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Should I Sell the House During My Divorce?

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 26-Oct-2015

It doesn't matter how friendly a divorce is, it's still emotionally difficult. Factor in the house during that process, and it only adds to the stress of a failed marriage.

Should you sell the house? That depends, and there is no "one size fits all" answer to that question. If you're seriously considering selling – as most couples do – there are things that can be done to ensure that the selling process goes as smooth as possible.

Of course, it all depends on how respectful or embittered you and your spouse are.

Just ask any seasoned realtor or divorce attorney and they'll admit that the house is frequently the last thing dealt with in a divorce. One reason being it's an emotionally charged subject.

You want to find a completely neutral realtor to represent you both. Aside from finding the right realtor, the most important aspect of selling the house is timing.

When is the best time to sell a house? Historically, March and April are the best months to put a house on the market since lots of people relocate in May. If someone's looking to buy in May, they'll start looking in March.

As Pennsylvania realtors can attest, putting a house on the market in the dead of winter has its drawbacks. Most buyers don't want to walk through the snow and cold to view homes.

However, lots of houses do sell during Christmas and New Year's. Often, those looking in the winter aren't in a hurry, and they're willing to take their time, so sellers can have luck in the winter.

What are my other options?

In addition to selling the house, divorcing couples have other alternatives, such as:

  • One spouse can buy out the other party.
  • Keep the house, especially when there's no equity.

While couples have options, most of them want to liquidate their assets, so they decide to sell the house anyway. Usually, the mortgage isn't fully paid off. In that case, the amount owed is typically split 50-50, but that can vary depending upon the state.

Deciding who gets the proceeds from the sale follows a similar scheme: a 50-50 split, but sometimes certain variables can alter the final payout amounts.

While the divorce process can be draining, both parties need to participate in the selling process. If one spouse doesn't want to be involved, they can sign off on not being involved in the sale. Sometimes when one spouse has been the single family earner, he or she wants to be the one making the decisions.

Need a Pennsylvania no fault divorce lawyer? Call us for a free consultation!