If you are going through a divorce, you will most likely need to get a professional home appraisal done. The judge usually orders it. And even if the judge doesn’t, it’s a good idea because often one spouse will be buying the other spouse out of the house, and you want to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of by your ex-spouse over or undervaluing the home to their advantage. Online home listing sites like zillow.com can be a helpful starting point, but they are often not very updated or accurate. So hiring a professional is the best idea.
How do I find a home appraiser?
Occasionally, judges name an appraiser they want you to use. If not, your attorney may have references for home appraisers they have used and trust for other clients, so asking your attorney for a referral is a great place to start. Your spouse may also want to hire their “own” appraiser.
What does a professional home appraiser do?
It’s an appraiser’s job to determine the current value of your home as compared to other houses in your neighborhood. Once you’ve selected an appraiser, they will contact you to set up a time to come when you can be there. When they come, they will be taking photos and measurements (for square footage and lot size), and trying to assess the condition and assets of the home. They will ask you about any updates or major improvements you’ve made to the home since purchase. It may take a week or two after they came for them to prepare and send you the detailed appraisal. If you arranged the appraisal through your attorney, they may send the appraisal directly to your attorney.
Full appraisal v. Comparables
A full appraisal takes into account your actual home AND compares to other homes in the surrounding area. This is a much more reliable source then just having a real estate agent pull comparables for you.
What should I do to prepare for the appraisal?
- tackle those small fixup projects that have been on your to-do list (such as paint touchup, replacing anything broken, or other cosmetic things)
- take on any small updates you feel comfortable doing (like updating faucets or shower heads or cabinet knobs), but don’t invest too much money at this point
- organize and put away clutter
- do as much deep cleaning as you can
- plan on setting aside $300–$400 to pay the appraiser
Getting Help with Your Utah Divorce Case
If you are looking into a divorce and have questions about home appraisals or need legal help, we’re here for you. You need to ensure you consult with a competent family law attorney that understands the legalities of divorce and assets in Utah and will help put your mind at ease so you don’t get taken advantage of. At CoilLaw, LLC, Salt Lake City Divorce attorney Jill Coil knows how to advise you during a divorce to help you achieve the best settlement and/or result possible. At CoilLaw we are ready and available to help you through your legal action. If you need legal advice concerning a Utah family law issue, call Jill Coil at CoilLaw LLC in Utah at (801) 781-5848 today.