You’re getting divorced. You have a million and one details to think about, which may include the valuation of the marital home. It does not matter if you will be moving out now, sometime down the road, or ever. Regardless, a divorce home appraisal is a critical part of your financial picture, and you want to make sure you not only get it done right but also right now.
Because there is often strong sentiment attached to the marital home, many people do their best to avoid the thought of selling it as long as possible. As a divorce appraiser, let me be the first to tell you why you should have your home appraised sooner rather than later. Every day you wait can potentially cost you thousands of dollars, even in a depressed real estate market.
When it comes to buying a home, we all aim to buy low and sell high. And in a perfect world, it is smart advice. But how many of us live in a perfect world, particularly if we are in the middle of a divorce? I will take a wild guess and say, “Not many of us.” That means there will never be a perfect time to seek a divorce appraisal, let alone sell your home. For starters, no one, not even the savviest real estate investors, can time the market correctly. So trying to find the perfect time is like chasing a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
If you are in the throes of a divorce or just embarking on one, you already know how costly those legal bills can get. Therefore, the longer you put off having your divorce appraisal completed, the longer you keep your lawyer’s billable clock ticking. In my experience, paying a divorce lawyer more is not often at the top of anyone’s to-do list.
Speaking of which, get to that to-do list of repairs you have been putting off done as quickly as you can. A home that is well taken care of and not in a state of disrepair is worth more than the home requiring a laundry list of even the most seemingly insignificant quick fixes. It is something I see when I enter a home, not to mention any prospective buyer. By doing repairs, even small ones, before calling in your divorce appraiser, you will almost always guarantee yourself the highest possible valuation.
And that is a number you should take seriously. Your divorce appraisal is the single most important document your lawyer will have in her or her possession to calculate how much money you may be entitled to as part of your divorce settlement. Consider it just as you would a bank statement or other financial document. But unlike a statement which moves according to the financial markets and fluctuates daily, your divorce appraisal will have more staying power.
Real estate markets tend to move more slowly than financial ones. Nearby home sales, which are used to calculate your home’s value, don’t happen every day. Mortgage rates historically move slowly. A few weeks or months will likely not make much of a difference in your home’s overall value. And if it does, the differential will probably be small.
What could be large is the opportunity cost to you of waiting. As the saying goes, time is money. For someone getting divorced, time spells higher legal fees, more wear and tear on the home, and, most importantly, more worry. A divorce home appraisal is one of the easiest steps you can take toward easing the pressure off of you. And, as we all know, peace of mind is something we can never, ever put a price tag on.
To read more about real estate divorce appraisals, please just click here Divorce Appraisals.
I don’t take sides, and my one goal is to get you where you want to be. Call Nathan anytime at 503.349.3765 to get started and to get all of your questions answered. We look forward to talking with you and putting your mind at rest. We want to help you get through to the next stage of your life.