If you are nervous about your upcoming home divorce appraisal, you are not alone. After all, you have a lot at stake, especially if you are like most divorcing couples whose home is the largest asset they own together. There is, however, a surefire way to ease your mind, and that is to get involved in the divorce home appraisal process. Even though a home divorce appraisal might be a new experience for you and your spouse, your efforts can go a long way toward not only making you feel less nervous but also ensuring that you get the most accurate report possible.
A home divorce appraisal has three distinct parts. The first part entails identifying and describing the property. That may sound easy but, for a divorce home appraiser who has never visited your house before, he or she will have their work cut out for them. That is where the homeowner comes in and can offer some much-needed guidance to the home divorce appraiser. After all, you know your home best. By putting together in advance a general description of your house, you can ensure that the research conducted by your home divorce appraiser will represent the most accurate and up to date information in existence. Your description should include the following:
- The location of the house
- The year the house was built
- The style of the home
- How many square feet it has (if you know)
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms there are
- What the general condition of the house is
- Any unusual features the house has
The next step is for an interested homeowner to do some preliminary research on the pricing of similar homes in the area. Again, your home divorce appraiser may be unfamiliar with your neighborhood, especially if you do not live in a subdivision where many of the surrounding houses look alike. The best way to find comps in your area is to enlist the help of three different local realtors. Chances are there will be some overlap between their results, which will give you the reassurance you want that the information in your home divorce appraisal is correct. Having these comps on hand for your home divorce appraiser will also give him or her some idea as to where you expect your home to fall on the valuation scale. Not to mention, your expectations will be more realistic when you ultimately receive your divorce home appraisal.
The third and final step of the home divorce appraisal process lies almost entirely with your home divorce appraiser. Though you are free to share your analysis with the home divorce appraiser who is appraising your home, it is at this stage he or she will combine all of the information you provided up to this point with his or her own. He or she will then conduct a dollar for dollar analysis, making any adjustments for differences that exist between your house and the comps in your neighborhood. Indeed, this is the most difficult part of the home divorce appraisal process and where your home divorce appraiser’s years of expertise and experience kicks in, so any information you offered earlier can only strengthen the credibility of the home divorce appraiser’s report.
By integrally involving yourself in your home divorce appraisal, you will invariably feel less helpless or nervous during the process (if you are feeling that way at all). You will also keep your divorce home appraiser accountable and on task even more so than he or she already is, inspiring him or her to generate the most accurate valuation possible. A professional home divorce appraiser should not resent your involvement in the process. In fact, if reputable, he or she will thank you for it. Remember, a home divorce appraisal can only help during a divorce, so help your home divorce appraiser help you.