I am in the process of starting a divorce. Does anyone have any advice on how to find out what the property?

Asked by Lisa, Hollywood, CA Tue Mar 11, 2008

is worth in today's market?

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L.A. Real Es…, , Los Angeles, CA
Tue Mar 11, 2008
Im so sorry about what you are going through right now. I have been through the experience. I want to offer you some home and positivity...time will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As far as your family home is concerned, our office specializes in Divorce and Real Estate. Selling is not always the only option. We work in the Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silverlake, areas and together with your attorney we can work out the best solution for all parties involved. Please visit our website, under the dicorce and real estate tab, to read more about how we can help! http://www.MyLARealEstateGroup.com We too had similar issues and faced idential problems...
Here are a couple of ways to find out your home's worth, (often times coming to this agreement between the couple is a difficult starting point).

An appraiser from the LA Real Estate Group can visit your property and officially appraise your property's worth. This is usually the court's system of giving actual value to a property.Often times, attorneys request an appraisal to be performed before any type of action is taken. This type of service involves a separate fee. (Ranges between $300-$400).

A consultant from the LA Real Estate Group can provide all the involved parties (including attorneys) with a Comprehensive Market Analysis (CMA). A CMAincludes comparables that are currently listed, as well as comparables from properties that were currently sold, providing a fairly accurate view of the market in your specific area.This can be done as part of your consultation with our realtors at no cost.

Use the tax-assessed value. This method does not provide the most accurate value of your property and is rarely used in legalities since the value of the property is generally much lower. This method is not recommended.
Once property's value has been established, the next step is for the involved parties to discuss various options.

Hope this gives you a starting point.
Good Luck to you both!
Lou & Alex
LA Real Estate Group
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Mar 12, 2008
At the risk of annoying some posters, I would like to point out a couple things:
1. Posting on Trulia is supposed to be answers to questions - some posts are more in the "soliciting business" mode, which IMHO is not apprppriate,nor helpful..."I can do this, please call me"

2. The divorce process is very difficult in many ways, dividing the assets is painful emotionally and financially. Due to the market shift there can be a wide range of "estimates of value". Fair Market Value (FMV) is what a willing and able buyer will pay for a property. An appraisal may or may not be the answer.

3. An appraisal is usually based on the closed sales of comparable properties that sold in the last few months. The problem is some cases is that if the market is going down, past sales are not a fair comparison and would tend to overstate the value.

For your purpose I would ask for a "Broker Opinion of Value". This is a service that Realtors can provide, usually at no fee, or a minimal fee. You might want to ask for three BPOs (which is the same system that Lenders use for Short Sales and Foreclosures). The danger here is that some agents will try to "buy the listing", meaning that they will offer an "optimistic" value in hopes of the highest value being the winning bid.

I have seen some very sad outcomes when, in a declining market" unrealistic expectations are set, one spouse planning to sqeeze every dime out of the property, the other planning to give it away to the other receives zero.

You might want to approach this a couple of different ways:
1. If you absolutely need whatever cash is available now, then prepare the property for market and price accordingly.
2. If you can afford to wait (this could be years), then you could negotiate a pro-rated schedule. There may be other assets that could be distributed that have not suffered the decline in value that real estate has seen. It may be that one spouse wants to the property, so rather than forcing the sale in a down market, figure out another way to distribute the same dollar value.

Lastly, divorce is one of the main reasons that people sell. In this market it is not the best time to sell, however if you must, my suggestion is sooner is probably better than later....unless you want to wait much later.

I hope this is helpful.
2 votes
Monique and…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue Mar 18, 2008
Hello Lisa,

A CMA is what you need. What that it is is a comparative market analysis. What we do is prepare comps that look at past sales in your area and also what's on the market now. You mention today's market. It's really not as gloom and doom. We just sold a duplex on Las Palmas in Hollywood last week. It had a total of 5 offers on it. People all want to live in Hollywood. We work in Hollywood as our office is on Wilshire and Fairfax.

Hang in there. If you need any help, let me know. I know of an awseme divorce Attorney if you need one. She'd terrific in court but can also make you laugh when you may feel like crying!


Monique Carrabba
1 vote
Sean Guerrero, , 97401
Tue Mar 11, 2008
Lisa, call a real estate agent and ask them to do a comparable market analysis (its free) It would be the quickest and easiest. sorry about your situation
1 vote
Brad Korb, Agent, Burbank, CA
Mon Aug 5, 2013
Sorry to hear about the sad news,your attorney may want you to use an appraiser ,Good Luck !
0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Apr 22, 2011
Hi Lisa:

Keith below, says it all. Just remember during the process, to take good care of yourself!!! You will come out the other end of this and move onto a new life. I went through this a few years back myself.

Good luck and all the best,

Kat Becker
Prudential California Realty
0 votes
Caroline Choi, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Feb 8, 2011
Hi Lisa, you can contact a realtor familiar with your area and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis to get an idea of what your home would be worth. If the divorce is complicated, you own the home together, and you have to file a motion to do anything, it might behoove you to get an appraisal done to provide to the other party as well to get an idea of market value.
0 votes
Brek Schutten, Agent, Grand Rapids, MI
Tue Feb 8, 2011
Call a local real estate professional and have him come do a free Comparative Market Analysis for you. If you don't like what he has to say about the value of your home, get a second or even a third opinion. Try not to let on to what you think it's worth or what you want out of it because that could make them bias their results. If you need legal documentation of what your house is worth, get an appraisal.
0 votes
., , 92705
Tue Feb 8, 2011
Hi Lisa

The best way to find the current market value is to order an appraisal. There are licensed, certified appraisers that also provide expert witness testimony if the property value is called into question during the divorce proceedings.

