When we talk about trust and relationships, often what comes to mind are romantic relationships or personal friendships. How do we trust a new partner? Or, can we trust a friend enough to confide in them? Like any personal relationship, there must also exist trust in your professional relationships, particularly the one you have with the real estate appraiser conducting your divorce appraisal.
For most divorcing couples, the marital home represents the largest joint asset a couple owns. Most divorce lawyers will, therefore, request a professional divorce appraisal of the home, even if the couple is not selling the home. The question is, how can you trust the person you are hiring? After all, it is likely you never met the divorce appraiser before. More than that, you may have never had a real estate appraisal in the past, making you that much more wary about the process.
One of the best ways to relieve initial awkwardness between you and your real estate divorce appraiser is to become familiar with the process beforehand. A real estate divorce appraiser, especially one who works intimately with divorcing couples and understands how much stress there can be during this difficult time, will take the time to apprise a couple of what will happen when he arrives at the divorce appraisal appointment.
Those going through or who have ever gone through a divorce know that stress is most often rooted in feelings that they are no longer in control of their life. One of the most effective strategies for overcoming this sensation is to prepare what you can before your divorce appraisal. That means educating yourself about sales data in your area, much of which is freely available on sites like Zillow and Realtor.com. If you are not Internet savvy, you may want to consider reaching out to a local realtor for a list of recent sales in your area.
It is important to remember, however, your preliminary research will not be as comprehensive as that of the real estate divorce appraiser, who is trained in doing such analyses and has more access to the detailed information necessary for giving you the most accurate divorce appraisal possible. Coupled with his knowledge, training, and experience, a reputable real estate divorce appraiser also utilizes computer models that take into consideration nuances not readily available to the general public. Nonetheless, it is still in your best interest to educate yourself from the outset, so you are better able to understand your appraisal and how the appraiser calculated your home’s value when you receive it.
On his end, a reputable real estate appraiser will ease any feelings of insecurity homeowners may have by showing up for the scheduled appointment on time. He will also dress professionally. He will arrive at the home with an open mind, gathering information from around the home and any the homeowners offer to him. Most importantly, he will communicate openly and honestly with the homeowners about why he is there, how he can help them, and what they can do to help him.
One of the best ways homeowners can ensure the accuracy of their home divorce appraisal is by compiling a list of improvements they made to the home, including the dates of the improvements, what those improvements entailed, and how much they cost. It is equally as important for the homeowner to let the appraiser know if the home has any defects that he may not readily see. A home appraisal is no time to keep secrets because once any defect becomes apparent, the home divorce appraisal will lose its accuracy, which will inevitably cost the homeowners more time and money in the long run.
Think of having a home divorce appraisal much as you would flying on an airplane for the first time. Even though you are not the one sitting in the cockpit, you still place your trust in the pilot to get you where you need to be. Rest assured, an experienced and skilled real estate divorce appraiser will do the same.