Dunn Appraisals, LLC

Property Settlement Disputes

The Role of Exceptional Appraisals in Property Settlement Disputes

Property Settlement Disputes and the Importance of Accurate Valuations

Property settlement disputes can be complex and emotionally charged. When divorcing couples need to divide assets, including real estate, an accurate valuation becomes essential. A well-qualified real estate appraisal from a litigation support specialist can significantly assist attorney clients in achieving fair and cost-effective resolutions.

Why Exceptional Quality Appraisals Matter

  1. Objective Valuation:
    • Appraisers provide an unbiased assessment of a property’s value, ensuring that neither party gains an unfair advantage during negotiations. This contrasts with many appraisers who may have a bias towards higher valuations to satisfy clients (lenders and borrowers) with motives to underwrite or finance property.
  2. Legal Arguments:
    • Most appraisal firms specialize in lender appraisal development, while few specialize in litigation support. The latter’s methodologies and language can lead to a more confident conclusion of value.
  3. Competing Appraisals:
    • A well-prepared appraisal report strengthens legal arguments, helping attorneys advocate for their clients’ interests and highlighting flaws in competing appraisals.
  4. Dispute Resolution:
    • By determining the property’s fair market value, qualified appraisers facilitate settlements, minimizing the need for lengthy court battles, saving time and legal fees.

Specific Ways Appraisers Assist Attorney Clients

  1. Equitable Asset Division:
    • Appraisers evaluate properties based on market data, comparable sales, and property characteristics. Their reports guide attorneys in proposing equitable property divisions without bias.
  2. Marital Dissolution Proceedings:
    • In divorce cases, appraisers assess property values to contest asset division, ensuring transparency and fairness.
  3. Negotiation Support:
    • Armed with accurate appraisals, attorneys negotiate from a position of strength, preventing overpayment or undervaluation of assets.

Case Example

Consider a scenario where a couple owns a marital home. A qualified litigation support appraiser’s role would involve:

  1. Valuation:
    • Determining the home’s market value without bias, presented in a user-friendly format.
  2. Equitable Division:
    • Suggesting a fair and unbiased split based on the appraisal.
  3. Cost Savings:
    • Avoiding costly litigation by facilitating an amicable resolution in an understandable and confidence-inspiring appraisal report.

Conclusion

A well-qualified real estate appraisal from a litigation support specialist is an invaluable ally for attorney clients. Their expertise ensures fair property settlements, saves money, and streamlines the legal process.