You and your spouse have agreed to sell your home as you divorce and to divide the proceeds. That’s a common choice for divorcing couples since often neither has the funds to afford the home on their own and may prefer to downsize, especially if they don’t have children.
Selling a home can be a stressful endeavor that can drive even blissfully married couples to fight. Selling your home with your estranged spouse can be particularly grueling. Let’s discuss a couple of things you can do to help you get a good price as quickly as possible.
Select a real estate agent who has worked with divorcing clients
You want someone who knows the issues to watch out for and understands when they need to communicate with both parties. There are even real estate divorce specialists who go through special training.
An agent experienced with divorcing or divorced couples will ask to see the portions of the divorce decree or other court document that stipulates terms like which spouse can make decisions for the couple, whom is responsible for maintenance and repairs and which decisions need both spouses’ approval.
One spouse should remain in the home until it’s sold
This can help the house have a lived-in look. A completely vacant home tells potential buyers the owners have left and are probably anxious to sell for whatever price they can get. That’s also why real estate agents don’t share a couple’s marital issues with prospective buyers who know a divorcing couple selling a home is anxious to unload it and move on with their lives.
It’s also important to keep the home in good repair and well-maintained. If you’re the one still living in the home, but your spouse is the one who handled these things, it should be agreed upon who will be responsible for mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool and doing general repairs to keep the property looking its best. It may be best to hire professionals rather than have your ex coming in and out.
Your family law attorney can likely recommend a real estate agent on whom you and your spouse can both agree. They can also help you negotiate agreements around how decisions will be made in the sales process. Moreover, they can work to ensure that you get your fair share of the proceeds of the sale.