Selling a house in divorce can be hard. One spouse might want to buy the other spouse out and keep the home. They may both decide to keep the house and sell it after finalization of the divorce. Or, they might opt to sell the home while the divorce is ongoing.
Is Selling the Home a Good Idea?
There are personal and financial advantages for selling the home during the divorce. Each spouse can use the proceeds of the sale to start a new life or use the money to take care of other financial responsibilities such as paying off debts.
Dissolving the shared investment can provide both emotional and legal closure. One other common reason couples choose to sell their home during a divorce is that the home is no longer affordable to maintain after separation.
While selling a house during a divorce is often wise, there are still some considerations to make. Homeowners often need to do updating and maintenance work on the home before selling it.
Repairs and maintenance work requires time, money and shared decision-making by the couple. Prepare for these discussions by going over your priorities with your lawyer. Before settling on a final decision, it’s imperative that you check with your attorney.
It’s often a good idea to sell a home through a qualified and experienced real estate agent because it makes the process easier. You can hire your Realtor as a couple since you share the same goal of maximizing the profit on the sale of the home. Go over all these decisions with your partner as soon as possible to avoid stressful conflict down the line.
When preparing to sell your home, important points to discuss with your partner include:
- What pre-sale maintenance and updating work needs to be done on the home and how will the cost be shared?
- Will one spouse continue living in the home? If so, will they cover the mortgage payments and cost of upkeep? Will the non-residing spouse contribute to these costs?
- Which spouse is responsible for the sale preparations and showing of the home? Or will the agent handle everything regarding the sale?
Settling on an Asking Price
One of the most important decision when selling a home is the price. Discuss pricing of the home with your spouse and the real estate agent. If you can’t agree on the asking price, you can choose to rely on your agent’s expertise. Your divorce attorney should take part in the discussion.
The good news! Selling a house in a divorce as a couple is not usually a difficult process because both spouses share the goal of maximizing the profit from the sale.
Splitting the Profit from the Sale
State laws on the division of property play an important role in how you divide the proceeds from the sale of the home. In community property states such as Arizona, each spouse has equal ownership of property obtained during the marriage despite whose name is on the deed, with some exceptions. As a result, the couple is equally responsibility for the preparation and sale of the property.
In other states, the manner of sharing the expenses and profits related to the home may vary. Be sure to include your divorce attorney all the negotiations regarding splitting the profit from the sale of the home.
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