In a divorce, the marital home is oftentimes sold, and any profits are split between the parties. Alternatively, if financially possible, one of the parties may buy out the other. The question of “who keeps the house?” depends far more on the house value than it does on who is staying and who is going. This may be the critical step in the divorce process. An appraisal by an independent appraiser is how parties determine home values when the home will not be sold.
You will not find a reliable answer online home value estimator when you are asking “what is my house worth.” No one should ever buy or sell based on a Zestimate. If you check their site, Zillow publishes its own comparison of home prices (actual sales) vs. their Zestimates which reveals an alarming rate of inaccuracy into the double digits in some areas. You have one chance and can’t afford to leave money on the table.
Your tax assessment is not the same as an appraisal because the intended use of the assessed value is primarily reserved for property taxation purposes. In fact, assessed values have no supportable correlation with actual property values. Sales used in the assessment process lag at least six months behind.
You can find and ask a real estate agent “what’s the value of my home?” There are very good local real estate agents who will develop a reasonably accurate broker’s opinion of value (BPO). But judges will not accept a BPO, they are knowledgeable and understand that BPOs’ are not considered reliable enough for use in a mortgage (FNMA). And in most cases the both names are on the current mortgage and a new mortgage will be necessary.
This is the reason one or both parties should hire the services of a professional real estate appraiser to estimate the fair market value of the home. The appraisal should include a well-supported, professional report that is admissible and defensible in court. State and Federal laws require that the appraiser and the appraisal process be independent from any influence, coercion or undue pressure. This allows the appraiser to remain an unbiased, third-party.
In some cases the divorce date differs from the inspection date of the appraisal. This requires a retrospective appraisal with an “effective date” and a value estimate corresponding to the date of divorce, the date of filing or some other date in the past.
Our Approach: A divorce is usually one of the most upsetting and difficult times in a person’s life. We understand and appreciate this difficulty, and we will handle your situation with the utmost care. We are bound by the ethical provisions within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) which guarantees our customers the highest level of confidentiality and discretion. In addition, we provide you with a comprehensive home appraisal report that meets or exceeds requirements of the court.
By working with Aladdin Appraisal, rest assured that you will get the best in professional service and courtesy, while also receiving the highest quality appraisal report. Our team of exceptional appraisers will be discreet and respect and protect your privacy in any divorce matter. Conversely, if necessary, Aladdin Appraisal stands behinds its appraisals and value estimates, should your matter advance to trial.
Our Senior Staff Appraiser, Adam Wiener, CRA will complete or personally review your appraisal. Our extensive experience includes dealing with local and prestigious law firms in the Greater Boston area.
We welcome your telephone inquiries and invite your questions about our process.