Divorces are stressful, both emotionally and financially, especially if you have a co-owned property. Selling a house after divorce agreement can help alleviate some of your financial troubles, but a lot goes into getting your head straight after a divorce, especially if it’s a messy one.
Whether you’re selling your home because the prospect of staying in a house you shared with your spouse scares you or is simply a financial decision, this article is for you. It’s all about keeping a cool head and avoiding making any harsh decisions.
Before reading on, take a deep breath and calm yourself. Anxiety, anger, and stress will do you no favors in the decisions you will have to make when selling the house after divorce. According to the American Institute of Stress, moving and divorce are some of the top five most stressful life events.
What Happens to the House During a Divorce?
There are a number of roads that you can take during or after a divorce. These include;
- Both of you agree to continue to stay in the house (with mutual agreement),
- One of you remains in the home with one party buying the other out, or
- Selling the home or mortgage and dividing the proceeds.
One common question that arises here is that can my ex-partner sell our house? The answer is no. Legally, both of you have the right to remain in the home, with or without mutual consent, until the divorce is finalized. Even when finalized, neither party is obligated to sell the property and continue living with mutual consent.
What Happens to Our Joint Mortgage During a Divorce?
Simply put the mortgage still needs to be paid. In the eyes of that law, it doesn’t matter who’s living in the property and both parties are liable for the debt. It is a good idea to let your lender know of your divorce, even if you don’t think there will be any delay in payments. Lenders are often sympathetic and might give you some breathing space. Most couples can either;
- Sell the property with the mortgage
- Keep the property and pay the mortgage
- One party buys the other party out and keeps making the payments
What to Do After a Divorce – Selling Your House
Before listing your home out, consider;
- What your house is worth and is it worth selling?
- How you’ll sell the house
- Do you have somewhere to go? Don’t consider ‘buying a property with the proceeds’. That’s a one-way ticket to disaster.
If you’ve decided on selling your house, the following is a quick guide to selling your house after a divorce.
It’s time to prepare your house for potential buyers. Write down what you got in the split and start cleaning the house up. De-clutter the space to maximize its value.
If you come across things that neither of you needs, give them to charity or sell them off at a garage sale.
Work Out a Budget
If you don’t have a place to stay after the sale, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the property industry and work out a budget for your next place.
A Google search might go a long way when it comes to figuring out what a new place in your preferred locality will cost and how many houses in the same neighborhood cost. Doing so will also help you make an informed decision on how much you can get from selling your house.
Find a Listing Agent
The first professional you want to be involved in is a divorce attorney. Second; find a good listing agent.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. You’re going through a hard time and it’s okay to get some help. A listing agent can help you find the perfect buyer and seller for you, while you commit your mind to other important tasks.
Leave Your Emotions Out the Door
How fair of a price you get for your house depends mostly on your listing agent, which is why you need to be very careful when selecting a trustworthy agent. You are bound to be stressed and anxious, but try to stay calm, calculating, and headstrong when interviewing the agent.
Don’t Rush into Anything You’ll Regret
Tunnel vision is most common when people are under stress, angry, or heartbroken. And that is when people often make bad decisions. When facing a divorce, you are bound to feel all sorts of emotions, stress being the most prevalent of them all, especially if you have children.
When selling a house during or after a divorce, don’t rush into anything. Take your time with the decisions, consult friends and family, ask professionals, and really think about it before committing to anything.
This stands true not just for when selling a house after divorce but also when normally selling or buying real estate. Assemble and go through the terms and discuss it with your ex to make sure you don’t do anything you’ll regret later on.
Be Straightforward With Potential Buyers
As a buyer, one of the most common questions is why the house is being sold. Prepare an answer for this and rehearse it. Answer confidently, otherwise your might end up giving the buyer some leverage. If you seem hasty, buyers might assume the worst and back off. Or they could end up learning that you are in need and offer less than the market rate. After all, who doesn’t want to save money?
We’re not suggesting that you lie to them. Give your story a positive spin. While being straightforward with some help, with others, you might have to spin a yarn that leaves little room for negotiation.
If you’re looking to sell your house after a divorce agreement, there is nothing wrong with getting the help of real estate agencies. Not only will they be sympathetic to your cause, but they can also help you sell and buy your next home.
If you’d like to learn more about selling a house after divorce and all the legal intricacies involved, contact us.