Should You Sell Your House Before or After Divorce? Ask the Experts

by | Dec 19, 2019

You and your spouse briefly discussed selling the house during your separation. But it was hard to make any headway when you were both just trying to wrap your heads around where the relationship might be going—or when it might be stopping. Now that your talks have moved toward the topic of divorce, selling the house looks inevitable. The thought of either of you staying in the home is simply too painful. It’s certainly too costly without the help of two incomes.

Unfortunately, now you’re burdened with decisions regarding all of the assets, not just the home. It’s a lot to process during an already hard time. If you have dependents to care for, such as young children or an ill parent, making choices that benefit everyone is going to be tougher. Unless you are vigilant, these decisions could take longer, too.

At this emotional time, it’s important to focus as much as possible on the facts and how they may affect you.

To ease some of the pain during this difficult time, we can help you decide whether you should sell the house before or after the divorce. Of course, a little advice won’t solve everything. But, we hope it will remove (or lessen) at least one of your burdens.

Selling a House Before or After Divorce

Keep in mind that you and your spouse aren’t the first to face this struggle. That means there is a lot of advice available about how, and when, to sell the house. That may sound disheartening, but there is a good reason you should take heart. When others have been through something similar, making an informed choice does become easier.

Since you’ll likely hear or read a lot of charged stories about selling a house before and after a divorce, however, it’s important to focus as much as possible on the facts and how they may affect you. To start, consider that both scenarios present similar challenges. For example:

  • If you’re selling a house that needs repairs, you and your spouse will need to discuss whether or not to perform the work. Renovations can be expensive, take a lot of time, and add to your stress. But, a rehabbed house may also yield you both a higher return.
  • You’ll also have to decide if you’re going to hire a REALTOR® to help sell your property. You could benefit from a real estate agent’s expertise since their business is selling homes. But you will get charged a fee—as much as six percent of the final selling price.
  • Once you start getting offers, you’ll face negotiations—not just with potential buyers, but with your spouse as well. Agreeing on a price and sale terms isn’t going to be easy—especially if you’re upside down on your mortgage or have other bills you hope the sale will cover. And if you’ve waited to sell the house until after the divorce, at least two of those bills will be from your respective attorneys—and that will take a big bite out of your profit.

In fact, this last point is one of the biggest to consider if you’re leaning toward selling the home after the divorce. Yes, it may help to have lawyers working to equitably split all of the assets, particularly if there is contention between you and your spouse. But the end result is almost always less satisfying than before divorce attorneys got involved; one party tends to walk away with more than the other feels is deserved.

Selling a house before divorce is almost always going to be the better option.

You also risk losing the house altogether if you wait to sell once the divorce is final, depending on what the attorneys—and the judge—agree is fair. You will almost certainly take a hit on the profit since attorney fees are expensive, especially when the divorce drags on because the equitable division of assets by someone else takes time.

That’s why selling a house before a divorce is almost always going to be the better option. There are several other good reasons to consider this choice, too. For example:

  • Disagreement over who gets the house is immediately resolved if you can both agree to sell it and equally split the proceeds on your own. Fewer fights tend to equal less stress, which is especially important when there are also dependents in the house.
  • With fewer parties offering their opinions—and legal advice—about what to do with the house, you’ll improve your chances of continuing with an amicable divorce. You and your spouse will also benefit from more privacy and, as a result, potentially less pain and public embarrassment.
  • You’ll each pocket more from the sale and that can free you to easily handle other financial obligations—like finding a new place so you can each get a fresh start.

Of course, whether you decide to sell the house before or after your divorce, you’ll still have to contend with a host of other issues. Determining whether to renovate or if you should try selling your house without a REALTOR® are just some of the questions you’ll still have to answer. Then, there is the hassle of finding the right buyer. And, your ideal buyer is someone who can close fast so you and your family can move on with your lives.

Separate Yourself from Hassle and Sell Your House Direct

Our view here at Sell Your House Direct is that there is no situation that is without hope. Whether you’re behind on your mortgage payments, relocating for a job, or getting a divorce, our goal is to help you move on fast with the least amount of stress. We do that by buying your house directly from you—as-is and for all cash—so that you feel at least a small sense of relief. To make it even easier, we can also close in seven days or less if you need us to.

Your ideal buyer is someone who can close fast so you and your family can move on with your lives.

If you’re still on the fence about whether you should sell your house before or after the divorce, don’t worry. We can walk you through individual selling scenarios to help you make the best choice. We’ll even provide a personalized document that outlines the ways you and your spouse can reap the most profit. We charge zero fees for our service, too—even if you don’t sell to us.

Plus, as trusted real estate advisors who also buy homes, know that we’ve seen and heard it all here at SYHD. That means, no matter how desperate you worry your situation might get, you can always count on us to treat you and your family with the utmost respect. Just by calling us to discuss your no-obligation options, you’ll be on your way toward a hassle-free selling experience.

Get an offer today from a real estate advisor who can free you from the stress of how, and when, to quickly sell your house.

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