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Putting Your House on the Market When You’re Getting Divorced

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Sandra Nickel REALTORS

Moving is one of the top five most stressful life events. Divorce ranks in the top five as well.   Put those two together and you have a meltdown in the making. If you and your spouse own a home together and you are divorcing, you are going to have to figure out what you’re going to do about the house. This can be challenging under the most amicable of situations and can be devastating when there is bitterness and fighting.

Since your home is likely the greatest asset that you share, selling it is often necessary when parting ways. Sentimental value may entice one or the other of you to want to keep the home, but financial implications may keep you from doing so. Understanding how divorce affects the sale of a home is crucial.  The emotional aspect of splitting up your family can sometimes impair your judgement but making a poor decision regarding your home can have lasting ramifications, long after the divorce is finalized. 

Whether one spouse wants to buy out the other and keep the home or both want to sell and split the equity, selling a house while getting divorced is a rocky road that needs to be navigated intelligently.  When two people are willing to deal with each other in a peaceful, respectful way, it certainly makes the whole process easier. But often this is not the case in these situations. Division of a home is not simple. 

When each spouse contributed to purchase the home - even if one paid more than the other - you are both going to want your fair share out of it. Ideally, you will be able to work with an attorney or mediator to come to an agreement out of court, but if you can’t, a judge will decide for you. This can be a very unpleasant experience for all parties involved. If both your incomes were factored in the purchase of the house, chances are when you split that in half, neither of you can afford it on your own. If that is the case, the best solution is to sell the home and divide the assets. There are also tax implications that should be considered when you are trying to decide if you should sell before you divorce or after.

Should one of you decide to stay in the home, there are a couple of different ways to make that happen.  First, if you have the financial means to do so, you can take over the mortgage by refinancing. This means you must qualify for the loan and be able to make the monthly payments on your own. Your ex-spouse will be completely out of the picture. Another way is to continue co-owning the property.  Perhaps you have children and want to keep them in their home. While this is the least disruptive option, it is precarious and requires a lot of trust. It would have to be a very civil and friendly divorce for this to work because both parties will be responsible for the mortgage and upkeep of the house. The bottom line is that if you plan to stay in the home, you better be sure you can afford it. It would be prudent to work out a budget before you make the decision.

With all the financial and emotional issues that get wrapped up in the sale of a home during divorce, it’s crucial that you know what you want prior to meeting with your Realtor. It is best for you to meet with your attorneys for them to guide you through the process of deciding how to split the equity. Once you have that done, seek out an experienced Realtor like Sandra Nickel, who will gently guide you through the process with as little stress as possible.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home (or both), let me Sandra Nickel and my Hat Team of Professionals assist you with all  your real estate needs! Call us today at 334-834-1500 and check out https://homesforsaleinmontgomeryalabama.com for more information.

Photo Credits: community.thriveglobal.com, albinlawgroup.com, collaborativedivorcetexas.com

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Sandra and thank you for the great information to share with us here in the Rain.  Make it a great day!

Aug 23, 2023 09:02 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Great post, Sandra!

Among the hundreds and hundreds of real estate transactions we've been part of, many have been the result of a divorce. Sometimes it just involves selling the home the divorcing couple lived in and then they go on their way. Other times it represents three sides of transactions; one sale and two purchases. Some transactions go very well while others are a nightmare.

Aug 23, 2023 07:12 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Sandra:

There is lots of great advice in this post about divorce and selling a home. Like every transaction, each one is different and the dynamics, and the various parties involved, can often make it very difficult. It's certainly very emotional.


Aug 23, 2023 08:08 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Aug 24, 2023 02:05 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I've worked with a few couples who sold the house due to divorce.  It is stressful but so far, in every case, each couple ended up happier in the long run!

Aug 25, 2023 09:16 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Aug 30, 2023 07:49 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

It is always a difficult change when selling and going through a divorce at the same time.  Your post offers great information for anyone finding themselves in this difficult time of their life.

Sep 09, 2023 12:00 PM