When you get a divorce, one of the big decisions is what to do with the family home. This can be a tricky decision, especially if one of you would like to keep the home. Ultimately, many couples opt to sell the home outright to get out of the mortgage. The following is some information about selling the home during a divorce and some important steps you need to take.
Make the Choice to Sell
The benefits of selling the marital home during a divorce often outweigh other options. While one spouse can choose to buy the other out and keep the home, you can both end up better off financially if you sell to someone else.
The profit you make from the home sale allows both of you to have a good foundation to move on once the divorce is complete. The sale also means you leave behind an investment you once shared, which is a good way to close that chapter of your lives. In addition, the home sale is also ideal if you both are not financially capable of paying for the home on an individual basis.
Prepare to Sell
Think about some of the things you need to do to the home before you choose to sell. The home could require some maintenance work or updates before it goes on the market. These tasks will take additional money and time. The two of you also have to work together to make these decisions.
If your divorce is tumultuous, you both need to communicate with each other amicably to ensure the home is in good shape for a sale. To help tone down any bad feelings, you both should talk about your priorities and the ultimate goal for the sale, which is moving forward with money in each of your accounts for a new start.
Settle on a Price
The most significant decision you will need to make is the asking price for the home. The easiest way to make this decision is to work with a real estate agent. He or she will evaluate the market and your home and recommend a sale price. Once you and your spouse both agree on a price, have the agent list the home.
Also, you both should agree if the asking price needs to change. When a home does not get any offers, think about lowering the price. You will both need to agree on this option and work with your real estate agent on a new asking price.
Accept an Offer
After you start getting offers, you and your spouse will have to seriously talk about which is best to accept. Involve your attorney in these talks so the conversation will not become heated. The ultimate goal is a timely sale with a decent profit, so try to work together on an offer acceptance.
Divide the Sale Profit
Once the sale is complete, the profit from the sale is divided between the two of you based on how your state deals with the division of property. Even if your name is not on the deed, you are entitled to request a portion of the profit from the sale.
When the home is a shared asset and you are not in a community property state, the way the profit division will vary. If one of you paid more money for the home or its upkeep while you are married, you can request these to be factors considered by the court for the division of the profits. Your attorney will help you negotiate what you will receive after the sale.