Whether you and your spouse decide to sell the marital home and split the profits or one spouse is going to buy out the other, you will want to have a professional appraisal of your home to determine the fair market value. Most real estate appraisals are based on comparable sales, meaning houses that are comparable to yours in size and location that have sold recently. An appraiser will also take into account special features that may enhance the value of your home, but remember that not all unique features such as a swimming pool or a four car garage add up to a higher appraisal.
You may not only be looking for a fair market appraisal now, but need an appraisal to determine what a property was worth sometime in the past. A historical appraisal can come into play when one spouse purchased a home before the marriage, which might be viewed on the surface as strictly separate property. However, if the home has increased in value during the marriage, perhaps with the infusion of marital funds, the difference may be subject to marital property division so it may be worthwhile to have an appraisal for now and then.
Once you have determined the fair market value of the home and subtract any existing mortgage/s, then you will have some idea of what equity is available to each spouse. However, keep in mind that you and your spouse may owe capital gains taxes if there has been a significant increase in the value of your home. Also bear in mind, that your equity may be reduced by the cost of necessary repairs needed to ready the property for sale, the seller’s costs of approximately 6 percent if you enlist the help of a real estate agent to sell the home, and any carrying costs while the house remains on the market.
When you Have Questions On Dividing Home Equity in a Divorce
Contact an Experienced Illinois Family Law & Marital Property Division Attorney For Answers
Marital property division in a divorce can be simple or complex. Couples that have assets such as a home or other property are well advised to seek the help of an experienced family law attorney to make sure they are getting a fair shake. Contact the Libertyville Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss for answers to your questions regarding Illinois property division, parenting time and responsibility (aka child custody and Visitation), child support, spousal support and more at 847-680-4970.