Do I have any legal recourse after a divorce settlement has been finalized?

My collaborative divorce was recently finalized. In that divorce my attorney advised me to have the house,which was part of my half of the division of assets, appraised by a real estate agent. That figure was used to divide the assets. Then 1 month later, the bank appraisal came back $75,000 lower than the agents figure.

Asked on March 25, 2012 under Family Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Possibly you can file some motion to re-adjust your final dissolution decree based upon a new appraisal of the family home that was $75,000 less than the figure given by the real estate agent. The ultimate decision on this issue will be the court's. You should consult with your family law attorney on the subject.

From a practical standpoint, real estate agents unless one possesses an appraisal license are not qualified to give appraisals on the value of real estate for the simple fact that they are not licensed appraisers. Real estate agents can give an opinion on the value of real property, but such is only an opinion. The problem I see for you is that you relied upon a real estate agent versus an appraiser for the valuation of the property.

You also need to realize that an appraisal is simply an opinion and is subject in the industry to a 10% deviation in value as a general acceptable rule.

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