Divorce and Selling a House: What You Should Know

Divorce is stressful. Dealing with real estate assets during divorce is even more difficult.

This guide is meant to provide a few helpful tips as you begin the process of selling your home during this difficult time. It is not intended as legal advice, and you should consult your attorney before making any legally binding decisions.

The House Strategy

The first step is to decide who, if either of you, wants to keep the house and can afford to do so on their own income after the divorce is finalized.

If One of You Decide to Keep the House

The next step is to work out the details of transferring ownership in your final divorce settlement. Consult your mediator or attorneys for this process. Ultimately, you’ll need to refinance so only the spouse keeping house is on the mortgage.

If Neither of You Will Keep the House

Then it’s time to start planning to sell the house as part of your divorce settlement. You’ll need to work with a Divorce Real Estate Expert real to determine how much your home will sell for under current market conditions.

Selling a Home in Divorce

If You Have Equity in the House

If your house has equity, it will likely sell for more than you owe on the mortgage, you can work with your attorneys to set up whatever split of the equity is appropriate for your situation.

If You Owe More Than the House is Worth

If you’re not in a situation where you can sell the house and split the profits, you may want to consider a “Short Sale.” In this case, the lender agrees to accept less than what you actually owe.

What You Need to Know About Short Sales:

A short sale is a loss mitigation strategy to avoid foreclosure. In a short dale, the lender agrees to discount the payoff of an outstanding mortgage instead of foreclosing. This “discount” allows a sale to a third party buyer even if there is little to know equity in the home. Short Sales are a relatively complex real estate transaction that involves negotiating with your lender. You should seek the help of a real estate professional with experience in loss mitigation. [Contact us for assistance.]

Working with a Divorce Realtor®

Selling a home during a divorce is likely the most difficult real estate transaction you will ever endure. Don’t try to navigate these waters without the help of an experienced real estate professional.

This is NOT the time to casually reach out to your friend’s cousin who just got her real estate license. Selling a house during a divorce requires negotiation and relationship skills that most new agents simply don’t have.

Second, work with an agent who has experience working with divorcing couples. A good agent knows how to tactfully communicate with both spouses and knows that it’s their job to serve both of you to get the home sold. [Contact us for assistance.]