5 Home Selling Tips During a Divorce
Next to the possible arrangement for their children, a couple who has decided to live separate lives will definitely have to attend to their properties. Serena Elavia shares in FOX Business the observation of Kelly Hager, a St. Louis-based realtor and president of the Kelly Hager Group, that the house is often the last item dealt with in a divorce, as it's one of the more emotionally charged aspects of a divorce.
According to Hager, an option is that one party, if they can afford to do so, can buy out the other party.
Lawyer Emily Doskow writes in DivorceNet (published by Nolo) that if neither the wife nor husband wants to stay in the family home, or none of them can afford to buy out the other, the property can be placed on the market and they can try to get the possible price for it. Doskow forewarns, though, that before the sales proceeds can be divided among the spouses, the mortgage, equity line or second mortgage, the brokers' fees or any capital gains tax, need to be settled first.
Being one of the most difficult stages in the divorce process, Doskow gives these tips to make it a little easier:
1. On Picking an Agent (Hiring the services of an agent)
Having an expert take over your home's sale will lessen possible arguments and stress. If you were satisfied with a previous agent, check that person's availability. If you can't agree hiring a single person, each of you may pick a friend or a relative and have those people agree on an agent. Or you can have those two agents choose a third one to sell the house, if the first two are willing to do it with no listing in the offering.
2. On Setting the Asking Price
Heed the agent's advice about your property's price tag. Letting the agent set the asking price will help get rid of one possible conflict. But if you think the agent's suggestion is off-base, you might need to hire a different agent or to do a reality check of your own.
3. On Preparing to Show the House
Preparing the house for its staging is another difficult part as it entails some work, such as minor repairs and repainting. You need to agree on where the money for such work will come from. If both of you have left before putting the house on the market, then you can leave the task to your agent. If one of you is still living there, make sure to clean and de-clutter the place.
4. On Reviewing Offers
If you live in a place where the real estate is volatile, you will have to work together when it comes to reviewing the offers of your potential buyers. While your agent can give an advice, the final decision will have to jointly come from you and your spouse.
5. On Dividing the Cash
Generally, the escrow company can distribute the money after all the obligations have been paid. Hager says that the amount owed is generally a split of 50-50 per divorce decree, but this can vary depending on the state you live in. On the other hand, Doskow explains that if a spouse has been making post-separation mortgage payments, then the distribution should be adjusted to account for that paying spouse's contribution.