H&H appraisal offers appraisal services for a wide array of legal needs. Whether divorce, probate, or valuation for mediation, we can provide prompt and private reports. We strive to be accurate and concise in our valuation methods and results.
What is a Divorce Appraisal?
The division of property is a complex yet necessary part of divorce proceedings for couples with assets. For that reason, obtaining a home appraisal during a divorce is important because it provides divorcing spouses with an independent estimate of the value of a property they can use to finalize each individual’s share. In fact, a formal appraisal also makes refinancing the mortgage move more efficiently with the lender. A court can set aside a divorce settlement if it finds that the division of valuable assets is based on inaccurate values. Therefore, it is in your best interest to opt for a trustworthy and reliable professional appraisal service like H&H Appraisal during a divorce settlement to make the process smoother and more seamless.
The Matrimonial Home and Why You Need a Divorce Appraisal
In most instances, the marital home is crucial to divorcing couples because it is their largest and most valuable asset. There are different options for divorcing couples to divide the marital home:
1) Sell the house and share the equity
2) If either individual wants to remain in the house, they can pay a settlement to the spouse
Either one of the two options requires the exact determination of the property’s market value, for which a formal home appraisal is necessary.
A qualified and skilled appraiser like the team at H&H Appraisal will make it easier to provide a valuation of the property, enabling divorcing spouses to be aware of the current value so they can calculate either individual’s gross share. It would also make it easier to determine the property’s listing price, so the divorcing couple is in a better place to negotiate the prices with the buyer.
In the first scenario, where the couple decides to sell the house and share the equity, an appraisal by a professional will limit the time the house will be listed for sale, making it more convenient for all parties involved.
In the second scenario, the judge will not make a ruling on the settlement or division of property without an appraisal by a certified real estate appraiser.
Deciding Between the Options
So how do divorcing couples decide if it is best to sell the house or keep it? There are several factors to consider here.
In most situations, keeping the process simple and selling the property is recommended to avoid prolonged real estate complications with your ex. It makes it easier for both parties to move on and ensures a clean financial break. Moreover, neither of the parties can usually afford to stay in the house on their own, so selling the property and determining the percentage split is the way to go.
Alternatively, if children are involved in the situation, it is necessary to consider their well-being, and keeping them in the same school district often minimizes disruption. The property might also have sentimental value to one of the divorcing parties, which would incentivize them to pay a settlement to their spouse. If the property or land were bought before the marriage, the percentage split would be challenging to determine, giving one of the individuals a reason to keep the house.
Either way, the skilled professionals at H&H Appraisal can help you figure out the process and help you decide which option is the best, making it hassle-free for everyone involved.
Why H&H Appraisal
Divorce appraisals are particularly tricky; they require a well-supported professional appraisal that is defensible in court. Not to mention the appraiser has to navigate the already heightened negative emotions surrounding the settlement, so they may be required to be more empathetic than usual. Moreover, the appraiser dealing with the process must have experience in providing both current real estate value and retrospective value because the court could require either one.
The skilled and certified appraisers working at H&H Appraisal have the substantial industry experience to ensure that the real estate value and the retrospective values determined are accurate. We also ensure extra consideration while dealing with divorce appraisals because sensitive situations like divorce require added care and empathy.
It’s important for the appraiser to be a neutral third party when it comes to a divorce because the appraiser might be needed to testify in court as part of the divorce proceeding. Therefore, the professional must be someone both parties trust.
When the divorcing individuals cannot decide who to hire, a judge may intervene and appoint an appraiser to perform the required processes.
An appraiser dealing with a divorce settlement must know about a retrospective appraisal, which means the value of the property is based upon a date in the past, for example, a filing date, the date of marriage, the date of separation, or the date of purchase.
The value and adjustments the appraiser makes in the report should be clearly explained and supported. H&H Appraisal’s expertise in this domain means you can trust us to handle your case with maximum professionalism and confidentiality.
How a Divorce Appraisal is Determined
To determine an accurate and fair market price, an appraiser assesses a property’s value by examining several features. These include the square footage, the lot size, the number of rooms, and the price at which nearby homes have been sold in recent months. In addition, the overall condition of the property is also taken into account, along with housing trends, crime data, and surrounding neighborhood amenities.
In a regular appraisal, the realtor performs a comparative market analysis (CMA) that compares home sales in the area, which is usually a standard procedure. In the case of a divorce appraisal, however, the situation is trickier, and a CMA doesn’t suffice. Instead, a full appraisal is the best protection, which the skilled realtors at H&H Appraisal are qualified to perform accurately.
When an appraisal is performed through a bank as part of a divorce refinance, the value is often low, which limits the potential risk a bank undertakes while granting you a loan. Another important aspect to note here is that if you had a regular property appraisal done more than six months ago, it wouldn’t be applicable for divorce purposes.