Many divorcing couples decide to sell their home – particularly if they don’t have children or the kids are grown. That’s typically the best option financially. It also helps both people get away from the memories of an unhappy marriage and start fresh in new surroundings.
The process of working with your soon-to-be-ex to sell your home, however, can be complicated. You have to make crucial decisions involving a substantial amount of money with someone you make no longer trust or even like. Every aspect of a home sale can become a battle for divorcing spouses if they don’t focus on the goal – to sell the home for the best possible price as expediently as possible.
How a real estate divorce specialist can help
Couples can often benefit from retaining a real estate divorce specialist. These real estate agents have training in how to handle the legal, financial issues and emotional issues that come with selling a home when you’re in the process of dividing your assets and separating your lives. They’re often adept at being the go-between for spouses who are barely speaking to one another.
Even if you don’t choose one of these specialists, it’s wise to find an agent who has experience working with divorcing couples and whom you both trust to be honest and impartial. Real estate pros who have dealt with divorce-related home sales can help keep you from common mistakes that make the process last longer, drive away potential buyers and keep you from getting an optimal price.
Two examples of easily avoidable mistakes
Both spouses moving out of the home: One spouse (and only one) should stay until it sells so it doesn’t look empty. Potential buyers (and certainly agents) can sense when sellers have moved out and are anxious to sell. Don’t leave any signs of your divorce around, either.
Neglecting maintenance and repairs: If you thought getting your spouse to fix things when you were together was hard, wait until they don’t live there. It’s wise to agree on what issues can be fixed (and who will do it) and which require hiring professionals.
Once you get your house sold and the proceeds divided, you’ll have a clearer post-divorce financial picture and can more effectively address your other property division issues.