A divorce is often an emotional affair for all parties involved. In addition to the legal and administrative matters, the selling of your family home can seem like one more burden that you find difficult to deal with emotionally. Selling a home under normal circumstances is not an easy job, and selling it during a divorce can be cumbersome.
Though not many would want to sell their homes, it has become a necessity for divorcing couples in the present day and age. Earlier when marriages were lasting longer, most of the mortgage used to be paid-off, which would have lesser reasons to worry. However, this is not the case today. Corey Bowden from HouseBuyersCash.com says that because the average marriage only lasts around seven years, more people are finding themselves in a position where they need to sell their home after a divorce. Most people prefer to have the sale go through quickly so that they can deal with the other major changes coming their way. If you are one of those unfortunate souls who need to sell the homes since you are divorcing, here are a few tips to make the job easier.
Deal with Legal Entanglements
Before putting the house on the market, the parties involved, that is, you and your partner, need to amicably settle things. Review the different financial aspects to reduce your stress level. In case there is any outstanding joint mortgage, both of you are liable to pay it off. According to the legal experts, in such cases, selling the house quickly and dividing the proceeds is the best approach.
Don’t Move Out Immediately
When two people are undergoing a divorce, they prefer to move out as soon as possible to make it easier to deal with the emotional side of the divorce. However, experts advise at least one party to stay behind. When both the parties leave their home, they tend to take along their things with them, leaving behind a sad-looking home which does not exactly appeal to potential buyers.
While you can opt to stage your home, it will be expensive since you have to spend an additional amount to have nice furniture, accessories or even fixtures brought in. If one of you continues to stay in the house, they can ensure that the monthly housing expenses are dealt with in time. On average, a house usually stays on the market for around 79 days. That means you are responsible for the upkeep of the house till then. With divorces becoming expensive, staying in the house will also help you save money.
Find a Trustworthy Agent
It becomes pertinent that you find the right agency/agent when dealing with property matters during a divorce. Finding a trustworthy agent with plenty of experience will make it a lot easier to sell your home faster during a divorce. You can even find real estate agents who have experience in dealing with divorcing clients, especially since the situation may throw up some unique challenges.
In most cases, the real estate agent also acts as a mediator and helps both divorcing parties to come to a mutual agreement faster. The agent needs to remain impartial to both sides and help the divorcing couple find a buyer for their home. This requires skills like diplomacy handling conflicts, patience and so on. A real estate agent who has experience in dealing with situations like this will be able to make sure that both parties are aware of everything and avoid unnecessary drama or hurt feelings.
Agree to Key Details
One of the key things that need to be decided while listing your home for sale during a divorce is asking the price. Similarly, there are several other key things that need to be decided beforehand, like:
- Who is going to leave, and who will remain in the house?
- What is the lowest offer that you are willing to accept?
- Who is going to pay for repairs or staging costs?
- What is the pricing strategy?
- What are off-limit times for viewing the house by potential buyers?
- How much notice do you both need for a closing date?
Figuring out the small details like the ones mentioned above will make selling the house a smooth procedure without too many bumps.
Stay clear of Emotions
Selling a loved home is always an emotional experience, but selling it while undergoing divorce proceedings can be an even more traumatic experience. However, it is essential to keep your emotions aside while dealing with the sale of the house. Several divorcing couples end up fighting with one another and ultimately impact the sale of the house negatively. This can be a difficult situation, especially when they are both waiting for the proceedings from the sale to start a new life.
While under emotional distress, people tend to make rash decisions without thinking of the consequences. This is why experts advise talking to your lawyer, a financial planner or a tax professional to get a clear picture of the financial implications of the sale of the house. Also, you need to know the best time to sell your house as this will help fetch a good price. This will also ensure that you and your spouse are in agreement and do not make a rash decision that you will regret later on.
Prepare the house for Potential Buyers
Once you decide to place the house on the market, you need to get it ready for the sale process. This involves minor repairs, painting, and clearing clutter and so on. If you have a lot of furniture at home, the real estate agent will help you decide which pieces to remove to create the right balance. Since getting the house ready for an open house involves spending time and money, you will need to discuss with your spouse about it beforehand.
Once the house is put up on sale, you will need to review offers from different potential buyers. Your real estate agent can advise, but both of you will need to make a joint decision. This process is easier if both of you are able to keep emotions aside and look at things practically.
Once the house is sold, you have to divide the proceeds. This is usually done by the escrow company. However, if one of you made mortgage payments after the separation, it will be adjusted during the final payment. At the end of the day, selling your home while undergoing a divorce needs to be dealt with practically. This helps both of you to move on to the next chapter of your life sooner rather than later.