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Why It Is Important to Appraise Your House During Divorce

Posted on in Division of Property

Why It Is Important to Appraise Your House During DivorceIf you are a homeowner who is getting a divorce, a real estate appraisal is essential to ensuring that you have a fair division of property. Appraising your home is a natural step if you plan to sell it as part of your divorce. You need to know what your home is worth before you entertain offers for it. However, you also need an appraisal if one of you plans to keep the home following the divorce. The value of the home is part of calculating how to equitably divide your marital properties.

Preparing for an Appraisal

A real estate appraiser will estimate the value of your home based on factors such as its size, amenities, condition, and comparative market value. Your responsibility is to prepare your home so that it looks favorable to the appraiser. This may include:

  • Cleaning and organizing the interior and exterior of the home
  • Making sure that the major fixtures are working properly
  • Performing minor repairs
  • Maintaining the yard surrounding the house

Your goal is to polish the surface-level appearance of the home without spending too much money on it. For instance, you could clean your carpets if they are looking dirty, but installing new carpeting in a room would be an unnecessary expense.

Why You Need a Current Appraisal

A real estate appraisal of a single-family home typically costs $300 to $400. You may think that paying for an appraisal is unnecessary if you can estimate the value from a past appraisal or a property tax valuation. However, a current appraisal is vital to your divorce:

  • Your property decisions need to be based on accurate data and not your own estimations.
  • The divorce court may require an up-to-date appraisal of your home.
  • The value of your home may have changed since the last appraisal.
  • A property tax valuation is different from the fair market value of your home.
  • Your spouse may dispute the value of your home.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

You may have already chosen a real estate appraiser to estimate the value of your home, particularly if you are working with a real estate agent on selling the home. However, it is helpful to use an appraiser who is familiar with divorce cases and capable of testifying in court if there are questions about the appraisal. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can recommend an appraiser that we trust. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


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