Going through a divorce is one of the most emotionally difficult ordeals a person can go through. Deciding what to do with your home only adds additional stress to an already complicated situation. Each couple’s circumstances are different; whatever worked for others may not work for you. Therefore, you and your spouse should entertain all of your options when determining what to do with what is most likely your largest asset. Below are a few of your options:
Keep the House
This solution is pretty straightforward; one spouse can simply buy out the other to retain possession of the home. If it’s not financially feasible for one party to buy out the other, both parties can work together to come up with a solution that allows one of the parties to stay in the home.
Seek Professional Help
If you and your spouse decide to sell and you have time to put your house on the market, then working with a reputable agent is your best option. A good agent will help you determine a fair selling price and will handle all of the nuances that go along with marketing and selling your home; allowing you and your spouse to focus on more important matters.
If you decide to go this route, here are a few tips to help make the whole process as painless as possible:
- Agree on the listing price. Your agent will help you come up with a realistic price; however, both you and your spouse will have the final say.
- If repairs are required, agree on how these costs will be handled.
- Determine in advance who will be responsible for keeping the house ready for showings.
- Prior to listing, decide which spouse will respond to offers and be the first point of contact for your agent.
- Hiring a neutral agent can serve as a buffer when you and your soon to be ex inevitably disagree on something.
Sell to One of the ‘I Buy Houses’ Guys
Let’s suppose that neither you nor your spouse has enough money to buy out the other. Or maybe both parties are looking for a fresh start and simply don’t want to stay in the house they once shared. Now suppose your home is in need of some major repairs and/or updating. If this is the case, you basically have two options, outside of just putting your house up for sale and hoping for the best:
- Work with your spouse to complete all necessary repairs/updates then sell your home via traditional methods (see prior section); or
- Sell your home in as-is condition to a reputable real estate investor.
In the first scenario, you may have to wait 6-9 months, potentially even longer, to complete all of the repairs, find an agent, list your home, and then actually sell it. The upside to this option is you’ll be able to sell for top-dollar. The downside is it could take a lot of time and money to execute.
In the second scenario, you could be free and clear of your house within weeks! Most investors buy with cash, can close within weeks, will purchase your home in as-is condition, and will pay all transaction costs. The benefit of a quick sale is you’re able to move on and focus on some of the more important things that are currently going on in your life. The downside is you’ll be selling at a discount.
While deciding what to do with your house in the midst of a divorce can be a frustrating ordeal, it doesn’t have to be as complicated or painful as some would have you believe. By keeping your emotions in-check and considering all of your options, you can make this part of the divorce relatively stress-free.