Most people are familiar with real estate appraisals as part of a real estate sales transaction. However, there are other times that an appraisal may be needed, such as for a variety of legal proceedings. For example, an appraisal may be needed to serve as evidence in regards to a divorce or an appeal of a property tax assessment. In a divorce an appraisal may be needed to show the increase or decrease of the property value since the couple purchased the property to properly divide the assets. In the case of a tax assessment, a taxing body may greatly overstate the value of a property and charge the owner an excessive amount of taxes. Regardless of the reason for the appraisal, it is important for attorneys and the general public to understand how an appraisal works and the different types of appraisals that may be needed for a legal proceeding.
A basic real estate appraisal consists of a thorough inspection of the property to determine size, condition, features and other factors that may influence the value of the property. After making the inspection, the appraiser will look through recent sales records of comparable properties from the local area. In most cases, at least three other properties are used for this comparison. Using the comparable properties as a reference, the appraiser will then determine the value of the property in question.
However, in the case of an appraisal for the purposes of a lawsuit the appraisal may need to work in a different manner. In a lawsuit concerning loss of value the appraiser will need to determine the past value of the property as well as the current value. For example, the placement of a highway near a property may reduce the value of the property due to traffic noise or loss of a scenic view. To perform a historical assessment, the appraiser will need to value the house based on past real estate value. This will include looking at the property as it existed at a point in the past as well as looking at comparable sales from that time.
Regardless of the type of appraisal needed, an experienced and respected appraiser is required for any appraisal to be used in court. The appraisal will need to clearly document the past and current value of a home in order to show the property’s gain or loss of value. The appraiser will need to create an appraisal document that can stand up to scrutiny from the court as well as the opposition’s legal counsel. By choosing an experienced and competent appraiser, a litigant can make certain to receive the highest quality appraisal that will help to prove a person’s case in court.
Have questions about legal proceedings related to real estate? Contact the Law Offices of Anderson & Brodersen, P.A. to schedule your consultation.
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