Selling a home during a divorce is no different than selling at any other time; however, you may be in a hurry to sell and want a quicker sale depending on your personal circumstances. Additionally, you need to be absolutely clear about how the money will be divided between the spouses (usually agreed through their lawyers).
Read our quick guide to find out how you can sell your house during a divorce, and which simple steps you can follow to either ease or speed the process up.
How Do You Sell a House During a Divorce?
As with any sale, selling a home during a divorce will require proper preparation. There are certain things you can fix up and improve before putting your house on the market that could boost the value and help you to sell. If you are investing any money on repairs or upgrades, you will need to agree with your spouse on how these expenses will be split and if it will impact the division of the end profit. Before putting any money towards changes to the house, make sure that you have discussed any potential spending with your divorce lawyer.
As well as the financial side, you will need to work out any logistical matters. For example, while the property is listed, who will be living in the home? Will that person pay the mortgage and/ or other payments alone or will the costs be split between both spouses? Who will prepare the house for showings and will either spouse be present for the viewings themselves?
If you are ready to sell your home, you and your spouse should agree on an estate agent who can help you sell. Usually when selling a property during a divorce, the common goal is the same – to sell in a timely manner and get the best price for your home.
Why Might You Want to Sell a House During a Divorce?
It is possible that even following a divorce one spouse may wish to stay in the marital home, especially if there are children involved. However, there are many reasons why a divorcing couple may choose to sell the property and divide the profits.
If the couple is on good terms, selling the house before a divorce can be a good way to split the finances fairly at the start and agree about how any money will be divided.
Selling your home before the divorce can also help to lighten some of the financial burden of a divorce and help get you set up with a good financial situation for after the divorce has gone through.
However, as with any property sale, you might need to read the market before deciding when to sell. If you are not in a rush, it could be a good idea to wait it out until after the divorce if the housing market is in a better position. You would not want to lose out on money by trying to settle too quickly or sell for a price that is lower than the property’s market value.
When Can You Accept an Offer?
Accepting an offer on the home when going through a divorce is a huge decision and will be a large part of a divorce proceeding. You need to be prepared to compromise at it is not guaranteed that you will get your ideal asking price. As well as the asking price, the spouses will need to agree on a price that they are both willing to settle for. In the case that they cannot agree, they should try the opinion of the estate agent. If speed is the priority, they may need to be ready to accept a lower price.
As offers start to come in, there should be an open conversation between the spouses, the estate agent and the divorce lawyers. If for any reason the spouses cannot agree on a price, they need to stay as open-minded as possible and accept advice from the estate agent and the divorce lawyers. It is advisable to avoid contention as much as possible as it will make the proceedings much easier and keep things civil.
How Should You Divide the Profit?
How the profit from the sale is divided is usually a matter for the divorce lawyers. In some cases, everything purchased or obtained during the marriage is considered to have equal ownership by each spouse, regardless of what name is on the deed; however, there is no standard way to split assets for divorcing couples or couples who are dissolving a civil partnership.
The division of the sale proceedings will depend on many different factors including other assets such as pensions or income.