How to Sell Your Home During a Divorce
Divorce may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through—emotionally and financially. And one of the most difficult aspects of divorce is trying to make important financial decisions, like selling your home, while going through the extreme emotional turmoil of separation.
However (and this may sound like a little tough love), if you are selling your home during your divorce, one of the most important things you can do is think with your brain, not your heart. Selling your home is a business decision, and one that will ultimately determine your financial future. So… how do you sell your home smartly during a divorce?
Important Considerations When Selling a Home During a Divorce
Make Sure You’re Selling for the Right Reasons
Before you undertake all the hard work that goes into selling a home, make sure it’s for the right reasons. Typically, separating couples will sell because with divided sources of income, neither can afford the mortgage on their own. It may also be to liquidate assets to help cover the costs of legal fees and other divorce expenses.
If you’re selling for purely emotional reasons, ask yourself if selling is truly the best financial option.
Don’t Let Emotion Get in the Way
Divorce is emotional. Selling a home is emotional. But it’s time for a little tough love again here—don’t let emotion get the better of you. Don’t let your home become a source of revenge or a chess piece played against your partner. As likely your largest financial asset, your home has the ability to determine your financial wellness—so don’t sabotage your house or the furniture or the sale, even if you hate that you have to sell your home.
Try to Work Out the Details Amicably and by Yourselves
When you sell a home, the equity will be split in some fashion. Typically, this is a 50/50 split, but in cases where one partner has been paying more than the other, this might not be preferable. Try to avoid the courts and work out amongst yourselves how the equity will be split—otherwise a third party will decide for you.
Get Everything in Writing
Handling your split might be an amicable proceeding, but it’s always advised to be safe and careful. That’s why it’s critical to make sure to get everything in writing—from who’s paying the mortgage until the home is sold to how the equity will be split to who gets to keep the couch.
Consider Capital Gains
Whether to sell your home now or wait until after the split can come down to capital gains. If you’ve made improvements to your home, it’s highly preferable to sell while still married, as you can exclude up to $500,000 in profits from your taxes ($250k per person)—versus the $250,000 total entitled to a single seller.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
Make copies of all the important documents you’ll need for selling a home, like tax returns, bank statements, and more. And while you’re at it, do a little reading so you’re knowledgeable of who’s on the deed, the existence of any judgements or liens against the house, and the balance on the mortgage.
Always Work with an Experienced Realtor
Now more than ever, it’s important to hire a Realtor to help you through the selling process. Not only will a Realtor help you determine the right price for your home, but can also offer assistance (or even take the reins) on crucial decisions like repairs, staging, negotiation, and final price.
When choosing a Realtor, it’s important that you and your partner work together so neither feels undermined and both will be able to trust the judgement of the agent. Find a local realtor experienced not only in selling homes (and preferably working with divorcees), but who also possesses the necessary patience and communication skills to handle the additional emotions that come with selling during a divorce.
Searching for a Celebration Realtor Experienced with Selling During Divorce?
If you’re planning to sell your home during a divorce, then it’s time to contact me. I’ll help you through this emotional time while ensuring the financial success of your sale. Learn more about my qualifications and experience, start browsing my resources, or give me a call.