home, you will need to put your differences aside and prepare your home. Some ways to prepare your home include:
- Touching up paint
- Renovating the kitchen/bathroom if either is old or worn
- Updating appliances
- Hiring a landscaper to touch up the exterior
- Replacing the floors
Make Your Home Appraisal and Divorce as Simple as Can Be
Divorces can get messy, so it’s up to you to do all that you can to make sure that you do your part in making things run smoothly; including hiring a professional appraiser that is knowledgeable and up to date with the various home appraising tools available. Keep these tips in mind when dealing with your home appraisal and divorce, they will make both situations as simple as can be.
About the Author
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey