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Getting your home valued by an appraiser

When you are dealing with any divorce, your home might be part of what is at stake in the negotiations. Some couples sell the home outright and split any proceeds before moving on. Others work out a deal in trade for other assets or support so that one person can stay in the home, and still others decide that one person will buy the other out of the home. Regardless of how you plan on settling the matter of a house -- or multiple homes -- in your divorce, it's important to know the current market value of the property for negotiations.

You might consider getting a third-party appraiser to value the home. In some cases, you might want your own appraiser while the other party in the divorce hires an appraiser too. While appraisers might arrive at slightly different values for a home, they will usually follow similar steps.

First, the appraiser will visit the home to review it's condition and size. Appraisers will consider the value and sales price of other homes in the area and how those homes compare to yours in size and condition. That lets the appraiser set a base value that can be impacted by adjustments.

Adjustments are made based on things unique to your home. They might look at amenities and upgrades you have added to the home, but these don't always impact the value exactly as you might think. A home located on the cul-de-sac might be worth more than one that isn't, and an extra-large garage or newly remodeled kitchen might raise value. Views can also play a role in value.

Once a value is determined, it's not the final say in the division of property. One or more person might have emotional attachment to a property that makes it more valuable to them, and a family law professional can help you best negotiate given all of the value information about various assets.

Source: Quicken Loans, "Your Home Appraisal Headquarters," accessed Oct. 07, 2016

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