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Should I Get a Home Appraisal Before Filing for Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Should I Get a Home Appraisal Before Filing for Divorce?Deciding what to do with your family’s home after your divorce can be an emotional decision to make. You likely have a number of happy memories over the past years that are tied to your home. Oftentimes, one party will keep the home while the other will move out and find a new place to live. Deciding who will remain in the home may not be a hard choice, but divvying up your other assets and properties in a fair manner may prove difficult. A couple’s house is likely the most valuable asset that they have, both personally and financially, so the person who remains in the home is receiving the largest asset in the divorce. Since Illinois is an equitable division state when it comes to asset and property division, the other spouse must receive assets of similar value in return.

What is a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is a financial estimate of your home from a licensed professional. Appraisers will determine the fair market value of your home by looking at sales of similar properties in your area over the past few months. Typically, they will look at the selling price of three recently sold properties and the asking price of three properties currently on the market. The appraiser will average the costs, make adjustments based on characteristics of your home, and determine a fair market value for your property. 

Why Do I Need One?

Appraisals can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several hundred dollars, and the price tag can often stray people away from getting their home financially evaluated. What many do not realize is that a home appraisal can save them thousands of dollars at the end of the day. It is important to know the true value of your home for equitable distribution during the property division process. Some couples may do their own property estimate by looking at the prices of properties nearby, but they fail to take into account the various other factors that can affect their home’s value. In contentious divorces, both spouses may consider getting their own appraisal done to ensure the accuracy of the presented value. If two appraisals are done, a judge will typically look at both numbers, see if they are different, and average the two.

Getting a home appraisal benefits both the homeowner moving forward and the spouse who will not be receiving the house in the divorce. Knowing the value of the home will ensure that both parties are receiving their equal share in the property division process and can also eliminate any future disputes about the equality of their shares.

Call a Joliet Property Division Lawyer for Help

An experienced property division attorney may not be able to estimate the value of your home, but they are well-versed in dividing marital property in an equal manner. The property division portion of a divorce can bring out the worst in couples, as they see their belongings being split and feel as though they are not receiving their fair share. At the Foray Firm, we work alongside our clients to be sure that they receive their deserved share of the marital property. Whether they want to keep the marital home or would rather obtain other assets, we are there to assist them with the legal process. If you are filing for divorce and need assistance dividing your properties, contact our Homewood property division attorneys at 312-702-1293 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.foxbusiness.com/real-estate/real-estate-appraisal

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/three-ways-to-value-your-_b_2726041

https://homeappraisalsinc.com/site-blog/are-two-appraisals-needed-during-a-divorce/

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