Divorce, the House and Your Money

As a couple goes through the process of a divorce, deciding what to do with the marital home can be tricky. Sometimes one person may wish to keep the house by buying the other spouse out, or they may decide to keep the home and sell it after the divorce is finalized. Other couples, however, choose to sell their home during the divorce.

Why Do Some Choose To Sell?

There are benefits to selling the house in the midst of the divorce process, both financially and personally. The profit gained from the sale of your home might provide each spouse with a solid foundation to start anew. Selling the marital home and eliminating that shared investment can also help to provide closure in a legal and emotional aspect. Choosing to sell before the divorce is finalized can also help provide each party with the means to deal with other financial responsibilities and debts. Also, couples often decide to sell their home because it will no longer be affordable to keep it after they have separated.

As your Realtor, I can help you make an informed decision by providing you with a Market Analysis showing your current market value, along with an estimated Net Sheet. This will give you the financial information and time frame to help you decide when to buy your next home.

Preparing To Sell

Before you sell your home, consider the many choices and responsibilities headed your way. Some homes may require maintenance or updating before they are ready to sell, which takes money, time, and requires some decision-making from you and your soon-to-be-ex. I will give you a report of what will be needed (and Not needed) to sell your home at current market value. I understand money will be an issue at this point and spending money is not your goal.

My services can be shared by you and your spouse since you are both moving towards the same goal and having someone to work on your behalf can make the process easier. Going over these key factors with your spouse before they come up can help avoid arguments in the future and can take a substantial amount of stress from your shoulders.

If I recommend any work to be done (again, my goal is to save you money and will not recommend anything that is not necessary), then a discussion will be necessary to decide if the work should be done before putting it on the market, who will do the work, and who will pay for it.

Will one spouse continue to live in the home? Decide if the residing spouse will pay the entirety of the mortgage and price of upkeep, or what the non-residing spouse will contribute.

Who will be responsible for preparations for sale and showing the house? Discuss who will be present for showings, or if I, as your Realtor, will handle everything in this regard.

Accepting An Offer

One of the biggest decisions in the sale of your home is how much you will ask for it. Based the the Market Analysis I provide you, you will need to settle on a priceboth of you are comfortable with, or, if you cannot agree, remember to trust in the opinion of the Professional–Me.

Once the offers begin coming in, get ready to have some serious discussions with both your spouse and I, as well as your divorce attorney. If there are disagreements about whether to accept or decline certain offers, I will be there to help you sort it out in order to avoid unnecessary contention. Remember, this is what I’m here for.

Fortunately, some divorcing couples may not find selling a house together too difficult because both spouses ultimately want a timely, profitable sale.

Dividing The Profit From A Home Sale

When it comes time to divide the profit made from the sale of your home, be sure to consider how your state handles property division. Texas is a community property state, which means everything purchased or otherwise obtained during the marriage is considered equally owned by each spouse. This means the house you lived in as a married couple belongs to both spouses, regardless of the name on the deed. There are some exceptions, like if the house was appointed to one person in a prenuptial agreement, but, for the most part, the house is a shared asset. As a shared asset, the responsibility during the preparation, sale, and the resulting profit should be split between both parties in an equitable manner.

The way in which expenses and profits associated with the home are split may vary. For example, if one spouse contributed more to the mortgage or financial upkeep of the house during the marriage, he or she may be awarded a larger portion of the sale. Or, if one spouse is keeping other large assets, more of the profit could be awarded to the other spouse. Your attorney should help you negotiate how proceeds from the home sale should be divided.

If you are considering selling your home, ask about our Divorce Recovery Program that will save you money on your next home. Contact us at 469-556-1185 with any questions regarding property division or the divorce process.  

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