How to Value the Family Home and Other Real Estate

  •   |   Meghan Freed

Updated November 22, 2023

The family home can be one of the most complicated parts of a divorce because it has such significant emotional and financial aspects.  The financial piece itself is complex because the home is the only financial asset that you also live in.  And, how to value the home isn’t always immediately obvious to spouses.

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the value to ensure a fair division of assets. But how do you determine the value of your home in a divorce?

From hiring a professional appraiser to considering market conditions and conducting a comparative market analysis, in this article, we will cover all the crucial factors that can affect the value of your family home. Whether you’re seeking a buyout, selling the home, or dividing the value in another way, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to make informed decisions.

Read on to learn more about how to value the family home and real estate in a Connecticut divorce, and gain confidence and clarity.

Importance of Determining the Value of the Family Home During a Divorce

When going through a divorce, determining the value of your family home is of paramount importance. The family home is often one of the most valuable assets in a marriage, and its value plays a crucial role in dividing assets fairly between the parties involved. It is not uncommon for emotions to run high during a divorce, and both parties may have different opinions regarding the value of the home. By determining an accurate value, you can ensure a more equitable distribution and avoid potential disputes in the future.

The value of your family home will have a significant impact on the division of assets, whether you decide to sell the property and split the proceeds or one party buys out the other’s share. Additionally, the value of the home can affect other aspects of the divorce settlement, such as spousal support and child custody agreements. It is crucial to have a realistic and accurate assessment of the home’s value to make informed decisions during the divorce process.

Determining the value of your family home can also provide a sense of closure and certainty during a time of significant change. By understanding the financial aspect of your divorce, you can better plan for your future and move forward with confidence.

Real Property

To rule that a divorce is final, Connecticut courts need to divide the spouses’ property between them. “Property” is something that a person can own.  There are two main types of property: “real property” and “personal property.”  Real property is essentially what we think of as real estate.  Therefore, the family home is a common type of real property.  Beach houses, ski houses, and other types of vacation and second homes are also real property that’s divided in a divorce.

Other real property that courts distribute in divorces and therefore needs to be valued include second homes, timeshares, farms, commercial property, and investment real estate.

Read: What’s the Definition of Property in a Divorce?

Read: The Family Home in a Connecticut Divorce

Valuing Property

In order to determine the value of real estate, the courts look at its “fair market value” is. The fair market value is the “price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.”

Read: How is Property Valued in a Divorce?

Valuing Real Estate

property owner is allowed to testify about the value of that real estate.  More often than not, though, spoused bring in other professionals to help determine the home’s fair market value.


Often the spouses will have professional appraisers value the real estate.  In many cases, spouses will agree to hire one expert to do an appraisal jointly.  This is generally the most comprehensive and formal of the valuation methods.

Real Estate Agents & Brokers

Realtors can provide spouses with two different types of valuations: a Broker Price Opinion (“BPO”) or a Comparative Market Analysis (“CMA”).  Both provide an estimated value, but the  CMA estimates the value based on comparable properties that have sold recently.

Other Methods

City or towns use a property tax assessment to value your property and determine what your property taxes are going to be.  Property tax assessments aren’t frequently updated and may not be a good indicator of the current fair market value in a divorce.

Zillow and other online price estimators aren’t generally a good indicator of the true value because they may not take into consideration the many details of the property.

Factors that Affect the Value of the Family Home

Several factors can influence the value of your family home during a divorce. Understanding these factors is crucial for an accurate valuation and a fair division of assets.

1. Location: The geographical location of your home plays a vital role in its value. Factors such as proximity to schools, amenities, transportation, and desirable neighborhoods can significantly impact the market value of a property.

2. Size and condition of the property: The size and condition of your family home are important considerations when determining its value. A larger home with updated features and well-maintained interiors will generally have a higher value than a smaller, outdated property.

3. Comparable sales: Comparative market analysis involves comparing the value of your home to similar properties in the area that have recently sold. This analysis helps determine the fair market value by considering factors such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and overall condition.

4. Market conditions: The real estate market can fluctuate, and understanding the current conditions is crucial for valuing your family home accurately. Factors such as supply and demand, interest rates, and economic conditions can all impact the value of your property.

5. Upgrades and renovations: Any upgrades or renovations you have made to your family home can increase its value. It is important to provide documentation and evidence of any improvements to ensure they are taken into account during the valuation process.

6. Environmental factors: Environmental factors, such as proximity to noisy roads or potential hazards, can affect the value of a property. It is essential to consider these factors when determining the value of your family home.

Understanding the Role of Market Conditions in Determining the Family Home’s Value

Market conditions play a significant role in determining the value of your family home during a divorce. The real estate market is subject to fluctuations, and understanding the current conditions is crucial for an accurate valuation.

In a seller’s market, where demand exceeds supply, property values tend to rise. This can work in your favor if you are selling the home or seeking a buyout. However, in a buyer’s market, where supply exceeds demand, property values may be lower, and it may be more challenging to sell the property at a desirable price.

It is essential to consider the current market conditions when determining the value of your family home. Your appraiser or real estate agent can provide insights into the local market and how it may impact the value of your property. By staying informed about market trends and conditions, you can make more informed decisions regarding the division of assets.

The Comprehensive Connecticut Property Division Guide

How to divide property is one of the most important issues in divorces.  And, it’s one of the most confusing. There are no set formulas or rules on how property will be divided.  The good news is that creates tremendous flexibility for experienced divorce attorneys to craft an individualized approach.  In order to prepare to make solid and informed decisions, you need to understand how property division works.  Our Comprehensive Connecticut Property Division Guide tells you everything you need to know about property division in Connecticut.

Read: Property Division: The Comprehensive Connecticut Guide

Next Steps

To start making a plan for your divorce, reach out.  Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals.  We analyze those goals, plus the facts of your case, and present you with recommendations and options to move forward.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us here.

Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC