The decision about what to do with the family home in a divorce is one of the most financially significant ones that you and your spouse will make, and perhaps one of the most emotional ones. That's why it's crucial to seek expert guidance from real estate professionals who know the market and can help you determine what the home's current value is.

How Much Is Your Home Worth?

Many couples agree to put the house on the market and divide the proceeds. However, if one of you chooses to keep it and buy out the other, you'll still want to have an accurate value.

You can get an idea of what your home is worth by looking at websites like to get an estimate, to see what other properties in the area have recently sold for and find out the asking price of similar homes in your area. However, if one of you is buying out the other, it's probably best to get a more accurate method of valuation.

Let a Professional Help You

Hiring a licensed appraiser is considered the best way to obtain an accurate home appraisal. These professionals generally charge a few hundred dollars. However, getting an accurate appraisal can more than pay for itself. The property may be worth less than you think, which means that if you're the one keeping it, you won't owe your spouse as much. If your spouse is buying you out, the more it's worth, the better. You're always better off having an appraiser in your corner if you and your spouse don't agree on the value of the home.

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) isn't as accurate as an appraisal, because it doesn't consider the condition the home is in. However, most realtors will provide a CMA for a low fee, and maybe none if they think they'll get a sale somewhere down the line. You could find yourself in a battle of the experts with your spouse if you find realtors who give you significantly different valuations.

Your divorce attorney can provide important guidance on how to value your home, regardless of what you decide to do with it. He or she can also recommend licensed appraisers and other real estate professionals in your area to provide advice on this important aspect of your property division.