Selling your home during a divorce is a lot more complicated than a traditional home sale – not to mention having to take on the process while navigating the many emotions that come with such a major life change.
This blog post is designed to be a helpful guide for selling your home during a divorce. We’ll touch on how to decide who keeps the home, the various types of divorce sales, working with a real estate agent and more.
Where to Start
Selling your home during a divorce is a big process and it can be tempting to try to get through it as quickly as you can. However, there are certain steps that must be taken before you can get started. Mainly, both spouses will need to have a formal separation agreement in place before the sales process can begin.
Deciding Who Keeps The Home
During a divorce, one of the biggest decisions you will face is selecting which spouse will stay in the home. Yes, there are instances where neither spouse will wish to stay – we’ll cover that a little later in this post.
Choosing who stays in the home can be complex and emotional, so it’s essential to consider the best interests of everyone involved. This means thinking about the entire family. Keep in mind that divorce can be just as tough on kids as it is for parents. In most cases, the spouse who will have primary custody of the kids will be the one who stays in the home. This reduces disruption to their day-to-day lives and allows them to deal with a major life change in a familiar setting.
Along with family factors, finances may also come into play in this decision. Whoever keeps the home will be responsible for paying the remainder of the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and other related costs. So, depending on the financial standing of each spouse (factoring in arrangements for child or spousal support), one person may be better equipped to hold onto the home than the other.
* In need of more divorce-related real estate advice? Read these other blog posts next!
- Buying vs. Renting After a Divorce
- Everything You Need to Know About Disclosures & Divorce
- Real Estate Vows to Make Before You Get Married
Selling to Your Spouse
Let’s say it’s been decided that your spouse will stay in the home and you will be moving out. In this case, you will be selling your share of the home to them. While this process may seem relatively straightforward at a glance, there are a number of important variables to be prepared for.
For instance, there’s a high likelihood that it has appreciated in value since it was first bought. This increase in value will need to be accounted for during your buyout. That means that you and your spouse will need to come to an agreement on what the home is now worth.
As you may expect, this step can be somewhat complicated. Unfortunately, there’s no pre-set formula to determine your home’s current market. Instead, finding the right number is going to require help from an expert. A real estate agent can provide you with an accurate idea of the home’s value based on current market conditions, comparable properties, and other variables.
Looking for a crash course on spousal buyouts? I’ve got an in-depth blog post on the topic. Click here to read it.
If neither spouse wishes to stay in the home, your next option is to head to the market and sell jointly. This process is similar to a traditional home sale, however, it will require you and your spouse to be on the same page about major details.
Similar to a buyout, where one spouse sells their share in the home to the other, selling together requires both parties to agree on the home’s market value. Once again, seeking guidance from a knowledgeable real estate agent can help you land on an accurate price that works for everyone.
*Searching for general home selling advice? I’ve got resources for that too! Explore these other posts from my blog.
- How to Get Your South Etobicoke Home Ready For Sale
- Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your South Etobicoke Home
Finding the Right Agent to Work With
Hiring the right real estate agent is a key part of any home sale, but it’s extra important when selling during a divorce. Spousal buyouts and joint sales are specialized processes, so you’ll want to work with an expert who has navigated them before. Whether you and your spouse choose to work with one agent or two, divorce-specific experience is a huge bonus.
You’ll also want a professional who can be objective. Unfortunately, divorce can sometimes be messy. If there are disputes, frustrations, or other setbacks during the selling process, the last thing you want is an agent who will take sides.
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