Going through a divorce is almost always guaranteed to be stressful and can cause a lot of anxiety. On top of the emotional stress, divorce can also be very hard on people financially. According to recent studies, the average total cost of divorce in the United States is $15,000.
So it would make sense that one of the most stressful parts of any divorce lies in deciding how to split up assets such as the marital home. What happens when one spouse wants to keep the house, and the other wants to sell? Worse, what if both want to keep the house?
In tough situations like these, it often makes the most sense to sell the property and move on. Read on to learn how to sell a house during a divorce.
Step 1: Get on the Same Page With Your Spouse
Before you make final decisions about selling a house during a divorce, make sure you both agree that it’s the best option. When emotions run high, keeping the lines of communication open and being direct about expectations will help ease the process.
Letting go of a home can be difficult, but for many divorcing couples, selling a house offers financial and emotional freedom. Selling a home can offer a clean slate and a chance to start fresh after a difficult time in your life.
Step 2: Prepare the Home for Sale
Once you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agree that it makes sense to sell, prepare the property.
First, identify any repairs. Create a list of issues to address, from leaky faucets to creaking floorboards, and determine costs associated with each fix.
Next, determine which repairs (if any) are necessary. Often it’s simpler to sell the house as-is during a divorce. If you do decide to complete fixes, decide who will pay for what.
Finally, decide who will take charge of the staging process. Staging may involve cleaning, decluttering, and rearranging in order to help potential buyers visualize themselves — and their belongings — in your home.
Step 3: List the House
Now it’s time to put the property on the market. Most people choose to use a realtor to help facilitate the selling process.
You and your spouse will have to decide on a mutually acceptable selling price, and a realtor can help you determine what the market will bear.
In the case that one of you is still living in the home, you’ll also have to work out how to handle showings. In addition to being a major inconvenience, open houses and ‘for sale’ signs are bound to draw questions from your neighbors who you may not want to know all of the details about your personal life.
A quick sale is preferable, as you’ll want to complete the sale before the divorce is final in order to take advantage of tax benefits. If you choose to sell the home traditionally, the home may sit on the market for 40 to 180 or more days depending on the market before the sale closes. The faster you can sell, the less likely you are to lose out on marital tax breaks.
Step 4: Divide the Profit
Congratulations: Your house is sold! Now comes the “fun” part: figuring out who gets what percentage of the profit.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t always translate to a 50/50 split. For instance, if one spouse contributed more to the mortgage or financial upkeep during the marriage, they may be awarded a larger chunk of the sale.
Conversely, if one spouse is keeping a greater amount of other assets, they may take less of the home sale profits. Consulting your attorney during the home sale process can help you come to an equitable decision.
Going through a divorce is stressful. Selling a home doesn’t have to be. HomeGo offers sellers a way to close the deal, quickly and professionally. Getting the house sold quickly can help ensure you don’t lose tax benefits, as well.
HomeGo can close in as few as 7 days. Our experienced, local agents will walk you through the process, reducing your stress — no showings, repairs, or upgrades needed. We make an offer on day one, meaning your sale will stay discrete with no public signs, open houses, or marketing. When you’re ready to learn more about how to sell a house during a divorce, HomeGo is here to help.