Moving and divorce are two things always listed at the top of any “Life’s Most Stressful Events” list. Combine the two and the emotional roller coaster ride is unlike any other. If you’re reading this post, you likely know this first hand. We are here to give you guidance and support. Our goal is to provide the information and resources needed to navigate these incredibly stressful times.
Even the most amicable of divorcing couples can run into trouble when trying to selling a house during a divorce. Emotions are high, finances are tight, and endless details and paperwork need to be addressed. It’s hard to digest all the things that need to happen to reach a successful conclusion. Read on for our best advice for getting started.
First Things First
When a couple is divorcing, typically, one of three things happen regarding their home:
- One of the spouses buys out the other and keeps the legal and financial interest in the home.
- One spouse continues to occupy the home for a specified period; most often until the youngest child turns eighteen.
- The house is sold and the proceeds are split.
While it is fairly simple to remove one of a spouse’s name from the title, removing that person from the mortgage is far more complex. It’s often true that neither spouse can afford the home on his or her own, which is why so many couples choose the last option.
Tips for Selling a House During a Divorce
We’ve helped many couples in selling a house during a divorce, so we have plenty of experience. Below are our best tips for selling a house during a divorce. They should lead to a smooth and successful transaction for both parties.
- Find a Realtor with experience in divorce situations. Both spouses should agree to the chosen Realtor. It’s vitally important that your Realtor understands the need to communicate with BOTH parties regarding all of the details.
- Know the home’s worth and the value of any improvements you and your spouse made to the house over the years.
- Stage the home. It’s quite likely that only one of you is living in the home and it looks a bit empty. Hire a professional stager to bring in some pieces so that the home looks its best.
- Before listing the home, both parties should decide on the following, ideally as part of your divorce agreement:
- Who will pay for getting the house ready to list (repairs, staging, sprucing it up)?
- List Price (as well as the lowest amount you’re willing to accept). If you and your ex cannot agree, follow the recommendation of your Realtor.
- Ideal settlement date.
- Who gets what once the home is sold? Best to decide this before the house is sold. The answer is rarely an even split. So better to have the settlement agreement specified before going to closing.
The Bottom Line
Selling a house during a divorce is never fun or easy. Enlist an experienced and trusted Realtor, establish expectations up front, and have a plan to ensure the best possible outcome for everyone. And hang in there — The Goodhart Group is here to help you in any way we can.