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Appraisal for divorce

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Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Not a large enough fee for me to do a narrative report for a divorce. I am concerned by terms like "who's side are you on". You should be a disinterested third party...not on anyone's side.

Fee up front is good; however, if you do regular work for the attorney or attornies involved you can bill. Effective date can be important...be careful there. Often you are ask for two values. One as of the date they acquired the property and one as of disolution of the marriage.

Good source of work. Make sure you have an engagement letter spelling out the fact you will not appear in court or testify without additional fee. Cover your time to prep for appearance, travel time, and waiting costs.

Have fun.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
North Carolina
Mike

The pitch " let me appraise for both sides " removes that taint of percieved bias, and was one of the major selling points for me to get to work for both sides.

The other was the savings in money. The unsophisticated appraiser would do one of these divorce deals for $25 to $50 more than his normal fee, ususally job of about $325-$350 in our market. Double that and both sides were looking at an out of pocket $700, with nothing resolved. My pitch was to get me to do it for $500 to $600, and each side split the fee. Made this a win-win situation.

Regards

Tom Hildebrandt GAA
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Good marketing technique...hadn't thought of doing that!
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
That dang Tom,

Man you always make a point before I get to. MAKE SURE you get the date of separation. That is typically the effective date of the appraisal.

Tom, I too have worked for both sides many times. The best one was when her attorney wanted me to testify. I said, ok, $xxxxx is my hourly fee and I will need one hour of court time and and hour of prep time up front. About an hour later the wife calls me. cant I just waive that til after the trial. So I asked her, "How come you want me there anyway? Your attorney would not answer that question for me." She says the attorney needs me there to defend my appraisal. "Does your attorney realize I prepared it for both sides?" Yes she does.

The attorney calls back all snooty and condesending, how could I question an attorney. I asked her, "Ok, so you want me to rip apart my appraisal when they present then defend it for you?" Got a fax an hour later saying I wouldnt be needed.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
If you want to use URAR try using only page 2 with addendum comments placing the subject within context of the area market (page 1 is a waste of time for people who already live in the house, plus judges like the brevity). In my humble opinion full narratives are over-kill, and there is a lot of resistance to the higher fee. I started using just page 2 (with brief narrative comments in the addendum) and found that the court appreciated not having to wade through a "book" to find the value. I hi-lite in yellow marker the main points of the addendum ...e.g. "subject value is limited by the relatively small size of the living area"....."the current market is highly skewed as Realtors are boosting list prices by 20% or more, without any sold properties and/or contracts to justify such increases"....."the overall value range is $zzz,zzz to $zzz,zzz"....."comp 3 is the best indicator of value"....whatever - GOOD LUCK
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Question.....since I have done a number of appraisals for divorce cases and have never been called to testify...does that mean I did a good job? Or does it mean I did a poor job? I still don't know why because we always discuss the possibility of testimony and agree to fees before hand.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Mike,
I only testify in about 5% of my court cases. Most cases are settled before they ever get into a courtroom. My most recent court case ended when the appraiser for the other side said that he agreed with my estimate of value!
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Lee....If you want and need the work, take it and follow all the directions given you on the above posts. But, how in the heck has anybody got time for one of those assignments? I'm not bragging, I'm not even complaining....but with all work out there we can pick and choose. The anticipated response would be...."but when the mortgage work dries up...."
I say, make hay while the sun shines and take the complicated stuff later. Right now, in this shop, 5 hrs/night of sleep would be good. And yes, we're cranky here!
 
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