Hopefully, you will not need to go this far but the option is there if you need it.

Good luck to you
0 votes
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Jan 5, 2011
Lisa, with a little research, you can get a ballpark estimate yourself. You can go to redfin.com, trulia.com, google.com and do a search of houses in your area (half a mile range should be good). This will give you an idea of what your house is worth. If you need to get a better/closer idea of what it's worth, you'll need to contact an agent in your area to do a "comp" for you with programs available to agents/realtors.

Good luck and if you need any help, please feel free to contact me at 818 523 8969.

Nicholas Abouchian
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Sep 16, 2010
Hi Lisa,
It's not that difficult to find out what your property is worth. Most agents will provide such a service at no cost to you. If there is a possibility of having a shot at the listing...so much the better!
Web Reference:  http://www.doreneslavitz.com
0 votes
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Sep 15, 2010
Calling a Realtor in your area can get you a free comp. analysis for your home...

Hope this helps and good luck...
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Nov 6, 2008
You will need a creditable Brokers Price Oppinion or a certified appraisal. you can start with calling a couple of local brokers and asking for a fre BPO. You may want to check with your lawyer if you will need a certified appraisal however. I wish you luck working through everything Lisa.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Igor Korosec, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Nov 6, 2008
Hi Lisa,

Do not use zillow or those free websites! They are good to get a general picture, but if you want specific numbers you need to talk to a realtor or pay for an appraisal.

I personally use several different sources to provide my clients and people like you with in depth analyses. It all depends what your intentions regarding your home are. If you are trying to sell it you definitely need to know (besides regular solds within 0.5 to 1 mile radius within 3-6 months) what homes are selling the most in your area, how long they stay on the market, what is the purchase power of buyers moving to your neighborhood, what commission attracts more buyers agents and much more. All that you can get from realtors for free. You should be presented with all possible options and possible outcomes for each of them.

If you are intending for you or your soon to be ex to pay out one another, you would be probably better off to hire a professional appreiser, who can present you with more official report that you can use in court.

Give me a call if you would like to get my in depth analyses, followed by proffessional presentation. And remember, I am not working as a regular real estate salesperson, but I rather be called a real estate consultant with RE license. If you don't like the options I give you, I will not continue calling you. If I don't think I can help you, I will tell you as well. After all, the choice is always yours.


Igor Korosec
0 votes
Sky Minor, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
CMA is a good first start, as many have already offered. http://www.zillow.com is a good jumping off point as well. If one of you will be buying the other out I can be of assistance in refinancing the mortgage. Please visit me at http://www.clearskylending.ws for more information.
0 votes
Aida Pinto, , Pasadena, CA
Fri Jun 6, 2008
You can search the MLS for free at my website http://reolicensedspecialist.com or email me and I can send you daily or weekly updates on solds in your area. All I need is your criteria: Price, area, features, etc.—and you will get daily or week updates directly from the MLS. I specialize in Foreclosures and I am a real estate broker for over 20 years.
0 votes
Realtor, ,
Thu Mar 13, 2008
So sorry about your situation. Any Realtor can help you with finding the value of your home.....
0 votes
Jodie Franci…, Agent, Sherman oaks, CA
Wed Mar 12, 2008
sorry...last line should read, if you would like further information!
0 votes
Jodie Franci…, Agent, Sherman oaks, CA
Wed Mar 12, 2008
Hi Lisa,

Sorry to hear about your divorce...if you are on ok terms with your husband, I think the best way to find out is to have a realtor give you a market analysis. Appraisers aren't always using the same criteria that realtors do, and realtors work with figures based on getting the home sold. Even if you aren't going to sell, a realtor will provide you with "true market value". You could also have 2 realtors give you an analysis, one that you have chosen and feel comfortable with and one that your husband has chosen. Even if you one of you chooses to stay in the home, you both will need to agree on what the "true market value" is, and will both need to be in agreement as to how you have arrived at that figure.

Feel free to call me or email me if you like further information.

Best of luck!

0 votes
Ron Deutsch, , Los Angeles, CA
Tue Mar 11, 2008
I recommend an independent, mutually agreed upon appraiser. Alternatively your attorney can recommend an appraiser and the other party may also decide to order an appraisal. Consulting a real estate agent may very well be helpful in the process as well, getting you in the right ballpark and informing you as to current market conditions to inform your decisions and negotiations.
0 votes
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Tue Mar 11, 2008
Hi, Lisa. I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. Someone very close to me has been going through the same thing so I know it is a difficult time.

My team is in Studio City, but we also work in Hollywood and all three have lived in Hollywood so we know the area well. I will be happy to give you a comparative market analysis free of charge - no obligation to help you through this trying time.

All my best,
Dot Chance
The Chance Team
Keller Williams Realty Studio City
Web Reference:  http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes
Rebecca Cham…, , Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Tue Mar 11, 2008
Sean is right, call a local Realtor who is very familiar with your area...they can email or send you a CMA or even discuss on the phone the approximate value. It's best if you can have someone come by and see the house to give you an even better idea of what it might sell for.
0 votes
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