How do I Calculate Fair Market Value of Property in a Divorce?

Written by maria victoria
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How do I Calculate Fair Market Value of Property in a Divorce?
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Divorce is not an easy process, especially when you have property that must be appraised to give each party a fair share of the property value. Getting an estimate of the fair market value of a property can be a process with lawyers and appraisers, but worth the money spent on professionals. All property market values are estimates until a professionally licensed appraiser completes an inspection of your property to asses a true market value.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Start by going on your county's website. Locate your property appraiser's link. Click on the link.

  2. 2

    Type in either your house parcel number, name or address to search the county appraiser site. Your parcel number is the set of numbers written on your tax forms for the county.

  3. 3

    Write down or print out your estimated appraisal (assessed) value for your house and keep it on file. It can also be called market value. The assessed value of the property is what the county estimates what your house may be worth.

  4. 4

    Search your local National Association of Realtors website to compare the sale values of homes similar to the square footage, number of rooms, baths and land size in your community. Do not go more than three miles outside of your area. Three miles is the maximum distance appraisers will compare for house values unless you are in a rural farm county.

  5. 5

    Take the median amount and compare it with your county assesed value estimate.

  6. 6

    Contact a licensed appraiser for an official appraisal. Appraisers use a certain formula to calculate the appraisal value of a house, taking into consideration other properties, land and neighbourhood adjustments, as well as other factors. "Each party should have an independent appraisal from different companies. Both appraisals may not be the same amount. Do not rely on one party's appraisal solely," states T. Shipp of HSBC's Loan Consolidation Center in Tampa, Florida.

  7. 7

    Contact your lawyer to file the paperwork and to agree on a fair market value the property in your divorce.

Tips and warnings

  • Create a file for all official and non-official paperwork throughout the proceedings.
  • Copy all original paperwork to keep on file.
  • You can request a copy of your appraisal from your lawyer. Appraisers will only release appraisals to the paying party.
  • Choose a reputable licensed appraiser.
  • Make sure that the appraisal company hired either by you or your lawyer has a current license.

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