Divorce appraisals can be a somewhat touchy situation. Most divorces are hard, it is nothing anybody wants to go through. So the separation of the house and finances makes it a rough time.
When I go to the homes of people who are getting a divorce, I’m really sensitive. I know it’s none of my business, but sometimes they start telling me the stories about what led up to the divorce. Who is doing what to whom, or why they are splitting up. When that happens, I like to be a comforting ear. Of course, I never initiate conversations of such a personal nature.
When I’m doing a divorce appraisal, I’m not there to hurt anybody or to take sides. I just want to help you out quickly and get you through the process.
Someone is always asking me to raise or lower the value so that the other person doesn’t get what the house is really worth.
I try to be sensitive to everyone’s feelings during this difficult time, but I ignore such requests. Showing the house is a significant step in the divorce process. For some, it’s when it finally hits them, that this is for-real. They are separating their assets, and that’s a big moment. It means: “It’s really over.”
It can also be a hostile situation if the other spouse comes in while I’m doing my job.
I have to maintain my objectivity and integrity in a divorce appraisal. I try not to input the divorcing homeowners’ comments into the valuation. I completely focus on what kind of house it is and work to establish a really good valuation for the property.
My initial contact usually comes from one side of the divorce, either the homeowner or their attorney. Usually, the homeowner wants to get this service done quickly and quietly, while the other party is not around. Or, the other person has moved out and this is the final stage of the settlement. In either case, I am discreet and sensitive to their needs.