Something that might seem easy but can prove to be quite daunting in some cases is valuing a couple's marital residence during a divorce in Massachusetts. Many people might assume that they can simply agree on a figure and go on about their business. However, that's seldom the case.
The value of the home often affects which party gets other assets, and one spouse usually has motivation to either inflate or deflate the figure. When disagreements over value arise, research must be done to determine a realistic value, so the marital assets and debts can be divided equitably.
It is extremely important to determine the true fair market value so that questions about who gets the house and whether there are enough other assets to offset the value of the house can be tackled.
There are basically three different ways to value a house:
- Conduct your own research on the Internet. You have the ability to do some online research of your own to try to find comparable listings and arrive at a reasonable figure. However, while this is the cheapest method, it is the most imprecise and risky.
- Conduct a comparative market analysis. This involves an examination and comparison of sale prices of neighboring homes. Realtors will usually conduct a comprehensive market analysis at little to no cost, and they can quickly give you a possible fair market value for your home. While this is much less expensive than having a full appraisal done, it's important to understand that this analysis is less accurate and does not take into account the specific condition of your particular home.
- Get a full appraisal done by a licensed, certified appraiser. Depending on your exact location, an appraisal can cost several hundred dollars.Though this can be daunting given the price of the divorce, it is almost always well worth it in case where the value of the house is truly unknown. For example, if your spouse wants the house and the value used is too low, you could be giving away equity in the home to which you are entitled. Though it's a more expensive method of valuing a house, it's the most reliable and usually the best way to proceed.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.