Finding a fair way to split up your property is never easy during a divorce. In Arizona, community property laws will leave much of what you’ve acquired during your marriage vulnerable to division.
Couples will need to either set their own property division terms or provide information to the courts so that a judge can split their property in contested proceedings. The marital home is often a primary source of contention in pending divorces. There can be disagreements about the right way to handle the property or who gets to stay in it.
When one spouse wants to keep the property, buying the other out with some of the equity or other marital property is often the easiest solution. To do that, you need to put a fair value on the house. The current real estate market makes that a more difficult process.
What you paid is not what your house is worth
Perhaps the fastest way to determine the value of your houses to look at your mortgage, but doing so will likely mean drastically undervaluing your house. What you paid for it when you bought it is not a reflection of what your house is currently worth on the modern market.
Real estate markets around the country have been enjoying strong demand and price increases, and Arizona is one of the state’s most strongly affected by the real estate boom. The average selling price for a home in Arizona has jumped 18% to a staggering $344,625 in 2021. Most homes listed for sale sell within weeks, and 45% of those homes sold for over their listing price. Buyers have to make higher offers to buy a home, and they pay an average of at least 1% over the listing price.
You may need to work with a professional to put a fair price on the property
By looking at comparable properties that have recently sold and closely inspecting the condition of your home, a real estate professional can give you an idea of what you could list the house for on the current market. Its condition and the desirability of the neighborhood can give you an idea about whether it might command more due to the interest of multiple buyers.
You and your ex are going to have to determine what value is fair based not only on the appraised value of the home but what it could command on the real estate market. Setting a fair value is a necessary step before you decide how much one spouse must pay the other to buy them out of their interest in the property. Only when you understand how to value and split assets can you push for a fair and reasonable outcome in a divorce with complex or high-value assets like real estate.