Valuing the Marital Residence


In Maryland divorces, the court is required to determine the value of marital assets including the marital residence.  Enter the real estate appraiser.  Appraisers say about a third of their business comes from divorce cases.  And they are noticing an increase in business.

One approach in divorce is for both parties to hire one neutral appraiser to give an opinion of value.  But in highly contested cases, where there are a lot of assets at stake, it is not uncommon for each party to hire their own appraiser.   Appraisers say that two professional appraisals should come in within 10% of each other but that doesn’t always happen.  In cases where the appraisals vary widely, sometimes a third appraiser is called in to reconcile the difference.

With property values rising and falling rapidly in the past few years, the date of the appraised value can make a difference too.  And a real estate appraiser doesn’t value the contents of the house.  That requires a personal property appraiser.