Selling a House Before, After, or During a Divorce
Your home could be a valuable asset or a daunting liability depending on how long you’ve owned it. Either way, deciding what to do with it is a huge step in the divorce process. It can often complicated and emotional. For these reasons, couples often go about it the wrong way- making poor decisions that will affect them negatively for years to come. This guide will explain how to approach this aspect of divorce, which professionals you want in your corner, and what options you have in this often difficult situation. Proceed With Caution
Be sure to approach this situation slowly and carefully. Although you may be in a rush to part with your spouse, debt, like that from a mortgage loan that you and your spouse are jointly liable for, will follow you no matter where you go. So, be sure to protect your credit. The steps are not complicated but they will take some time. Check out this great guide on how to protect your credit during divorce here.
Second, act fast. Divorces are known to get messier and messier as time goes on. At the beginning of the divorce process, you might think this doesn’t apply to you, but most professionals recommend deciding what to do with the house first and before the divorce goes through. This is true for all of your shared assets- reach out and get the help of legal and financial professionals, and use their assistance to divide your shared assets first. It will make life much easier later on.
Third, get everything in writing. You may think you and your spouse are on fairly good terms and can rely on verbal agreements you have with each other, but often times as the divorce process progresses the relationship can become strained or even contentious. To avoid the messy situation of a “he said”/”she said” scenario, it is always prudent to put everything in writing with the help of a legal professional. For example, did you know that if homeownership is transferred to one of you before the divorce, as advised above, the other is still partially entitled to the home during the divorce proceedings? Be sure to get it in writing who will get what during the divorce proceedings.
Hire the Right Professionals
The number one professional you want involved is an experienced divorce attorney. This is true for all aspects of the divorce but especially for the division of large assets such as the house. An attorney will make sure that all agreements are clearly agreed upon and binding before the court. Don’t fall into the do-it-yourself attitude on this one.
The second person is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). This person will work closely with your attorney to make sure that both partners are fully aware of the financial implications of the divorce and agreements made throughout the process. Often, one spouse has handled the finances during the marriage while the other may need a little education on the topic. A CDFA can and will help with this.
Know Your Options
There are many ways to approach this but the three most common are selling, refinancing, and co-owning. The simplest option is to sell your home, so that both parties can be done with it and move on with their lives. Selling the house quickly and selling it early on in the process allows the assets to be divided up much more easily than attempting to refinance or co-own. To sell the house, there are 2 main options: you can put your house on the market or go to a home buying company like 4 Brothers Buy Houses. Putting your house on the market will require you to clean out the house, do minor updates such as painting, deep cleaning or replacing carpet, changing light fixtures, etc. You’ll also have to select a Realtor and be sure the Realtor you select has a proper understanding of the market and the price they give you when pitching you to list their house is a realistic price. Then you will have to wait while potential buyers evaluate the property in hopes the right buyer comes along. Finally, when you have an offer ratified to sell your house, there is always the possibility that the buyers financing will fall through and the process will start again.
The other option is go with a home buying company like 4 Brothers Buy Houses. This option is good if you want to be done with house quickly. Home buying companies like 4 Brothers Buy Houses are known for buying divorce houses fast- they can usually make a cash offer on your house without even seeing it, regardless of condition, and can pay you directly within ten days. We recommend this option in situations where the divorce house needs work. If you owe the bank more than your house is worth, don’t assume you can’t sell the house. The bank may consider a short sale, which you can learn more about here.
The second path is refinancing. This basically means you are taking out another mortgage except this time, it isn’t a joint operation. Only one of you will assume the new mortgage. This is a great option if one isn’t willing to leave or give up the house. This can be the case if you have kids you don’t want to displace, or a community you don’t want to leave. In these types of situation, the partner who leaves will often do a cash buyout for the partner who is staying and assuming the mortgage. You should discuss the details of a buyout with your attorney and CDFA.
The third most common path is continuing to co-own the house. This can be the case if one partner can’t afford a buyout and wants to perform the buyout over time, or if you just want to continue to own the house together indefinitely. Another reason to co-own is to wait for the market to improve before selling. Regardless of your reason, a co-ownership can be a good path. The details of co-ownership should be discussed with your attorney and CDFA since you will legally own the house as business partners rather than a married couple.
Remember, handle this early in the divorce and get everything in writing. How you handle this will affect you for a long time. If you do decide you’d like to sell your house during a divorce fast, for cash, as-is, and pay no realtor fees or closing costs, please contact us for a no obligation offer to buy your house in 10 minutes.