During a Divorce…What is The Appraiser’s Role?

Whether a divorce is friendly or fierce, a divorce usually requires the services of a professional appraiser. In most cases two separate appraisals are completed – one for each side. Many times there may even be need for the use of a third appraisal.

If two appraisals come in with significantly different amounts, the judge may then order a third independent appraisal to help settle the matter. The appraiser’s role in a divorce is to help assess value for the division of property.

san diego 3Your attorney will usually advise you of this anytime there is property involved. While the cost of your divorce seems to be adding up quick enough to make your head spin, you simply can’t skimp on obtaining a professional appraisal. It may seem like a formality, yet you should realize what you end up getting out of the split once the dust settles is based a great deal on the report from a professional appraiser.

In some cases the divorcing couple or their attorneys may agree to use just one appraiser. This works for couples who may already have an idea of what the value probably is and do not intend to be out for blood when it comes to splitting property and assets.

So what does the appraisal process include?

  • The appraiser visits the property and will ask the property owner a few questions. Some of the questions may be about potential problems while other questions may be in regards to any remodeling or upgrades the appraiser should know about.
  • The appraiser will also usually measure the property and note the different amenities and upgrades throughout the property including their condition, and much more.
  • After the inspection the appraiser then researches and compares your property with a minimum of three to six other similar properties within the area. These are normally properties that had sold within the past 12 months. Commercial properties should be comparable to square footage, location, condition, lot size, features, and other similar details.
  • Then after compiling all of the data…the appraiser then provides a final estimate of value for the property.

So how could appraisals differ?

One of the main reasons are the methodologies an appraiser uses. In other words, the adjustments an appraiser applies or the capitalization rate an appraiser uses may differ. Also, all appraisers are “not” the same in terms of qualifications. You should always work with the most experienced appraisers, especially those who are MAI designated as they adhere to higher standards, and not hire an appraiser based strictly on the fee they’re charging.

Keep in mind too that the value for a property tax assessment is not necessarily the same as the appraised value. These numbers can actually be quite different and usually are.

An appraiser should be professional and have plenty of experience working with divorces. It is also important to find an unbiased third party to conduct the appraisal instead of someone close to either of the parties involved.

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any additional questions, thoughts, or comments please leave them down below.

Integra Realty Resources specializes in both commercial and residential appraisals for divorce, bankruptcy, estate, date of death, tax appeals, pre-listings, and more throughout the greater San Diego area. We are also the hotel appraisal expert in the Southwest region. For more info contact us at (858) 259-4900, visit our website at IRRSanDiego.com, or email us @ sandiego@irr.com


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