Getting a divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining process. Add to it the prospect of selling your home, and now you’ve got a challenging situation even under the best of circumstances. If you and your former spouse have agreed to sell your home during a divorce, follow these tips to make the process as seamless as possible.
Choose a neutral agent
During a divorce, it’s advisable to work with a professional real estate agent who has experience dealing with home sales as a result of divorce. Selling a house is stressful, so having an agent can help relieve some of the burden. It’s important that you choose an agent who is neutral. A good place to start is with the agent who helped you buy your home. If not, work towards finding an agent you both can agree on.
Agree on the listing price
One of the benefits of working with a qualified agent is that he or she can give valuable advice on the listing price. By putting this decision in your agent’s hands, you can help eliminate one potential source of conflict.
Determine how the home will be prepared
Preparing a home for showing is a crucial step in the selling process. If both parties have moved out the house, let your agent hire a professional stager to stage the house for showings. If not, the person living in the home needs to clean, de-clutter and move items into storage. If possible, come to an agreement on how that process will be handled and how one person should be compensated if they are doing most or all of the work.
Decide who will work with the agent and potential buyers
It’s important during a sale that both parties present a united front. Potential buyers can be put off if they somehow find themselves in the middle of a conflict between the owners of the house. Decide which person will have contact with the real estate agent and potential buyers. Make sure the other person stays in the loop, but keep the communication with agents and buyers simple.
Agree on how to handle costs and offers
During the sales process, it is not unusual to discover that repairs need to be made before the sale can be finalized. Decide in advance how those costs will be handled. In addition, have a plan on how you will respond to offers you receive on the house. Understand that you will need to make this decision together, and take into account the advice given to you by your agent.
Decide how to divide the proceeds
Once the sale is complete, decide how any proceeds will be divided. First, of course, pay off the obligations on the house. You may then decide to use the remaining money to pay of mutual debts from your marriage. If there is any money left after that, take into account any payments that one person may have been making towards the principle since your separation.
While selling during a divorce can be extremely trying, you can make it through to the other side. By working with a qualified agent and following the guidelines above, you’ll soon be able to close this chapter of your life.
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