Everything You Need to Know About Selling a House Through a Divorce
If you're a homeowner going through a divorce, one of the most significant decisions you'll have to make is what to do with the family home. Do you sell it and split the proceeds, keep it and buy your spouse out, or keep it and rent it out? There's no easy answer, as each situation is unique, and in some cases, there may be more than one way to deal with it. This blog post will explore everything you need to know about selling a house during a divorce and what your options are.
1. Selling the Home
Selling the home is usually the easiest and most straightforward option. You can put the house on the market and, once it sells, split the proceeds with your ex. This option may be ideal if you want to move on from the divorce and start fresh in a new home. It's also a good option if you cannot agree with your spouse about what to do with the property.
However, selling the home can be a lengthy and stressful process, especially if you're already dealing with the emotional upheaval of a divorce. It's also worth noting that since the real estate market fluctuates, there's no guarantee you'll get your asking price for the home. You may have to sell it at a lower price than what you paid for it or for a lesser value than you were hoping to at a later time. If you're selling a home with a mortgage, you'll need to pay off the remaining balance before you can split the proceeds.
2. Buying Your Spouse Out
Keeping the home is often the most emotionally charged option, as it can be seen as a way to hold onto the memories of your marriage. It can also be a good financial decision, as you won't have to go through the hassle and expense of selling the property.
If you decide to keep the home, one of your options is to buy the house outright or take over the mortgage. If one party in the relationship has the financial means to do this, it can relieve the burden on the other spouse, who may not be able to afford to keep the property on their own.
This option is not always possible or practical. You'll need to sell the home if you cannot buy your spouse out or take over the mortgage. Another thing to consider if you're thinking about keeping the family home is whether you can afford the upkeep and maintenance on your own.
3. Keeping the Home as a Rental Property
An increasingly popular option for divorcing couples is to keep the family home and rent it as an Airbnb or rental property. This can provide you with a regular income stream while also giving you the option to sell the property down the road.
If you decide to keep the family home as a rental property, there are a few things you'll need to consider. First, you'll want to consider whether or not you can handle an investment property while also dealing with the emotional fallout of your divorce.
If your spouse is still on the mortgage, you'll need to ensure they're okay with having their name on the property and being responsible for making the payments.
You'll also want to consider the financial implications of keeping the property as a rental. Can you afford the mortgage payments on your own? Are you comfortable with the risks associated with being a landlord? In many cases, it's best to have a professional property manager handle the day-to-day tasks of being a landlord.
How to Sell a House During a Divorce
Once you've decided to sell the family home, there are a few things you'll need to do to get the process started:
Picking an Agent
In some cases, you can sell a house without an agent, but this is usually not recommended, especially if you're going through a divorce. An experienced real estate agent will be able to help you navigate the often-complex process of selling a home and can provide valuable guidance and advice.
They'll also be able to help you determine an appropriate asking price for the property and market the home to potential buyers. Since your divorce likely won't time the real estate market perfectly, working with an agent can give you the best chance of selling the home quickly and for a good price.
Deciding On an Asking Price
One of the most important (and difficult) decisions you'll need to make when selling a house during a divorce is settling on an asking price. You'll want to strike a balance between getting the best possible price for the property and getting it sold quickly.
Your real estate agent will be able to help you determine an appropriate asking price based on recent sales of similar properties in the area. It's also important to remember that the asking price is not set in stone—you may have to lower the price if you're having trouble finding a buyer.
Getting the House Ready to Sell
Once you've chosen an agent, you'll need to get the house ready to sell. This includes making any necessary repairs or updates, decluttering, and staging the home. You'll also need to decide how you want to handle showings and open houses. In many cases, it's best to have your agent handle these tasks to minimize the amount of contact you have with potential buyers.
Dividing the Proceeds
Once you've sold the house, you'll need to determine how to divide the proceeds from the sale. In most cases, this will be spelled out in your divorce settlement agreement. The amount of money that each of you make from the sale of the home will likely be determined by several factors, including who is on the mortgage, who paid for repairs and updates, and who paid for more of the mortgage prior to the divorce. If you can't agree on how to divide the proceeds from the sale, you may need to consult a family law attorney who can help you reach a fair agreement.
When going through a divorce as a homeowner, you'll need to make many important decisions about your family home. With careful planning and the help of an experienced real estate agent, selling this large asset doesn't have to be a stressful process.
By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that the sale of your home goes smoothly and that you get the best possible price for your property.