5 Things to Know About Selling Your Home in a Divorce

Real Estate Agent with EXP Realty

Everyone is raw during a divorce, your lives have just been emotionally upended. Both of you have a lot to lose, and just want it to be over. Even if you are just considering a divorce, there are a few points to know about separating assets that will affect you for years to come. Your home is your largest asset, and you need to make wise decisions before the decree is finalized. In Minnesota, the law is one to buy, two to sell. Both spouses need to sign documents regarding the sale, or refinancing of your home.


  1. Uncontested divorce, collaborative divorce, and war. Collaborative divorce is by far your east expensive and painful option. Spouses come to agreement themselves with the help of an attorney on what they feel is a fair arrangement. The divorce decree will stipulate what those arrangements are. If either or both spouses intend to purchase a home in the future your divorce decree will play a significant role in your new financing.
  2. Is keeping the house an option? Your attorney will help you determine if it makes sense with    a divided income, and increased debt, whether you can afford it, if it provides the best environment for you and the children.   If it doesn’t, what are your next steps?
  3. Does child support count as income to buy a new home?  Yes, if it has been consistent for a specific period of time, depending on lender requirements, and will be in place for at least the next three years. If there are children of different ages, specifying support for each child (instead of a lump sum) avoids confusion as to when support expires. 
  4. Can you buy a new house before the divorce?  You will have to qualify with the debt of your current home, and even if you buy the new house in your own name your spouse has marital interest in the new home.  Your spouse would need to sign a Quit Claim Deed granting you their interest in the property.  Waiting for the divorce to be finalized it usually better because what you are expecting is not always the final result. 
  5. How does a Realtor help during a divorce? Having both an experienced Realtor and Mortgage Loan Officer who know what needs to be in the divorce decree will give you a clear financial strategy.  

Moving is a life changing experience, adding divorce to the process makes it more complicated and emotionally challenging.  It is easy to overlook details that could affect you for years to come.  Not all attorneys are versed in real estate, or mortgages.  You want a team of professionals working together in your best interest in separating credit, and buying or selling your largest asset. 

Register to get your FREE copy of Guide to Selling Your House in a Divorce today!

Whether you are considering divorce or are already in the process, Mary Jo Quay with RE/MAX Advisors is here to support you every step of the way. Call (612) 384-1360 to schedule a consultation, or learn more by visiting her online.



Posted by

Mary Jo Quay

“That’s what I do: I move people—H O M E.”

 Phone: (612) 384-1360

Comments (3)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

These are great tips...it is a hard enough time as it is going thru a divorce I imagine

Nov 13, 2016 11:03 PM
Kathy Stoltman
Balboa Real Estate - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

I think it is a smart law that MN has in place that both parties must sign to sell or refinance. It is the same here in CA if both parties are on the note/deed.

Nov 14, 2016 03:48 AM
Mary Jo Quay
EXP Realty - Minneapolis, MN
I Move You Home

More than smart, it avoids shotguns and forensic searches. The law in MN is one to buy/two to sell.  There have been a few cases of one spouse forging signatures of the other to refinance, or add debt.  Division of property is often the hardest part.  An attorney told me of a couple who couldn't come to agreement about ice trays in court ($12 each).


Nov 14, 2016 05:58 AM