Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Selling The Family Home During A Divorce....

Many couples, facing a divorce decide to sell the family home and divide any profits after the sale. That is the way it used to work, back when the real estate market was thriving and couples were able to pull large amounts of equity from the sale of their homes.

Not so anymore. The real estate market is in trouble and many divorcing couples are at a loss about what to do about the family home. With the market flooded with homes for sale, foreclosures on the rise and homes on the market for many months before selling, what is a couple to do?

There are still some options left. One spouse can buy out the other and retain the property. If this is the option you choose, make sure to have the home appraised by a certified appraiser, not just a Realtor giving you his or her opinion abut how much the home is worth. Another option is to hold off selling the home ,if possible and stipulate in the divorce agreement that the home will be sold at a later date when the real estate market recovers. Some issues that must be worked out with this option are: Will the spouse occupying the home pay the mortgage,taxes and other household expenses? This is important because the spouse who does not contribute to the financial upkeep of home should get less profit when the home is eventually sold. These kind of issues need to be clearly outlined in the divorce agreement so that there are no problems down the road.

If selling the home right now is something that you must do in order to settle your divorce, use the following tactics to sell your house faster.

1. Hire the best realtor in town. Ask around and see who has the highest home sales in your area. You do not want to waste time trying to do a "for sale by owner" in this situation. You need someone to aggressively market and sell the house fast.

2. Be realistic about the asking price. Price the house to sell and you will be more successful selling in today's market.

3. Ask your spouse to help foot the bill for any minor improvements you must make to get the home ready to show to potential buyers. Things like painting, new carpeting, landscaping and fixing any obvious eye sores on the property can help sell your house much faster than other homes in your neighborhood. Home repairs can be costly, so set a budget with your soon to be ex and try to come up with a realistic amount the two of you can spend. If you are involved in a bitter divorce, you may have to have your lawyer ask your spouse's lawyer to include this in your divorce settlement.

Whether you choose to hold on to the family home for a few years until the market turns around or sell your home now, it is important to research all of your options carefully and make a step by step plan to protect one of your most important assets-your home.


susangpyp said...

Hi Christina: I watched your segment on Mike and Juliet and I was very impressed with you. You were very honest and they seemed to ask you tough questions and you did a great job.

Same for your daughter. My adult sons do not speak to their father for similar reasons and have stood by it over the past 10 years. It's sad but parents need to know they do not have a million chances with their children.

I applaud your efforts to move on from this and for helping others. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Where were you 16 yrs ago? I now see that I didn't even know the person I spent the last 16 yrs. married too. It never ceases to amaze me how my soon to be ex after an affair, emptying my home of everything in it while I was at work and stealing our savings can sit at the right hand of God and attempt to justify her actions. I guess I just don't get it. After everything that was done to my daughter 14yrs old and myself I still could not treat my ex unfairly when it came to the holidays. I made sure that she had ample time with our daughter over the xmas holiday even though my daughter did not want to see her. I guess that their is something wrong with me that I am incapable of treating her as cold and uncaring as she is to me. I wish every one the very best holiday season.