Many Maryland couples find themselves arguing over who will keep the family home when they divorce. As such, it is important that couples truly understand the value of the property they are attempting to divide. Rather than simply guessing about the value of your home, experts provide a variety of options that can help during property division negotiations.
The most accurate way to determine the value of your home is to spring for a full home appraisal. Professional appraisers are able to estimate the home’s value by factoring in special features of the home, as well as the value of nearby establishments and other investments. Appraisers tend to be more expensive, however, with fees for some professionals costing several hundred dollars. Divorce attorneys say that money is generally well-spent, though, because it can save financial trouble in the future.
A home that is not correctly valued could cost one of the partners a significant amount of money; if the home is undervalued, the person who keeps the home will not receive a fair payment for the property’s equity. If the house is overvalued, then the person paying for the equity will be financially compromised.
If you choose not to enlist the services of a home appraiser, you can consult a real estate agent to obtain a comparative market analysis. This is a quicker and less expensive method, though it tends to be less accurate. Your real estate agent will estimate the value of your home based on the sale prices of other similar homes in the same area. Again, this method does not take the condition of your home into account.
Finally, you can agree to do your own research in order to determine your home’s value. This is generally not encouraged unless both partners agree to the independent research option.
The value of your home is important information to have during your property division proceedings. Be sure that you are adequately informed so you can protect your financial health during the divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, “Three ways to value your home in a divorce,” Joseph E. Cordell, March 1, 2013.