Handling Divorce & Separation Appraisals with Unbiased Professionalism

A divorce or separation can often be an emotional and stressful process for those involved. While things may start off amicable, this can often take a turn once the question of "who gets the house" becomes the topic of negotiations. Our role as the appraiser is to provide a professional and unbiased opinion of the market value to assist you in the finalization of a divorce. Once the report is delivered both parties can make a decision with regards to what will happen to the property.

Generally speaking, if there is equity in the home then there are two ways to deal with it. The property can be sold and the remaining proceeds can be split between the two parties; or, one spouse/partner can offer to pay the other their fair share of the equity as a "buyout" offer. Both situations require an accurate and up-to-date appraisal report to determine reasonable market value. It should be noted that when the appraisal is being used for division of real estate assets, the final opinion of value is a "gross" sale value and does not take into account Realtor fees, seller commissions or any other expenses incurred in the sale of the home.

Another consideration is when the divorce date differs from date the appraisal is ordered, usually being retrospective with the actual divorce happening prior. In such a situation you'll need a retrospective appraisal with an Effective Date that matches the divorce date. This prevents either party from "stalling" the divorce proceedings to try and get an appraisal value that is higher or lower. Our appraisers are experienced enough with such assignments that we will make sure all of these considerations are covered prior to beginning.

If you're an attorney ordering an appraisal for a client please be aware that per USPAP standards our "client" is always the party who orders the appraisal - regardless of who pays the fee. We are authorized to release the appraisal report ONLY to the client(s) who engaged us. For this reason it is paramount that if a single appraisal will be used in determining value, that all parties who will share OWNERSHIP of the appraisal be listed as clients on the order form. See the FAQs section for more details.

We have decades of experiencing performing divorce appraisals in Houston. We know that you need an appraisal report that is well researched, clearly supportive and defensible in court should it come to that. We also understand the sensitive nature of the situation and work to add a "human" component to our appraisal service that ensures integrity and courtesy to all involved.



How Much is an Appraisal for Divorce?
(Average Property & Assignment Reqs.)

Property Type Fee
Single Family Call
Complex Single Family Call
Multi-Family Call
Vacant Lot or Land Call


Find out exactly what your appraisal will cost

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Should we Both Get an Appraisal?

Ultimately that is up to the parties involved to decide. We trust that our Opinion of Value is well researched and accurate, but all appraisals will have some degree of variance. If you do agree that you will use a single appraisal for the determination of value, be sure to have BOTH party's names included as Client on the appraisal report. This will ensure that either party can use the appraisal.

Is There a Difference in How Divorce Appraisals are Performed?

No. The appraisal process is the same for most all residential assignments including divorce situations. There are minor details that may be different such as using an effective date which is prior to the current date the appraisal was ordered (also known as a retrospetive appraisal).

What Happens if we get Two Appraisals?

As previously mentioned, there is almost always a small difference the in appraised value between two appraisals performed by two different appraisers. This is due to the Subjective nature of choosing comps and making adjustments. With that said, two competent appraisers using the same datasets should generally come to a conclusion of value that is within 5% of each other. In such as case you would just take the average of the two as the final value. If one appraisal happens to vary greatly, then it is suggested that a third appraisal be performed and the outlier appraisal disregarded.


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We’ve Worked with Real Estate Professionals and Private Clients Throughout the Greater Houston Area Since 2005. Since Then We've Become One of the Highest Rated Independent Real Estate Appraisal Firms in Houston Based on Actual Customer Reviews.

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“Appraiser came out and did his thing. Received my appraisal in the time quoted. Value seemed reasonable. I’d really recommend them or use them again if ever needed.”

Martin M. Real Estate Appraiser