Appraisals for Divorce Settlements

Cullen Real Estate and Appraisal Company | Real Estate Appraisal

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Buyout Value, Retro Appraisal, and Expert Witness Testimony

Divorce appraisals are an important step in the divorce process where the value of the marital asset (real estate) is ascertained allowing the parties to come to an agreement regarding a buyout price.  Cullen Real Estate and Appraisal Company performs divorce appraisals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and we will work with attorneys, mediators, and individual parties alike.  

We always remain fair and unbiased no matter which party we are working with.  If you are looking for a current value, or a retro value (as of the date of marriage), we can provide a report that is 100% defensible and suitable for court proceedings.  

We are experts in all types of divorces and handle all different types of situations with the utmost professionalism and courtesy to our clients.  Contentious divorces are no problem here!  Tom Cullen is qualified to give expert witness testimony in the most difficult cases.  Tom has performed expert witness testimony in the US & UK,  and has a stellar reputation.  Check it out for yourself by reading our reviews!

Divorce Appraisal FAQ:

My attorney has instructed me to get an appraisal of my property to establish a buyout value in my divorce.  Do I need to get a certified appraisal, or can I just get a CMA from a real estate agent?

It is strongly recommended that you receive a certified appraisal for your divorce.  There is one major difference between a certified real estate appraisal and a CMA: defensibility.  A CMA is a great tool used by real estate professionals to indicate a potential list price for a home whereby the professional will provide their opinion of value.  A CMA is just that, an opinion of value.  Often, a CMA will be based on comparable sales, some of which might be pending or active sales, not closed sales.  A pending or active sale may be listed at one price, but that may not be the final sale price (ex. 125 Anywhere Street in Boston, MA has been listed for $500,000 and one week later it shows pending; two months later when that sale transaction is completed, the closed sales price indicated that the home only sold for $488,000).

A certified appraiser will provide their opinion of value; however, a certified appraisal will use closed sales transactions (indisputable facts) and make calculated and precise adjustments for quality, condition, and amenities that the home may or may not have as compared to those on the report.

Should I order my own appraisal, or should I share my appraisal with my ex?

Everyone’s situation and needs are different, and we cannot tell you what is best for you, but we can ensure that whichever way you choose, our divorce appraisal remains independent and unbiased.  Your divorce appraisal could be an individual appraisal (intended for just one party) or a joint appraisal (intended for both parties in the divorce); that is completely up to you to decide!  The appraisal report is sent to the intended user(s) of the report, and no one else.  This means that if you are the sole intended user of the appraisal report, this report will be shared with you and you, only.  If you and your ex are both sharing the report in a joint situation, we will name you both as intended users of the report and send the report to both parties when available.

Does my attorney need to order the appraisal, or can I?

We are more than happy to have you order your own divorce appraisal, or you can share our information with your attorney and have them order the divorce appraisal directly with us.  We work with attorneys, mediators, and individual parties alike.  We also welcome our attorney colleagues to engage with us directly for individual divorce appraisals or joint divorce appraisals where both attorneys may share one appraisal report for their mutual clients.

 What makes a divorce appraisal different than a traditional mortgage appraisal?

Cullen Real Estate and Appraisal Company specializes in divorce appraisals.  When ordering a divorce appraisal, the primary concern is the final value and how it will affect the divorce case.  Our appraisals are geared toward the parties in a divorce and/or their attorneys and are used to ascertain a buyout value.  Our appraisal is not the same as an appraisal that you might receive from a lender.  Your divorce appraisal is not related to financing or lending but rather used to determine a fair and equitable buyout value for the marital home.  This divorce appraisal is not required to comply with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines (or UAD Guidelines) and is not entered onto a Fannie or Freddie form (1004, 1025, etc.)  Our divorce appraisal reports are completed on a restricted appraisal form or a general-purpose appraisal report form and may also include narratives.  The most important part of a divorce appraisal is that it is defensible and will stand up in a court of law if contested.

Is Tom Cullen able to testify in court on my behalf with expert witness testimony?

Yes, Tom Cullen can testify in court on your behalf with expert witness testimony.  Tom has testified in multiple divorce cases throughout the years in both the US and UK.  We ask that you please make proper arrangements ahead of time and have your attorney contact our office immediately with notice of your anticipated trial date so that we may schedule your testimony appropriately.

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