The process of real estate valuation in the divorce setting takes on two common forms: (1) the parties agree to hire a neutral appraiser whose evaluation of the property becomes the agreed upon figure, or (2) the parties hire their own appraisers and dispute the details of two dueling appraisals.
Common pitfalls associated with the second scenario are easy to imagine: each party disputes the opposing party’s appraisal and a judge must determine which is more accurate. Sometimes, the judge declines to use either appraisal and orders a neutral appraisal to settle the dispute. Even under the first scenario there can be dispute if the valuation does not come in just the way one side wanted.
Many appraisers charge greater fees when appraising for the purpose of a divorce – the possibility of litigation and the inherent complexity of determining the progression of real estate value over the course of a marriage makes the process much more arduous than a standard appraisal. Recent upgrades – remodeled rooms, furniture, or appliances – do not often return their retail value when the home is sold, and the parties may dispute over who should keep them if they are removed.
With the real estate market rebounding, many divorcees are finding that their marital residence or investment property is “worth the fight.”
For more about the tribulations of real estate appraisals during a divorce, read the Wall Street Journal’s recent article, entitled “Appraisers in Splitsville,” at the following website: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324851704578133200609815808.html