Home Selling Options When Going Through a Divorce
Going through a divorce is a difficult experience. There is so much emotional baggage to unpack. Then, there is actual baggage one or both of the spouses will need to pack when moving out. This raises a very important question. What will you do with your house as part of the divorce settlement?
In some cases, one spouse may retain the house—and the mortgage, if applicable—as part of the legal agreement. This is a common solution and usually a best-case scenario for the spouse who gets to stay in the home (provided he or she can still afford to live there with a single income—even if there are alimony or child support payments involved).
In many cases, it makes the most sense to sell the property. Then, the financial returns from the sale can be split up per the specific terms of the divorce settlement. Your home selling options may depend on a number of factors. Let’s take a look at a few possible solutions.
Traditional Home Sale
If time and money aren’t limited, you will probably want to conduct a traditional home sale. Get the property fixed up and ready for the open market, hire a reputable real estate agent, market the home and wait for the best offer from a qualified buyer. This approach will likely net you the highest possible selling price. How you cover any upfront expenses and later divide the proceeds when the transaction is complete will be up to you, your ex-spouse and your lawyers.
Cash Home Sale
If time is more of a concern—which it often is in fast-moving divorce cases—and you don’t want to spend any extra money to prep and sell your house, then a cash sale may be a better solution. There are many real estate investors out there looking for homes like yours. PropertyLark has built a large network of investors and we can get you a fair cash offer within 24 hours of first contact.
The biggest advantages of a cash home sale are the quickness and convenience. Cash home sales can be completed much faster than traditional sales (weeks rather than months) and the the transactions are very uncomplicated. There is no buyer funding to worry about. There are no contingencies or complexities. The buyer is paying cash for your house in as-is condition. The entire process is actually quite simple. It’s true you won’t get as high of a sales price. However, you are also selling much quicker and you aren’t paying anything out-of-pocket for repairs, real estate commissions, closing costs and ongoing homeownership expenses (utilities, property taxes, insurance, mortgage payments, HOA dues, etc.). Whether you have built a lot of equity in the home or you are breaking even, a cash deal may make the most sense during a divorce.
Of course, you may hold onto the house as an investment property. Rent it out and split the profits as you see fit. This will require an iron-clad business agreement between the spouses and can get messy when it comes to property management expenses and duties.
If you own the house outright or are in a position where you have a lot of equity in the property, you may also be able to work out some creative seller financing options with new buyers or a real estate investor. There may be a more lucrative alternative solution beyond just selling the house right away.
If you are going through a divorce, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make and many details to work out. Most likely, your house is the biggest financial asset to consider, so it is important to explore all your options before nailing down the final terms of your divorce settlement.
PropertyLark can help. We can connect you with a cash buyer, show you some different seller financing solutions or help you sell your house on the open market through a reputable real estate agent. To get started, please fill out the contact form on any page of our website. We’ll contact you right away and work with you to find the best solution.