Selling Your Family Home After a Divorce
Even when all the reasons are the right reasons, the effect a divorce can have on a family is almost always a painful one. It takes time to earn another person’s trust and to trust them in return.
It also takes a lot of energy—as well as a little vulnerability—to build the relationship, grow a family, and plan for a long life together.
Truth be told, it takes an investment of money, too. So, when things start to fall apart, the price everyone in the family pays is high.
Since divorces cost so much money, energy, time, and the certainty that everything will be alright, the best you can do is to ensure some aspects of the process don’t add to the pain. One area in which this is possible is where property is concerned.
Of course, divvying up the family assets is a sensitive subject, especially when it comes to letting go of the house you all love.
But, selling the family home after a divorce is one of the best ways to help everyone move on, literally and emotionally.
There’s a way you can do it, too, that won’t make this painful time any harder.
Painlessly Selling the Family Home After a Divorce
Selling the family home after a divorce is not always an easy choice to make. Sometimes, the decision is fraught with disappointment, frustration, and even anger. It’s not just that there may be more good memories than bad that were made there—memories that you or your former partner want to hold on to.
It can be that neither of you can afford the house without the other or that, because of other debts and financial obligations (including the cost of the divorce itself), one of you buying the other out isn’t an option.
When it comes right down to it, it doesn’t feel good to base a major life decision on whether or not you and your family have got enough money.
The upside to selling, of course, is having the funds to build a new life with. It does help to bring closure to some of the more painful parts of your past, too.
And, it’s in keeping benefits like these in mind that you’ll be able to overcome any problems that may arise during the selling process.
For things to run even smoother, it’s good to anticipate the issues that are likely to show up and have a plan in place to mitigate them. The plan should benefit you and your former spouse, too. To help, here are a few examples of the kinds of problems you may have to tackle followed by a solution that directly addresses each:
Determining Whether or Not to Perform Repairs
If, on top of everything else, you’re also looking at selling a house that needs repairs, you’ll want to decide first if performing a rehab is worth the money and time. It may well be that it is, especially if the renovation raises the value of your house enough to cover the repair costs and boost your profit margin when the home sells.
Obviously, if the net proceeds from the sale will make little-to-no difference in what you and your ex can actually put in your pocket, no amount of repair work is going to be worth it.
Since the average rehab can take anywhere from three to nine months, the timeline alone can be enough to turn you both off—particularly if one point you agree on is that you want to quickly move on.
Additionally, agreeing on what to repair, how and when to do it, and with whom has the potential to add fuel to the fire if the divorce is a contentious one. So, unless you’re both on the same page (or can easily get there) about painting the house before selling, fixing the roof, and replacing the pipes, it might be in both of your best interests to simply sell the home as-is.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Whether or not you perform repairs or sell the house as-is, an experienced real estate agent can help move that decision forward. Picking an agent to work with, however, may be just as difficult as choosing which repairs, if any, are worth doing.
Ideally, you should select a neutral third-party and not a friend, colleague, or member of the family.
Under the best of circumstances, hiring someone with whom one of you is close has the potential to confuse communication, ignite hurt feelings, and create unnecessary drama. After a divorce, you can almost count on it.
The other issue you and your former partner will have to consider is the costs you’ll incur by using a real estate agent. Commission fees, alone, can be as much as six percent of the selling price—and several thousands of dollars out of both of your pockets.
Since listing agents offer half of their fee to the agent who brings the buyer, negotiating this percentage down is not easy. You may not want to use an agent who’s willing to give a discount, anyway, since they could find other ways to charge you fees for miscellaneous tasks like administrative work and advertising.
Selling your property without a real estate agent, however, can be just as costly if not more so. After all, you and your ex will have to handle all of an agent’s typical tasks. That includes marketing, answering calls and emails, and taking time off from work to show the house. It also includes compensating the buyer’s agent. You’ll have to work closely with one another, too, which may not be a good idea when the purpose of selling includes getting some distance.
Accepting an Offer
Accepting an offer with the price and terms you both agree on is another sticking point you may have to contend with. Even when you and your former spouse were in agreement on the list price and an offer comes in that is near that number, tensions tend to flare up when money is on the line.
The reality is that pricing the home competitively so that it sells fast and profitably covers the expense of getting it on the market in the first place is a skill few people have.
So, you can end up waiting for months for decent offers to come through and still disagree with your ex over which one to take.
The easiest way to get around this problem is to seek a fair cash offer on your house from an experienced buyer who’s willing to close fast.
Often, all-cash buyers are skilled investors. So, they can quickly assess what your home is worth and relieve you of the worry of pricing it right.
Many can close fast, too—sometimes, in two weeks or less—which quickly gets the home out of both of your hands, further reducing the stress of making any more decisions.
It may still be emotionally tough to accept an offer since it gets you and your ex closer to making the sale—and the divorce—final. But, if your all-cash buyer cares about what you’re going through as much as they care about acquiring the house, you’ll be in patient hands from beginning to end.
A Buyer You Can Trust to Help Your Family Easily Move On
Family owned and operated Sell Your House Direct works to solve the most complex problems as simply as possible—even for couples selling the family home after a divorce.
Not only can we pay all cash for your house, but we can also close the sale in about seven days or less.
If you need more time, we can give you that as well—whatever makes this process the least stressful for you.
We don’t require that you work with a real estate agent and won’t hire one that you’ll have to pay for, either. You certainly won’t have to perform any repairs since we’re more-than-happy to take your home as-is. We’ll spell out all the reasons why you should, or maybe shouldn’t, take our offer, too.
Our goal is to earn your trust by keeping the process of selling your home as easy as it is transparent—especially when times are hard and the future is unknown. We care about your experience with us. We care more that you feel free to finally move on.