Tips For Selling A Home During A Divorce

Tips For Selling A Home During A Divorce

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Having to go through a divorce is not something that anyone gets excited about.  Getting a divorce often leads to arguments, tension, confusion, and frustration.  There are very few life experiences that are less enjoyable and difficult then getting a divorce.

An unfortunate scenario, but a scenario that is a reality, is having to help homeowners sell their home while going through a divorce.  A fairly common FAQ from home sellers is how to go about selling their marital home.

There are several scenarios that can come into play when selling a home while going through a divorce.  Since everyone’s individual situation is different, it’s important to understand what options exist when selling a home during a divorce.

Below are some of the best tips for selling a home during a divorce.  Read on to find out what options are available for divorcing homeowners to help determine which route is the best for your individual situation.

Tips For Deciding On What To Do With A Home When Going Through A Divorce

Typically when selling a home during a divorce there are a handful of different options that a divorcing couple can decide on.  It’s important to think about all the options that are available and to select the best option.  Below are three of the most common options to choose from when selling a home during a divorce.

One Of The Spouses “Buys Out” The Other

One option that exists for those homeowners who are going through a divorce is one spouse “buys out” the other.  What occurs in this scenario is one of the spouses takes over the full responsibility of the home.  In most cases, in order to do this, the spouse who is buying the other out will have to pay a lump sum to the other, which typically will incorporate any equity that has been built in the property over the years of marriage.

In order for a buy out to be possible, the spouse who is taking over full responsibility of the home will need to apply for a refinance of the home in only their name.  The party who is going to take responsibility of the home will need to go through the mortgage pre-approval process and prove that they have the ability to afford the home.

If one spouse is able to afford the home only in their name and the divorce is final, the other spouse will need to sign what is called a “quit claim deed.”  An attorney can draw up this document for a reasonable cost and it needs to be filed with the courts, which traditionally will have a small cost to do so.

It’s recommended that when one spouse decides to buy out the other that an attorney and the courts are involved.  This helps ensure that one party is not getting taken advantage of and certainly can help eliminate problems in the future.

Sell The Home Immediately

Don’t Sell Your Home At A SNAILS PACE During A Divorce – Top Tips On How To Sell A Home During A Divorce Inside

Another option that exists for divorcing homeowners is to sell the home immediately.  Of the three options, this is the most common result.

If the divorcing couple decides to sell the home immediately, the proceeds or shortages that result in the sale of the home are generally split.  In the event that a divorcing couple does not have enough equity in a home, it is pretty common to see a short sale scenario since typically a divorcing couple does not want to put more money into the home or the divorce.

The Couple Continues To Co-Own The Home

The third option that exists when selling a home while going through a divorce is the couple will continue to co-own the property.  The primary reason that a divorcing couple will choose this option is because there are kids involved.  Selling a home with kids can be tricky enough let alone uprooting the kids from their family home because of a divorce.

There are some important considerations that need to be made when selecting to continue to co-own a home while going through a divorce.  First it’s important that there is a mutual understanding in place that because the property is still in both parties names, missing payments will affect both parties credit scores.

It’s highly recommended that if a divorcing couple decides to co-own the home that there is an agreement in writing.  This agreement should outline exactly who will be responsible for paying what.  If one of the spouses is planning on buying out the other, this needs to be clear and concise in a written agreement.

Is Your State An Equitable Distribution State?

If you’re selling a home while going through a divorce, it is important to understand whether your state is an equitable distribution state or not.  Equitable distribution can be defined as the distribution of property and debt obligations when dividing marital property during divorce proceedings.  Equitable distribution does not mean a 50/50 split but does mean a “fair” distribution.

If you’re selling a home in Florida during a divorce, be aware that Florida is an equitable distribution state.  It’s important to understand how property is divided in your state, it’s recommended you consult an attorney.

Hire A Realtor® Who Has Experience With Dealing With Divorce

Don’t Sell Your Home At A SNAILS PACE During A Divorce – Top Tips On How To Sell A Home During A Divorce Inside

If a divorcing couple decides that the best option is to sell the home immediately it is very important that a Realtor® who has experience in dealing with selling homes during divorces is hired.  Anytime a homeowner decides to sell their home, it’s very important they know how to interview real estate agents to sell a home.  When it comes to selling a home while going through a divorce, it becomes even more important to know what questions to ask prospective agents.

Knowing how to hire a real estate agent while going through a divorce can make the difference between the home sale being successful and smooth or neither.  The first question to ask prospective real estate agents is whether they have sold homes where the homeowners were going through a divorce.  A real estate agent who has experience with dealing with divorce and selling homes will know the importance of a quick sale while maximizing the sale price.

Additionally the agent should know how to handle stressful situations that can arise when selling a home during a divorce. If a conflict arises between the divorcing couple about a required repair and an agreement can not be made as to who will pay for the repairs.  The divorcing couple must be made aware that not getting the repairs completed could potentially be a reason the transaction could fall apart, they will need to look at the situation as a business decision, so a resolution can be agreed upon.

How To Determine The Listing Price Of The Home When Going Through A Divorce

There are two major factors that determine whether a home will sell or not, price and marketing.  Once a divorcing couple hires a top real estate agent who knows what real estate marketing strategies sell homes, it’s now time to decide on the listing price of the home.

Determining the wrong price is the kiss of death, typically leading to an unsuccessful home sale.  There are many real estate pricing mistakes that homeowners make and it’s important when selling a home while going through a divorce, they are avoided at all costs.

To determine the proper price of your home you should expect that your real estate agent will provide a detailed comparative market analysis, also known as a CMA.  A detailed CMA is a great way to identify what has been going on in your local real estate market and what comparable homes have been selling for.  It’s important to initiate a timely sale that the price is attractive to prospective home buyers.

A detailed CMA also can help divorcing homeowners understand the current state of their real estate market.  It’s important to know whether the local market is currently a sellers market, balanced market, or a buyers market.  One statistic that can help a seller understand what the current state of their real estate market is the local market absorption rate.  If a market is currently a buyers market, it becomes even more important to price the home more aggressively since a buyer is able to choose from an abundance of homes for sale.

It should be noted that typically each party has the option to obtain a market analysis from a Realtor® as well as have an appraisal done to help determine what the listing price of the home will be.

Tips To Prepare A Home For Sale During A Divorce

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners who are selling their home while going through a divorce make is not properly preparing it for sale.  Since some divorces can be less than cordial, it’s critical that both parties involved take all of the emotions out of the home selling process and realize it is now a business decision and properly preparing the home for the market is important for a quick sale.

Some of the best tips for divorcing couples as they prepare their home for the market include;

  • Remove clutter

  • Freshly paint rooms, where needed

  • Consider making small updates such as light fixtures

  • Eliminate any foul odors

  • Clean up exterior and inspect curb appeal


It’s important to remember when selling a home during a divorce that you have one opportunity to make a first impression.  Many buyers can get a feeling of whether a home has been well cared for or not right away and it’s important to not scare away potential buyers because of a dirty or smelly home.

Final Thoughts

Selling a home while going through a divorce is not a pleasurable experience.  It’s important to remember to do your best to keep emotions out of the equation while attempting to sell your home during a divorce.

Keep in mind that once the home is sold or at least a solution is reached, it will get easier.  If you follow the above tips for selling a home during a divorce, you greatly increase the chances that it will be a relatively quick and stress-free home sale.

Ray Negron Headshot
Phone: 561-202-4369
Dated: March 7th 2016
Views: 154
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