Selling Your Home During a Divorce

The decision of going through a divorce on its own can be a difficult process to manage for all parties involved. Owning a home and making decisions about what to do with the property before, during, or after the divorce process can also be challenging. There are essentially three choices to be made concerning the home when contemplating a divorce:

  1. Sell during the divorce process
  2. One spouse to retain ownership after the divorce while buying out the other for their half of the property
  3. Selling the property after the divorce is finalized with an agreed payout

We will focus on looking to sell the house or property while going through the divorce process, while looking at the advantages and disadvantages to consider for going with this option:

Advantages

  1. Neither spouse wants to remain in the house after the divorce is finalized or has the ability to pay off the other person for their half of the property
  2. Allow both parties access to funds for moving forward or to use towards the fees incurred during the process
  3. Allows both parties to have a clean break once the divorce finalizes

Disadvantages

  1. Added stress from all the challenges of selling a house
  2. Uprooting kids during an already difficult situation
  3. Determining if selling the house will pay off all of the liens on the property along with covering fees or taxes

Once you have thought about all of the advantages/disadvantages and ultimately decided to sell during the divorce then there are some other items to consider as you start this process:

Consult an Attorney – It is essential for both parties to consult with their attorneys about the implications with selling before the divorce is finalized. They will be helpful in giving you the advice as to the advantages/disadvantages to selling and how best to proceed.

Picking an Real Estate Agent – Using an agent to list and sell your house will help to avoid adding any more stress during the process. You can choose to use the agent that helped you buy the house if you were satisfied with them, or each of you pick an agent that can get together to determine a third agent to be utilized.

Settle on List Price – Finding the right real estate agent will be important so you can trust them to come up with the right list price. They are the expert in knowing the existing market and can factor in how much money will be needed in paying off your current liens on the property.

Preparing the House – Showing the house is important in the selling process, but can also be the most difficult part. If there are minor repairs or work that needs to be done to get the house ready, then you will need to determine how that will get paid for. You will also need to figure out who will be still be living in the home and have it cleaned or staged for potential viewings and open houses.

Review Offers – When potential offers come in on the house then you will both have to come together to review and make decisions on whether or not to accept the offers. Your real estate agent will be beneficial in giving advice, but the decision will need to be made jointly.

Dividing Proceeds – Once the house sells and all existing obligations have been paid, then an agreement will need to be made as to how the proceeds of the sale will be distributed. You will need to factor in if any of these funds will be used to pay off any additional marital debts or obligations.

The most important key in being able to sell your house during a divorce is if the two of you can work together to make decisions that will be a part of the selling process.