I am typing up an appraisal report right now for a divorce and I figured I’d take a minute to give a little window into one of the facets of our business. My company works with home owners and attorneys to provide real estate appraisals during the process of divorce. We are typically contacted by either the home owner or attorney to provide our services. We know divorce is not an easy time, so we do our best to make the appraisal process as smooth as can be.
Here are a few tidbits about the difference between an appraisal prepared for divorce and a typical loan appraisal:
- The divorce appraisal is very likely to have a retrospective date of value, meaning that the appraised value is based upon a date in the past (the filing date) rather than todays date. A real estate appraisal for a loan uses present day market value in most cases.
- Sometimes both the retrospective value and current market value (as of today) are needed for divorce.
- The appraiser in a divorce situation may be called upon to be an expert witness if the case goes to court, so it is crucial to include additional research and data within the appraisal report to ensure that value and adjustments are clearly explained and supported.
- The divorce appraisal is not completed according to Fannie Mae guidelines as many loan appraisals are.
- The divorce appraisal is the same as a loan appraisal in terms of confidentiality. No information regarding the appraisal or appraised value is ever shared by me with any other party than the client who ordered the appraisal (unless where required by law or subpoena to do so).
- The appraiser is bound by USPAP in both types of appraisals. These are the uniform standards that guide the appraisal profession.