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All About Appraisals

While the current market suggests that selling a home is the most profitable course of action, many spouses choose to negotiate and finalize a deal that allows one party to retain a property. Whether it be to maintain continuity for the children, or sentimental value, a transfer of property from one spouse to another is a common objective in separations.

So how do parties agree as to the value of the home for the purposes of the transfer? Enter the appraiser.

A real estate appraiser is retained for the purpose of providing an in depth report about the market value of a property as at a particular date. The report takes into account comparable sales, size, location, upgrades and other important sale related features.

A real estate agent will often provide an “opinion” as to the value of a property. These opinions are limited by the agent’s experience and may be tainted by the agent’s desire to retain you as a future client (thereby just telling you what you want to hear).

Unlike a real estate agent, an appraiser provides an unbiased opinion as to value based on a variety of independent factors. In fact, certified appraisers are members of the Appraisal Institute of Canada, which provides professional standards, rules of conduct and regulations that appraisers must comply with. This ensures uniformity and predictability in the practice.

Accordingly, when parties cannot agree as to the value of a property for a transfer from one to the other, an appraisal from a certified appraiser often provides the information necessary to perform the necessary calculations and resolve the issue.

About the Author

Annie Noa Kenet has been practicing in the area of family law since her call to the bar in 2007. Annie advocates on behalf of clients at mediations, arbitrations, the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice.

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