Splitting Property in a Divorce? Don’t Skip the Home Appraisal

When you’re in the process of getting divorced, you might be wondering how do you split a house in a divorce? Often, the most significant purchase two people make as a couple is buying a home. But, once this relationship is unfortunately over, both parties will want to retrieve some value from this investment.

If it’s clear that both of you are willing to sell, you want to get the best return on your investment as is possible. This starts with a home appraisal. This can be done through a traditional home real estate company or financial advisor; however, this process can take a while. You may want to consider other home selling alternatives, like selling for cash, if you’d like to get your divorce over with quickly.

No need to wonder any longer how to split the house in a divorce. Read this guide and learn how to get your property appraised so each party gets their share of the property’s equity.

Why Get a Home Appraisal for a Divorce?

A home appraisal can help you (and your former spouse) determine the value of your property assets, so the necessary financial arrangements can be made around ownership. Or so you can agree on a price that will then be officially declared in a divorce decree before the house is sold and the value is split.

How is a House Divided in a Divorce?

Often, a home’s value will not be split equally between the two divorced parties. If one party had a larger financial investment in the property, they will likely get a larger portion of the home’s equity.

How is Home Equity Split in a Divorce?

Home equity and divorce can go hand in hand. You want out of this long-term investment you made with this person you no longer desire to be with. That’s fine! Splitting the equity can happen in several ways. You can:

a.    Sell the property, and split the profit based on your divorce decree.

b.    Choose a partner to keep the property while the mortgage is refinanced for one owner.

c.    Keep the homeownership as it is and wait to sell.

Each of these options comes with its own benefits and challenges. Whatever path you choose, it’s a good idea to get the property appraised if you plan on selling it soon.

How Do You Get an Appraisal?

How exactly you should get an appraisal varies by state, but an attorney should help you through the appraisal process. It’s vital to get a legal appraisal so that the home’s value stands up in a court proceeding if your divorce can’t be settled privately.

How Much Equity Could a Home Appraisal add in a Divorce Settlement?

This depends on numerous factors, as each couple will be in a different financial situation at the time of divorce. Here is a simple way equity can be estimated after appraisal.

First, Determine the Equity in a Home Divorce Settlement

Determine the difference between the amount you still own on the home and its appraised value. For example, say your home is appraised at $300,000, and you have $100,000 left in your mortgage to pay. If the equity is split evenly, that’s $100,000 for each person.

However, if one party will keep the house, then they will have to buy out their ex’s share. In that case, they will take out a new mortgage on the property that will equal $200,000. This covers the $100,000 still owed and takes on the home value previously owned by the other party. Meanwhile, the property owner will hold onto current and future property value while the ex no longer has ownership.

Get Help Pricing

This is where an attorney and a trustworthy appraiser come in handy. When you’re getting a home appraisal for a divorce settlement, you want it to accurately reflect the value of your home. This is not something you can do on your own. And it’s particularly critical to get an expert involved if you and your ex cannot agree on the home’s value.

To make the most of your assessment, do any major repairs that would negatively affect the value. Also, make sure your home is free of clutter and mess in the yards. Some aspects of the property you can’t change, like the lot size or the number of rooms in the house. But cosmetic fixes can go a long way to increasing value.

What Happens if You Can’t Agree on a Home Appraisal?

Sometimes you can’t decide how to divide a house in a divorce… What do you do?

Can you Refuse an Appraisal Amount in a Divorce?

If you don’t like the appraisal, whether it’s too low or too high, consider getting a second look at the property from another company or attorney to get a more accurate estimate.

While the home equity and a divorce agreement often have reflective value, you may not be satisfied with an appraisal amount. If you still don’t like the estimate after getting a second option, you may have to do some negotiating. This way, you can see how you can adjust the divorce agreement to make up for your dissatisfaction with the appraisal.


If you’ve been asking, how do you split a house in a divorce, then this article means to help you take the first steps towards getting an appraisal. If selling the traditional way will take too long, or you don’t want to deal with closing costs, home repairs, and agent commissions, consider selling for cash!

If you’re in Rochester, New York, you can get help from Helping Homes. Just compare all the benefits of selling fast with Helping Homes instead of with an agent. Selling the home quickly can be the best option for your divorce proceedings. Don’t just trust us! We’ve bought properties from many satisfied customers.

Selling a home in this way may be new to you. Our buying process is simple, but if you have questions this handy FAQ can answer them! Splitting the house in a divorce can be a stressful picture. Take the stress out of splitting your home equity and contact us today!

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