The stress of divorce is hard enough, and having to sell the house during the process only adds to the difficulty of it all. However, there are some things that you and your spouse can do that can make the selling process go as smooth as possible.
Of course, each case depends upon how cordial or embittered the spouses are. Kelly Hager, a St. Louis-based realtor told Fox Business that the house is often the last thing dealt with in a divorce due to the fact that it's one of the most emotionally charged aspects of divorce.
Timing the Sale Right
First, you'll want to find a completely neutral realtor. Second, you'll want to make sure that you time the sale right – that's critical. Historically, March and April are the best months to put a house on the market since many relocations occur in May, according to Hager.
If buyers are looking to move in May, they'll swoop in to look for a house in March.
While putting a house on the market during the winter has its downsides in colder climates, we don't have the same weather issues in Los Angeles – where it's sunny all-year-round.
In LA, there's more hope of selling houses between Christmas and New Year's. Those looking during the winter aren't usually in a mad rush to close a deal, but sellers can still have luck during the winter. Aside from selling the house, divorcing couples should weigh all of their options, such as:
- One spouse buying out the other spouse
- Not sell the house (best option during a weak economy)
In most cases, the spouses want to liquidate their assets, so they opt to sell the house.
Usually, the mortgage isn't paid off, so the amount owed is split 50-50 according to the divorce decree. Deciding who gets the proceeds from the sale generally follows the same process – a 50-50 split, but there are variables that can change the dollar amounts.
While going through a divorce can be a draining process, both spouses have to be involved in the selling process.
If one spouse doesn't want to be involved, they can sign off on not taking part in the transaction. Often, when one spouse is the only income earner, that person often wants to be the sole decision maker.
According to Hager, up to 35% of her business comes from divorcing couples who are looking to sell.