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House valuation for a divorce settlement. Get a free home appraisal.

Thomas Miller
28.10.2022, 10:58
6 min
faire estimer sa maison divorce séparation

What is house valuation?

The process of estimating the value of a house is known as house valuation. There are numerous methods of assessing the value of a property. Valuation gives useful insight to both buyers and sellers on how to estimate the approximate worth of a house. While sellers can conclude where to set the price for their property, buyers can evaluate if their investment is worthy. It takes time and money to locate and value property and requires able attorneys, accountants, and appraisers. The key to proper valuation is the ability to pay for these experts.

During a divorce settlement, if the couple can't agree on how to divide the marital property, then the property may need to be professionally valued so that it can be divided fairly. This valuation includes all marital property, personal property, homes, and businesses and can be complicated.

What is a divorce settlement agreement?

Regrettably, getting a divorce can be more difficult and expensive than getting married. You must separate two lives that may have been entangled for years. You may put all of this to rest with a divorce settlement agreement. A divorce settlement agreement is an official document that outlines the conditions of a divorce. The terms of your divorce are resolved by this document. Negotiating a settlement with your spouse is usually preferable to going to trial since you can prevent the judge from dividing your assets and property for you.  Other names given to a divorce settlement agreement could be as follows:

  • Mediated Agreement
  • Collaborative Agreement
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Separation and property settlement agreement
  • Separation Agreement
  • Custody, support, and property agreement
  • Property agreement

How to value a house during divorces

Ideally, you and your spouse will be able to agree on how to divide marital property. Sometimes this means you use a mediator or your attorneys to help you develop a fair agreement. If you cannot agree on how to split your marital property in a divorce, you (or your lawyers, if you have them) will need to approach the judge and ask for the court to divide the marital estate.

In assigning fair values to property, the court or mediator will usually rely on the testimony of expert witnesses, such as a real estate appraiser who can assign a fair value to a house, or an antique dealer who can estimate the value of family heirlooms. These experts can be recommended by the court, the mediator, the attorneys, or the parties to the case, but must be neutral and unbiased in favour of either of the parties.

An appraiser is professionally trained and experienced in determining a home’s fair market value.  It’s impossible to negotiate a deal with a buyer or an ex-spouse unless you have accurate numbers to work with on the front end.

Professional appraisers will usually use a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine the value of a home.

This approach takes into account comparable homes recently sold and currently listed for sale in your home's neighbourhood.

CMA will also factor in any special features of your home - for example, does your home have outdoor living areas? Does your home have an incorporated kitchen nook? Does your home have a hidden room? Special features like these will be taken into account during valuation.

The home's fair market value or a listing price is the first consideration. When all things are considered, this is the price at which the house could sell.

The second is the anticipated net proceeds that you will share. You must arrive at a net amount to ascertain this, from which you must reduce your remaining mortgage debt. For instance, if your house has a market value of £400,000, and you still owe £100,000, your net debt would be £300,000 instead. You and your ex would divide this amount of wealth. Each owner may legitimately anticipate receiving £150,000 when the house is sold if you both hold equal shares of it.

To come up with an accurate fair market value, an appraiser will assess a home’s value by inspecting the property, determining square footage, the lot size, the number of rooms, and what other nearby similar homes have sold for in recent months.  The appraiser will also look at the overall condition of the property, housing trends, crime data, and other surrounding neighbourhood amenities.

Normally, when a home is sold, to determine the value and develop a strategy to come up with a good listing price, a realtor will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA).  A CMA compares home sales in your area to determine the value of your home.  It’s a standard procedure that is a trusted way to price a home.

However, in a divorce, especially where there aren’t a lot of trusts, a CMA probably won’t do the trick by itself.  Instead, a full appraisal is the best protection.

It should be noted that when an appraisal is done through a bank as part of a divorce refinance, the value is often low.  This helps to limit the potential risk a bank will have in granting you a loan. One other important thing to remember is that if you had an appraisal done more than six months ago, it may no longer be viable for divorce purposes.

Are there appraisers that specialise in divorce?

YES! Some special appraisers are well equipped in handling divorce situations. While all appraisers will be empathetic in a home sale situation, an appraiser specialising in divorces will often be familiar with the heightened emotional issues that accompany a home sale process.

Note: The divorce appraisal may also be different because there may be a retrospective element involved when determining value. In other words, the valuation may be based on a date in the past –such as the filing date or date of separation.

Seldomly, divorce appraisers may be asked to testify in court during a divorce case. Hence, he or she must stand on a neutral scale so as not to tip the case to one side. That appraiser must be neutral and be approved by both parties of the divorce case.

Where to find appraisers that specialise in divorce?

Personal attorneys can recommend a divorce appraiser since there is a higher probability that they may have worked with one before. Other recommendations can come from friends, family, or loved ones.

We have highlighted these points to make the understanding of house valuation for a divorce settlement and getting a free home appraisal easy for you:

  • A divorce settlement agreement is an official document that outlines the conditions of a divorce.
  • If a couple does not agree on the division of their marital property after divorce, they will need to approach a court to divide the marital estate.
  • In assigning fair values to property, the court or mediator will usually rely on a real estate appraiser.
  • The appraiser will use comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine the value of the home by taking into account comparable homes recently sold in the neighbourhood.


Is RealAdvisor accurate in the valuation of properties in the UK?

In just three minutes, our computerised valuation tool uses a form of Artificial Intelligence called statistical regression that provides the market's most accurate property appraisal (it is based on thousands of real property transactions in the UK).

Who pays for the home appraisal in divorce?

It can be discussed. Couples frequently divide the expense of the appraisal, which can range from £250 to £500 depending on its size and complexity. The buyer typically foots the bill for the assessment if you're buying out your spouse and intend to keep the house.

Thomas Miller
Thomas Miller has been a real estate agent for over 4 years now, when he is not in the field, he is dedicated to his second passion, writing, especially in the real estate market.
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