Divorce can be a messy, tricky and trying ordeal for anyone. So much of how it plays out depends on your personal situation. It’s hard enough to disentangle two lives, especially if there are children involved. But throw in a house on what to do with it on top of all that and you’ve got a recipe for potential disaster. Selling a house during a divorce might seem hasty to some but it can often be a way to jumpstart the new beginning for both sides. It might also be a requirement of the settlement. Whatever the reason, there are ways you can sell your house fast during a divorce. Here are some tips to sell quick.
Selling Your House During a Divorce
Before you list your house on the open market, you need to make sure both sides of the divorce have reviewed all of the financial issues and legal entanglements surrounding the house. Those will need to be sorted out before you move forward on anything. You don’t want to start attracting buyers and then find out one side doesn’t have the full story.
If you bought the house with a joint mortgage, both sides are going to be liable for making sure that it’s paid off. That means one person cannot be making decisions without consulting the other person (or at the very least, you shouldn’t). You also want to be clear on both sides about the overall value of the house, any upgrades that were made and paid for, tax concerns for both parties, personal effects, or anything else that might belong to or be preferred by one person.
This is why it’s critical to consult a lawyer who is an expert in these kinds of specialists as well as a tax specialist who can walk you both through all of the potential pitfalls and issues that could arise with selling your house. You might not be up to speed on the latest tax code and you don’t want to sell your house in a manner that ends up hurting one or both of you when you go to pay your taxes.
Sweat the Small Stuff
When selling a house, there are so many small things you need to consider that can be hard to see or understand from the outside. However, it’s important to have these discussions now instead of when it’s too late, especially if the divorce proceedings are progressing.
You need to be asking tough questions. Who is going to maintain the house until it’s sold? Who is paying the mortgage? Who is in charge of HOA dues? Who is making sure the electricity stays on?
You even have to ask about who is going to own the furniture and other items found inside. Make sure you’ve done an inventory so both sides are in agreement as to who is responsible for what. Don’t be afraid to bring your attorneys into the discussion if it’s too hard to have between the two of you.
You also need to have a discussion about what has to happen to the house before it’s listed on the open market if that’s the route you’re going. Does it need any repairs before it’s listed? Is someone going to live there while it’s on the market? Who is responsible for upkeep? Who is the contact person for your real estate agent? Will one of you or both of you be involved in negotiations? These may not be easy questions to ask but unfortunately, you need to have them to avoid further headaches down the road.
Know Your Value
If you’re going to try to sell a house fast during a divorce, you need to be really clear about what it’s value actually is on the market. You can do this in a number of ways. You can ask your real estate agent to give you an estimate based on market value. You can get an appraisal from a property appraiser (you’ll have to pay for this). Or you can make a good-faith guess based on how much homes in your neighborhood are selling for. Remember to consider the condition of the house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the overall square footage, and how much the specific locations come into effect (proximity to schools, etc.).
Lean on a Lien
If one spouse seems more interested than the other in being the person responsible and the other spouse simply wants to remove themselves from the process, there is something you can do to make everything legally responsible. It’s called a divorce lien. Basically, one person keeps control of the decisions related to the house while the other person gets a deed of trust that ensures they’ll be given an agreed-upon share of the post-sale profit. It should be noted that the person carrying the lien gives up their say in the way the house is sold. If both parties are agreeable, this can help speed up the process greatly since you don’t have to go back-and-forth all the time.
Have an Offer Strategy
If you decide to list your house on the open market, you’ll have to agree on how to deal with offers, negotiations, and agreements. You can either talk about the price you’re willing to accept or trust in your real estate to make the right decision When offers start to come in, you’ll either want to have a very clear strategy or system in place so that the two sides or their legal representatives can communicate clearly.
Sell the House As-Is
Having a lot of conversations about finances and home-selling during a divorce is easier said than done. That’s especially true if your divorce turns acrimonious or ugly and you’re no longer on speaking terms. There may not be room for too many discussions and there may be a desire to sell your house quickly so you can both move on. In that case, consider selling the house as-is to a cash buyer like Jamie Buys Houses.
They’ll buy your house in any condition or financial situation. Simply let them know you’re interested in selling quickly. They’ll assess the property and make you a fair cash offer. If you accept, you decide how quickly you want to sell, even if that means in a matter of days. You get to walk away with cash in your pockets and you can have at least one part of this process done without any of the hassles. It’s a great way to sell a house quickly during a divorce so you can focus on more important things.