Dealing with a messy divorce tops the list of stressful life events, selling a home comes in a close second. Divorce and real estate are two of the most life shattering experiences a person goes through, when you combine them the emotions can really start to flow. Dividing up assets is never pretty or simple, which is why it is advantageous to look at selling a house fast during a divorce.
The sooner you sell your home the quicker you can walk away from the emotional damage and start to heal. Most times, a house is the last asset left to divide, and if there are children in the marriage, it may be the only heart-wrenching decision. Here are just a few tips that can help you navigate selling your home following a divorce.
The Basics of Selling a House During a Divorce
Like anything that has to do with real estate, selling a house is seldom as easy as making the decision and walking away. Not only do you have to find a buyer and make your home presentable (alongside a spouse you likely detest now), but you will have to pay a broker’s fee and capital gains tax. If you home still has a mortgage attached to it you will need to pay off both that mortgage and equity line with the tax and then divide the profits.
Do I Have to Sell My Home During a Divorce?
This is a tricky question that is largely going to depend on how much of your mortgage is left, the relationship you have with your ex-spouse, and if you can actually afford it. Divorcing couples shift from two incomes to one, so one spouse may not be able to afford the home anymore.
In other cases, the only way to keep the house may be to buy your ex-spouse out of his or her share which can also be complicated and unattainable.
The simple truth is you don’t technically have to sell your home during a divorce, but it does usually alleviate a large emotional and financial burden. Starting over is generally easier for both spouses in a fresh apartment or home without any painful memories attached.
Choose an Agent Quickly
Divorcing couples tend to disagree over everything, choosing a real estate agent is rarely an exception. If you both liked the agent who initially helped you purchase the home, choose to work with them again. If that is not an option or you still cannot agree amicably, choose a neutral friend or relative to pick an agent for you.
Once you choose an agent, listen to them. Couples that are fighting with each other have a tendency to fight with everyone. Their first tendency is to be suspicious and quarrelsome. Remember your agent doesn’t have a side, listen to their advice about what your home is worth and take it. You hired an expert to help you with selling a house fast during a divorce, so listen to them. If you don’t let them do their job they won’t be able to expedite your sale.
Show the House
Staging and showing are two integral parts of selling a home quickly. If you want people to buy your home you have to make it look good. This requires you to complete minor repairs, spruce it up a bit, and bump up the curb appeal. If you and your ex cannot work together on this, consider asking the agent to recommend a professional stager.
Divide the Proceeds Following the Sale
After your home sells, you will need to split the dividends between you and your ex. Generally this is a straightforward process unless the court has ordered a different distribution than 50/50. Pay off all obligations such as taxes, the agent, broker, etc and then have the escrow company distribute the profit to both parties. If a spouse has been making post-separation mortgage payments then these should be noted and the final totals adjusted.
Sound Like a Lot of Work?
If this sounds like a headache, it is because selling a house can be. This is even more true when you are selling a house fast after a divorce. Instead of working through the entire process and clashing with your ex, you may want to consider selling your house to an investor. An investor may give you a lower quote, but in exchange you will not need to pay a broker, escrow company, agent, or stager to help prepare your home. In fact, you don’t have to do anything but sign the papers.