Selling your house during a divorce

Going through a divorce can bring on a whole range of emotions and stresses and having to deal with selling a home is not necessarily something you want to do but as it is often the most valuable asset in a relationship it is important to do it wisely and calmly.

All joint assets will need to be identified. The home and any other properties will be included in the pool of assets regardless of whose name the property is in. There is a general assumption that the starting point for splitting this asset is 50:50 but there are of course other factors that can be taken into consideration when reaching a final agreement as to settlement. For example, if there are children involved, a parent will often want to maintain continuity and will want to stay put in the family home. If this is the case, the other parent may receive other assets to even up the final asset distribution or may agree to a final distribution of the balance until the home is sold at a later point in time.

3 basic steps to consider:

1.Price and Terms – try to agree

It is probably wise to get a few quotes from several different agents to gauge the true market value of your home. Sometimes it is difficult to agree to a price so it could be in your best interests to hand over this decision to the agent you chose. This could eliminate potential conflict. Once you have agreed to a price and how you would like to proceed then joint instructions will need to be given to your Agent of choice. Instructions should relate to listing price, how responses to any offers should be handled etc…

2.Find an Agent

Settle on an Agent who you like and trust. That may sound like a given but it is important that you have a professional who you can trust and believe will negotiate on your behalf throughout the entire selling process. If you can, find an Agent who has dealt with sales during a divorce. Neutrality with both sides is invaluable.

3.Prepare the house for sale

Try to agree to any repairs or works that may needed to be done on the house. Agreeing on improvements can only lead to a better sale price. A good idea if you can afford it, is to hire a stager. Presenting the house can be stressful so if you can hand it over to professionals and minimize the stress.

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