Real Estate and other property can be difficult to divide fairly in a divorce settlement. This is especially true of a family home. This article will discuss three winning strategies to value your real estate during your divorce settlement: request estimates from several sources, request estimates over a period of time, and request a home inspection.
Agreeing to a settlement with your spouse is a negotiation. The best way to prepare for this negotiation is to gather evidence. Not only do you and your lawyer want to prepare the best argument that supports your position, but also to prepare for arguments that your spouse and your spouse’s lawyer will throw at you.
Estimates from Several Sources
Requesting estimates from different sources will give you an idea of the range of values that could be used during the negotiation. Get estimates from several real estate agents (who often provide estimates for free in hopes of getting future commissions) as well as certified appraisers. Each profession may use different methodologies to assess the value of real estate. You may also look at the most recent assessed value of your home for tax purposes or the purchasing price of the home.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Never accept a valuation, even from an “expert” without questioning it. Make sure that you ask them specific questions and do not be afraid to get them to give you a detailed explanation of how they got to that figure.
Estimates over a Period of Time
You may also want to look at the change in the value of your assets over time. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, regularly assess your assets to see if they are going up or down in value. This may be a consideration in the timing of your divorce.
You may be able to argue that the market value your spouse is using to assess the value of your home reflects short term changes in the market, and not the true value of the home. Selling the home during a divorce may not be the most optimal time to sell. If the price of your home has recently dropped or increased due to market conditions, you can argue a fairer estimate would be to use a price from before this change which is closer to the real value of the home. This is because by the time you or your spouse can sell the home, the market prices will likely have returned to the value you are proposing.
In addition to a house appraisal, you may also want to request a home inspection. If your home is in need of many repairs, this may lower the value of the home for the purposes of dividing property. For example, if your roof is in need of repair, you can argue your spouse should pay for some of these repairs as the damage was incurred while you were both living in the home.
In addition to the value of the home used for negotiation, you should consider the value of the home to you. Remember, home ownership comes with property taxes, repair bills, insurances and other costs. If your home is expensive to maintain and needs a lot of repairs, you may be better off accepting less money from your spouse than you feel is fair share of the value of the home so that you could find a better deal on accommodation.
For more information about how to get a fair estimate of your real estate and engaging a lawyer who will be thorough with the examination of the estimate and unafraid to get it re-valued where necessary, contact the Law Offices of Brian D Perskin.
Property valuation is a crucial part of a winning divorce strategy and what Brian D Perskin excels at. Contact Us Today before you accept something that is unfair and inaccurate.