Navigating a home sale during a separation or divorce

expert guidance and support

In working with separating or divorcing couples, I know that there are many extra factors that need to be considered when it comes to a real estate transaction.  Privacy, honesty, and fairness to both parties are crucial components to the process.  One of the biggest considerations will be setting the listing price.  It is important to have both parties understand the market evaluation and agree to a starting point.  If one party does not agree, it could cost time and money for both.  A thorough understanding of the market and the comparable listings that have sold and that your home will be competing with should get everyone on the same page. 

Working with a REALTOR® who understands the complex nature of separating and divorce in real estate is key.  I have not only represented many separated clients through the sale process, I have been through it myself.  I truly get it.  Working with me, you can trust that I take communication seriously.  Regardless of the personal situation, everyone will need to receive equal communication in order to be able to make decisions based on the same information.

Please review some of the most common questions I get asked below and reach out if there are other questions you may have that I can help with. If privacy is a concern, I can assure you that I am a vault.

what are the options with our house?

Generally there are 2 options.  Either one party agrees to buy the other out of the home and stays there or the house sells so each party can receive their portion of the equity and both move out.  In most cases. this will be up to you both to decide but in some cases a sale is court ordered in which case it must be put up for sale.

What if we don't agree on price?

Being on the same page for the listing price is crucial.  A thorough CMA or comparative market analysis, along with a good understanding of the market should help alleviate any disagreement on price.  All signors do need to agree before the house can be listed.  Additional strategies could include an appraisal or working with more than one agent.

what if we don't agree on a real estate agent?

Most real estate agents who have experience working with separating or divorcing couples would understand that this is not uncommon.  Some clients decide to let whomever is still residing in the home, and therefor having more dealings with showings, decide which REALTOR® to work with.  In order to reduce conflict, we can also have 2 real estate agents working for you, one for each party.  It's important that everyone understands that this is not a 'sides' situation for the agents.  We are all working towards the same goal, sell the house for the most money possible in the least amount of time.

do we need a separation agreement in order to sell the house?

You do not have to have a separation agreement in order to sell your home.  It is important to know that if either party plans to purchase a new home for themselves, then a fully executed and signed separation agreement will be required in order to secure financing.  Lawyers will also need to have direction regarding the sale proceeds if it is not going to be 50/50.

only one of us is on title.  Can they sell without my consent?

If you are legally married, then the spouse who is not on title has "Homestead Rights" which means the marital home can not be sold without that person's consent.  If it is a common law relationship, this may not be the case and you should consult with your lawyer.

What is the first step?

The first step is to have a discussion with me as your REALTOR®. Then a comparative market evaluation will need to be completed to determine the value of the home. If it is decided that the home will be listed for sale, I can help you to know what needs to be done to prepare the home for showings.  You can see my Sellers Guide here.

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