During your divorce, both you and your ex stand to lose a great deal, including the house you lived in together. Often, splitting marital property becomes the most complex ordeal you’ll face. That’s why it’s important to research your state’s property division laws to understand your rights.
For instance, most states uphold what is called an equitable distribution of assets, which insures that both spouses receive a certain portion of the marital home unless otherwise stated in the court documents.
Tips For Deciding On What To Do With A Home When Going Through A Divorce Typically when selling a home during a divorce there are a handful of different options that a divorcing couple can decide on. It’s important to think about all the options that are available and to select the best option. Below are three of the most common options to choose from when selling a home during a divorce.
One Of The Spouses “Buys Out” The Other
One option that exists for those homeowners who are going through a divorce is one spouse “buys out” the other. What occurs in this scenario is one of the spouses takes over the full responsibility of the home. In most cases, in order to do this, the spouse who is buying the other out will have to pay a lump sum to the other, which typically will incorporate any equity that has been built in the property over the years of marriage.
In order for a buy out to be possible, the spouse who is taking over full responsibility of the home will need to apply for a refinance of the home in only their name. The party who is going to take responsibility of the home will need to go through the mortgage pre-approval process and prove that they have the ability to afford the home.
If one spouse is able to afford the home only in their name and the divorce is final, the other spouse will need to sign what is called a “quit claim deed.” An attorney can draw up this document for a reasonable cost and it needs to be filed with the courts, which traditionally will have a small cost to do so.
It’s recommended that when one spouse decides to buy out the other that an attorney and the courts are involved. This helps ensure that one party is not getting taken advantage.
Sell the Home Immediately
Another option that exists for divorcing homeowners is to sell the home immediately. Of the three options, this is the most common result.
If the divorcing couple decides to sell the home immediately, the proceeds or shortages that result in the sale of the home are generally split. In the event that a divorcing couple does not have enough equity in a home, it is pretty common to see a short sale scenario since typically a divorcing couple does not want to put more money into the home or the divorce.
The Couple Continues To Co-Own The Home
The third option that exists when selling a home while going through a divorce is the couple will continue to co-own the property. The primary reason that a divorcing couple will choose this option is because there are kids involved. Selling a home with kids can be tricky enough let alone uprooting the kids from their family home because of a divorce.
There are some important considerations that need to be made when selecting to continue to co-own a home while going through a divorce. First it’s important that there is a mutual understanding in place that because the property is still in both parties names, missing payments will affect both parties credit scores.
It’s highly recommended that if a divorcing couple decides to co-own the home that there is an agreement in writing. This agreement should outline exactly who will be responsible for paying what. If one of the spouses is planning on buying out the other, this needs to be clear and concise in a written agreement.
Hire A Realtor® Who Has Experience With Dealing With Divorce
If a divorcing couple decides that the best option is to sell the home immediately it is very important that a Realtor® who has experience in dealing with selling homes during divorces is hired. Anytime a homeowner decides to sell their home, it’s very important they know how to interview real estate agents to sell a home. When it comes to selling a home while going through a divorce, it becomes even more important to know what questions to ask prospective agents.
Knowing how to hire a real estate agent while going through a divorce can make the difference between the home sale being successful and smooth or neither. The first question to ask prospective real estate agents is whether they have sold homes where the homeowners were going through a divorce. A real estate agent who has experience with dealing with divorce and selling homes will know the importance of a quick sale while maximizing the sale price.
Additionally the agent should know how to handle stressful situations that can arise when selling a home during a divorce. Recently while selling a home in Webster, NY there was a conflict between the divorcing couple once an offer was received and the home inspection was completed. The roof of the couples home was in need of repair and an agreement could not be made as to who would pay for the repairs of the roof. Once the divorcing couple was made aware that not getting the repairs completed could potentially be a reason the transaction would fall apart and they needed to look at the situation as a business decision, a resolution was agreed upon.
Other Resources For Selling A Home While Going Through A Divorce
- Five Home Selling Tips During A Divorce via Realty Today
- 7 Tips On How To Handle Real Estate & Divorce via National Association of Realtors®
Are you getting a divorce in San Diego, CA and own a home that you need to sell? The above tips on how to sell your during a divorce, if followed, will greatly improve the chances of a successful sale. If you haven’t hired a top San Diego, CA real estate agent with divorce experience, contact me, and I’d be happy to discuss your scenario further.