Selling A House In Divorce

Selling a house in a divorce is just one of the many difficult financial and emotional decisions that need to be made during this time. Educating yourself on your options and some of the steps needed to complete this process can help you a lot of time and headache.

In this article we will discuss some of the options and processes that are part of selling a house in a divorce.

Options For Selling A House In A Divorce


Typically one of three things happens with the home when a couple is going through divorce.

  • One spouse buys the other’s legal interest in the home and keeps the property.
  • One spouse will continue to live in the house for a certain period of time and then the house will be sold.
  • The house is sold and if there is any equity in the house, it will be split between the parties.

If you choose to sell, you can either list the house with an agent or choose to sell the house for cash.

Why Sell A House During Divorce

There are both financial and emotional benefits to selling a house during a divorce. The profit gained from selling the house can help both people make a new start. Choosing to sell the property before the divorce is finalized can also help each person deal with other financial debts and responsibilities. Another consideration is whether or not one of the parties can afford the house on their own.

Aside from the financial aspects, selling the home also provides emotional closure. Often times neither of the party’s desire to live in the house that they once shared as a couple. They feel like a fresh start can only be accomplished by moving away.

Preparing The House For Sale

Making Home Repairs

Before you sell your home there are several things that you will want to consider. Preparing a house for sale requires time, money, and some cooperation from your soon to be ex.

Is there work that needs to be done to the house? Are there major repairs or just deferred maintenance? Who is going to pay for these repairs?

Is one spouse going to keep living in the home? Will they now pay all of the mortgage? If you both leave, who will pay for the house and any repairs or upkeep that needs to be done?

If there is a mortgage, can one person afford to pay for it by themselves? Are both of your names on the mortgage? If so, the bank will probably not allow you to transfer the mortgage over to just one party.

Will You Sell With An Agent?

A real estate agent can help you list the house for sale, coordinate showings, and work through the paperwork to complete the sale. The agent you choose is very important. You want to choose a real estate agent that has experience working with separating couples. This agent needs to be able to communicate with both spouses without becoming frustrated or emotional.

The agent needs to remain impartial throughout the process and have experience navigating the sales process with divorcing couples.

Don’t forget that you will need to pay the agents fees so that should be factored into your estimates.

Sell The House For Cash

Choosing to sell the house to a reputable house buying company is the fastest and easiest way to sell a house when going through a divorce. A house buying company will be able to pay cash for the property and allow you both to move on in the fastest way. You are unlikely to sell the house for the same amount if you choose cash as you would if you make the repairs and take the time to sell with an agent. But you can save time and money on fees and repairs so that needs to factor in your decision.

As when choosing a realtor, the house buying company you choose is extremely important. You need to choose someone with experience working with divorcing couples. They should be able to help you navigate the sales process and be able to clearly explain all the steps that will take place as well as where you may have trouble selling your house during a divorce.

Are they experienced? Check their reviews? How is their communication?

Time To Sell The House

You will have to decide on an asking price. You will want to consider the condition of the home, how fast you would like to sell it, and what your costs will be to sell the house.

Now you can review any offers that you receive, and you will have to come to an agreement with your spouse on which offer to choose. After you select an offer, the title company will begin to process your transaction and compile all the paperwork necessary to complete the sale.

Finally, you will decide how you are going to divide the proceeds. This is generally a straightforward process and the title company will take care of paying off any debts associated with the property including the mortgage or any taxes. The remaining proceeds can then be divided between the spouses.

If you feel that we could help you sell your house during your divorce or if you would just like to ask us any questions about the process, please feel free to contact us anytime.

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