With years of experience in the appraisal business, we’re often involved in the happiest and, sometimes, the saddest events of our clients’ lives. If you need an appraisal for a divorce, we’ll be there for you with care, professionalism, and accuracy.
What’s the difference between an appraisal done for mortgage lending and one done for a divorce?
The appraisal process itself is the same for all appraisal work. The difference is in the details, such as the desired effective date of the valuation.
Sometimes a divorce is amicable, and other times it is anything but. These are stress-filled times for everyone involved. Except us — our job is relatively simple. We tell you the value of the real estate. Your job is to make financial decisions based on your individual needs in light of the new situation.
Our estimate of market value will aid in the decision to either sell the property and split the proceeds, or have one spouse buy out the other. If the purpose of the appraisal is to aid in the division of assets, we would like to point out that the appraised value is NOT a “net proceeds to seller” figure. An appraised value reflects “gross” sales price.
Should you trust an appraisal that was ordered by your spouse?
That depends. Do you trust your spouse to order a fair and impartial appraisal? Do you know the appraiser? Can you verify, through knowledgeable appraisal users, the appraiser’s reputation for honesty and integrity? If not, it may be in your best interest to have Fulton County Home Appraiser send out one of our knowledgeable real estate appraisers. Ask around. You’ll hear about our reputation for honesty, objectivity, and integrity.
What if my spouse and I each have our own appraisal?
If there are two appraisals, the value conclusions should be within 5% of each other. If they are not, that means that one appraisal or the other is wrong. The problem is knowing which one. In that case, we suggest that an impartial party (such as the judge) select a third appraiser. The third appraisal should fall within 5% of one of the original appraisals. Average the two appraisals that fall within 5% of each other for a basis for a settlement figure.
However, don’t forget to consider the seller’s expenses. By definition, the appraised value reflects the most probable sales price of the subject property. There are numerous seller expenses that are commonly associated with the sale of a property. These often include advertising, property maintenance, marketing expenses, realtor commissions, title insurance, taxes, attorney fees, and other miscellaneous closing costs typically due to the seller.
We have found that these expenses tend to range from 6% of the gross sales price to over 10%, depending on the type of property. We recommend that the users of an appraisal report are knowledgeable of these costs and consider them when calculating a specific settlement.