Published October 23, 2020
Selling During a Divorce: How to Part Ways and List Your Home
First and foremost, we’re sorry you have to go through this.
Divorce is one of the most stressful events of a person’s life. We know you didn’t make this decision lightly, but now you’re ready to handle the details of a permanent separation.
Since you’re reading this blog, you’re probably leaning toward selling your home and starting over somewhere new. But you want to be able to tie up this loose end—without losing your sanity.
Here are some things to think about as you go through the steps of selling a house during a divorce and why a cash buyer might be able to ease the burden.
How Do I Go About Selling a House During a Divorce?
Selling your home because you’re getting a divorce is a good way to make a fresh start. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy process. But it can be a bit more peaceful with the right mindset.
Deal with Your Emotions First
Let’s be real. There is a lot going on here that has nothing to do with real estate. Give yourself a little time to deal with the emotions of going through a divorce.
If you have kids, they must be the number-one priority. You need to decide who will stay in the home with them until the property is sold. You may both want to leave, but the fact is the home will look better to buyers with someone living there.
Keep in mind that you’re not only stressing about the divorce, you’re worrying about finding a new place to live and all the anxiety that comes with moving. If there’s any way for at least one of you to separate these life events by a few weeks or months, you should consider it.
Decide How to Sell
Once you are ready to move on from the home, decide how you want to sell it. Do you want to list it on your own? That might be more stress than you can handle. What about working with a real estate agent? Be sure to find one with divorce experience. What about a wholesaler or cash buyer? You may not get as much money for the home, but you’ll be done with the whole thing a lot quicker.
Each choice has advantages, disadvantages, and an estimated timeline for selling. A real estate agent does most of the work for you, but it may take some time for your house to sell. A wholesaler or cash buyer can usually close on your home quicker, but you probably won’t get paid what it’s worth.
If you decide to work with someone to sell your home, do your homework. Vet your prospects, ask for references, and look for examples of their work. You don’t need to be taken advantage of and add even more stress.
Settle on a Price
Next, figure out your asking price. If you’re going to list your home, you’ll need to do research on the state of the market, the number of competitors, as well as the value and condition of your home.
If you’re working with a real estate agent, get their opinion on a starting price. Part of their job is having this sort of expertise. Talk with your spouse about the lowest offer you’re willing to accept if that’s what it takes to get the house sold.
If you think your realtor (or spouse) is way off on the asking price, gather second opinions from other real estate experts. Before you list the home, you want to make sure you are comfortable with the profit you expect to receive or that you come to terms with the loss you expect to take.
Prepare to Show the House
There are two main decisions to make when it comes to showing your house. Who’s doing the prep work and where is the money coming from?
A variety of tasks need to be done before a home is listed such as repairs, painting, cleaning, and staging. You must figure out how you’re going to divide up this work. If you choose to hire outside help, you should decide who’s going to pay for the services.
Make these decisions ahead of time—before you get into the thick of showings and offers. Taking care of these issues early will help ease the stress of the changes you’re going through, as well as surprises that could pop up along the way.
Review the Offers
When you start to get offers on your house, you and your spouse will need to agree on one that meets both of your needs. You may want to ask your real estate agent, as well as your attorney, for advice on how to move forward, especially if you and your spouse disagree.
Remember: The more time you spend talking with your attorney about selling your home (or anything for that matter), the more you will have to pay them. That’s why it’s important for you and your spouse to get on the same page from the start about the asking price and what kind of offers you will consider.
Best-case scenario? You both keep your emotions in check, agree on an offer, enjoy a timely and profitable sale, and move on.
Split the Proceeds
If you and your spouse make a profit from the sale of your home, you’ll need to check how your state handles property division when it comes to the profits. This should be a subject with which your attorney is familiar.
In general, the escrow company should distribute funds after taking care of obligations like the mortgage, taxes, and sales-related expenses. If one of you has been making mortgage payments, the amount to be divided between you may have to be adjusted to reflect the reduction of principal and increase in equity.
If there was a prenuptial agreement, the division of profit from the house should be laid out in detail. But, in most cases without a prenup, a home is considered a joint asset.
Why Should I Talk to a Cash Buyer About Selling My Home?
With a better understanding of how selling a house during a divorce works in the real estate market, let’s talk about how a cash buyer can help.
Divorce is a stressful process. So is selling your home and moving to a new one.
Working with a cash buyer during a divorce means you can be done with your house in a matter of days. You don’t even have to enter the home again if you don’t want to. You can sell the house for cash, use the money to pay for the divorce, and get on with your life.
If you’re interested in a fair offer, a fast closing, and a fresh start, contact New Again Houses for the simplest way to sell your home.