Divorce Appraisals

WE'RE HERE to meet all your Texas area real estate needs!

In our over forty years of appraisal experience, we have noticed that we are often involved in the happiest and, unfortunately sometimes, the saddest events of many peoples’ lives. We are with you when you buy your first home. We are there when you move up to the home large enough for your growing family, and finally, we are there when you buy that retirement home in the country or on the beach. Sometimes though, life throws an un-expected curve ball at you. If you need an appraisal for a divorce, we’ll be there for you, with the same caring professionalism you have grown to expect.

What’s the difference between an appraisal done for mortgage lending or for a divorce?

The answer is everything and nothing. The appraisal process itself is the same for all appraisal work. The deference is in the details, such as the desired effective date of the valuation.

Sometimes a divorce is amicable and other times it is anything but amicable. Either way, no divorce is fun. These are stress filled times for everyone involved. Except us. Our job is relatively simple. We tell you the value of the real estate. We’ve done that every day of our professional careers. Your job is to make financial decisions based on your individual needs in light of the new situation.

Our estimate of market value will aid in the decision to either sell the property and split the proceeds, or have one spouse buy the other spouse out. If the purpose of the appraisal is to aid in the division of assets, we would like to point out that the appraised value is NOT a “net proceeds to seller” figure. An appraised value reflects “gross” sales price.

By definition, appraised value reflects the “most probable sales price” of the subject property. There are numerous seller expenses that are commonly associated with the sale of a property. These often include advertising, property maintenance, marketing expenses, Realtor commissions, Title insurance, taxes, attorney fees and other miscellaneous closing costs typically due to the seller.

We have found that these expenses tend to range from 6% of the gross sales price to over 10% depending on the type of property. We recommend that the users of an appraisal report are knowledgeable of these costs and consider them when calculating a specific settlement.

Here’s an uncomfortable question.

Should you trust an appraisal that was ordered by your spouse? That depends. Do you trust your spouse to order a fair and impartial appraisal? Do you know the appraiser? Can you verify, through knowledgeable appraisal users, the appraiser’s reputation for honesty and integrity? If not, it may be in your best interest to have Brubaker and Associates send out one of our knowledgeable real estate appraisers. Ask around. You’ll hear about our reputation for honesty, objectivity and integrity.

What if we have two appraisals?

If there are two appraisals, the value conclusions should be within 5% of each other. If they are not, that simply means that one appraisal or the other is wrong. The problem is, we don’t know which one. In that case, we suggest that an impartial party (maybe the judge) select a third appraiser. The third appraisal should fall within 5% of one of the original appraisals. We suggest that the “outlier report” be thrown out. Average the two appraisals that fall within 5% of each other for a basis for a settlement figure. Don’t forget to consider the sellers expenses discussed above.

Why choose us?

We have the experience necessary to provide professional appraisals that stand up in court. We are regularly called upon to act as experts in many real estate valuation issues. Our appraisals are completely independent, impartial and objective. Our professionalism is unmatched.

We care.

According to www.divorcerate.org, approximately 50% of all first marriages end in divorce. The numbers are even higher for second and third marriages. You are in good company. We are sorry you going through it. Divorce is painful. So let us handle the real estate. You fight over the photo albums and Beatle’s albums.


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Mike Brubaker