Selling Your Home During a Divorce

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Everyone knows how difficult divorce can be. Over fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, and no matter how amicable your intentions may be, there are always things that cause distress during the process. Dividing up the bills, deciding on child custody and support, spousal support, and even a decision about who gets Rover. And one major impediment to a stress-free and equitable divorce may be disposing of the marital home, which is, in all likelihood, the largest asset to be agreed upon (not counting the kids! Or, maybe, perhaps the dog).


The first thing to be decided is when you want to sell, if you choose to sell at all. One divorcing partner may wish to buy out the other in order to retain ownership and remain in the home. This is true especially if there are children involved. The custodial parent may  want to disrupt their lives as little as possible, so they may choose to reach an agreement in the divorce to purchase the property. On the other hand, you may simply want to delay the sale of the property until the kids have left home, then dividing up the profits. The details of such an arrangement should be spelled out in the divorce. A delay in selling the property may cause the value of the property to decline in value, causing a loss to both ex-partners. And, should the ex-partner who continues to reside in the property be required to pay appropriate rent in order to offset any living expenses incurred by their ex-spouse? Please be sure to discuss all the possibilities with your lawyer. Because of all these possible complications, and because they want to make a clean break, some divorcing couples will agree to sell the marital home as quickly as possible, and there are a number of ways to achieve this.


The first rule of thumb when dealing with real estate is to get qualified help. Some people choose to sell their property themselves, but this is not a good idea at the best of times, and certainly will add stress to a divorcing couple’s relationship. It is always better to involve a neutral third party, one who can give valid professional advice about the property without being burdened by personal involvement. You may choose to consult a home buyer, who will generally make an offer quickly based on current property values. This type of sale will usually close more quickly, because it is often in cash, and you will have money in your hands within wells, or even days, rather than months. You could also choose to engage a realtor and put the property on the open market, but you must be aware that this process may take months, and may involve the disappointment of a failed sale due to buyer financing problems. If you choose to go this way, there are some things you can do to ease the process. Put the house on the market as soon as possible, set certain goals, and expect to meet them. These goals should be the minimum acceptable sale price, closing date, moving date. Agree on which partner is to be responsible for the sale and meeting with the realtor. Work out an agreement, in writing, of course, about the handling of the sale, with penalties for non-compliance.


You can see that dealing with a reputable home buying service is the far less complicated way to go. Once you agree on a price, the rest of the process is stress-free. Your home does not go on the open market until after you have vacated, so there will be no potential buyers walking through at inconvenient times. And the entire process is streamlined from months to weeks or even days! You can walk away, stress-free, with money in your bank account.

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