Real Estate Appraisal

The Law Firm of Isabel M. Millard, PC believe that the divorce process requires a multidisciplinary approach. We work with a range of other professionals.

 Real Property Appraisal
By Brian Weaver of Brian Weaver Appraisals, P.C.
8832 West Pebble Beach Lane
Orland Park, IL 60462
Tel: 708-364-0881 - Fax: 708-364-0853

He said. She said. It’s the centerpiece for the dissolution of a marriage. This is why you shouldn’t rely upon guesses, unsubstantiated opinions, or gossip as to what the value of real property might be.

Some spouses declare that property values have soared with no end it sight, while others proclaim that the market dried up long ago. The task for the real estate appraiser is to reveal the market value of the real estate as near to the date of dissolution as possible.

Unlike business appraisers that focus on going concerns, inventories, balance sheets, good will, etc., real estate appraisers focus exclusively on “bricks and sticks”.

Unlike your attorney who is an advocate on your behalf, a real estate appraiser is an advocate for the property, only.

A professional real estate appraiser should be experienced in preparing reports for litigation. Phonebooks are filled with appraisers. However, litigation support is a highly specialized area with few participants. Less than 7% of real estate appraisers will agree to testify. Fewer than that will do it competently. Before you engage an appraiser, ask them if they are willing to testify. Unlike yourself, once an appraiser is deposed or under cross examination, the appraiser has no benefit of counsel. They must be able to explain, in easily understood terms how they arrived at the final value estimate.

Occasionally, appraisers are told by a spouse to “keep the value down”, or “get the value as high as possible”. It is important to understand that appraisers are not “hired guns”. Those who reach targeted values without the ability to support the conclusion will end up being discredited in court and that the instructing spouse will have wasted a lot of money in the process.

Appraisers perform a range of functions from producing detailed written reports to consulting, and examination of testimony provided by other witnesses.

A competent real estate appraiser should be certified in the state that they practice, although it isn’t a requirement for litigation support in most jurisdictions. They should be a designated member of a nationally recognized appraisal organization, although once again, it is not mandatory. If the appraiser that you’re considering isn’t either; ask why not?

After all, knowledge is power. Only a professional can provide you what you need and deserve.

Brian Weaver, IFA, has been a full-time real estate appraiser since 1980. He is a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser in Illinois, and earned his professional designation (IFA) from the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers in 1988.

Brian appraises a variety of property types from single-family residential to complex commercial and industrial facilities.

Brian specializes in litigation support involving cases of divorce, bad faith insurance claims, estate, bankruptcy, foreclosure, appraisal malpractice, etc.



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