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Is it Wise To Sell Your House During Divorce

While going through a divorce is challenging and overwhelming, it is essential to not get carried away and to stay calm while making some significant decisions. These are mainly about sharing assets and the marital home is one of them. Selling your house during a divorce is a preferred option for most couples. It helps them to liquidate their most prized and valued asset and move forward in life.

How does a couple share assets in divorce

The laws that govern the process of dividing the assets of divorcing couples vary from state to state.  

In community property states, all assets and debts incurred during the marriage are considered to be owned by both spouses and hence divided equally. In equitable distribution states, the focus is on fair distribution and not equality. The length of the marriage, the contribution made to the marriage by the non-working spouse, and the financial means of both couples are considered during the division of assets.

These are the points to remember when thinking of selling a house during a divorce agreement.

Steps to Follow For Selling A House During Divorce

There are multiple steps to follow for selling a house before a divorce agreement. Most of the process involved follows what is done by any person to sell a house. It is the way the proceeds of the sale of the house are treated is what differentiates the sale of a typical house and that of a couple during divorce.

Before listing your property, choose an experienced real estate agent to guide you through the complexities of selling your house during divorce. The agent should act without bias to any one of the estranged spouses and with a high degree of professionalism.

At Just Livin Realty, we have helped many couples sell their property during divorce and have always ensured a fair deal. We focus on the urgency of the sale and securing a good market price. Our strategy takes into account the current market trends and the competitive prices prevailing in the neighborhood.

Here are the steps to take for selling a house before the divorce agreement.

Agree to sell the marital home

Mutually agreeing to sell the house during a divorce is a very critical step. The agreement ensures that the sale process is smooth and there are no costly and long-drawn legal battles later. Once there is open dialogue between the estranged couple, the sale process too will be a seamless affair and both parties can move forward in life quickly and live independently. 

The agreement should respect the interests of the couple since any dispute arising from the sale will require legal intervention.

Prepare the home for sale

This involves making repairs and renovations that will fetch a better price from potential buyers. It is necessary to declutter the living space and if necessary, hire the services of a professional stager. You have an advantage here over selling a house after a divorce agreement where buyers drive a hard bargain as they think that it is a distress sale post-divorce. Hence, the sooner you are selling your house before divorce, the better it is for you.

Here too, Just Livin Realty will help you to stage the house. You will have a couple of advantages here when we step in. Our experts know what buyers look for during showings and will plan accordingly. Next, with realtors on your side, the fact that it is selling a house during divorce will not be a negotiating point for potential buyers as it will be a routine sale only.

Agree to an offer quickly and close the sale

Home sale in divorce has subtle differences between the implications of a routine sale or even selling a house after a divorce agreement. In the case of selling your house during a divorce, differences might arise with your estranged spouse regarding the division of proceeds and the timing of the sale. You must maintain clear and open lines of communication with your spouse and seek legal counsel if necessary to ensure that the interests of both spouses are protected.

Go through the closing process as quickly as possible. It includes showings, execution of legal documents, and transfer of ownership rights. Our experts will take care of the entire process while you go through your normal routine. 

Close the mortgage

A part of selling a house before a divorce agreement is to settle any outstanding mortgage on the property. Pay off the mortgage from the proceeds of the sale so that the buyer will get a clear title to the house after investing in it. However, contact your lender to know about any penalties or charges that might be levied for paying off the mortgage before the loan tenure.

Once the mortgage is settled, both spouses are cleared of a major financial obligation and have to only think about the division of minor assets.

Divide the sale proceeds

Dividing the proceeds of the sale involves complex calculations. It should be based on the “selling house divorce agreement” which considers factors such as who was responsible for the upkeep of the home and the contribution of each party. However, the amount is split equally in community property states.

Selling a house during a divorce? Can a judge order you to do so?

Yes, a judge has the power to order selling your house during divorce but with certain conditions attached. Orders are typically passed to ensure equitable and fair division of assets between spouses.

The judge will first consider whether the home is marital property, that is whether it is acquired during the marriage regardless of who holds the title to it. Property received as a gift or inheritance or acquired before marriage is exempted but the division process becomes complicated when assets acquired singly are comingled with marital assets.

A judge also evaluates the ability of each spouse to maintain the house independently including paying the mortgage and maintenance expenses such as insurance and taxes. The court may order selling a house after a divorce agreement if neither of the spouses is up to it.

Summing Up

Whether you are selling your house during divorce or selling a house after the divorce agreement, we at Just Livin Realty will ensure that you get the best deals on the sale of your home.      

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