How can we best sell our home during a Divorce?
Divorce and separation are an unfortunate reality that happens to many families and couples, often leaving a home to be split in the process. Can you sell it? Can one of you keep it? What to do? This causes additional anxiety and stress in what is already a very stressful time for many.
What are our options?
When one partner moves out of a home in the divorce process, it does not diminish their rights or connection to the property through community property. Though they may find themselves on the hook for the rent for their new residence, in addition to the mortgage on the community property / home. This can cause a lot of added stress, both emotional; and financial. The mortgage still needs to be paid, as does the property taxes and insurance. Rather than selling the property outright, one partner may seek to buy out the other partners interests in the property, by a cash payment or possibly refinancing the house.
There are decisions to be made, sell before the divorce, after? the situation is complicated as soon as a Divorce petition is filed as Standard Family Law restraining orders automatically go into effect. These Orders basically prohibit a sale during the divorce unless there is a court order or a formal written agreement.
Selling During a Divorce.
As mentioned above, there must be a written agreement in place, or a court order, before a sale can proceed is the divorce petition has already been filed. A written agreement between the spouses must be written, it can then be presented to the court and become a Court Order. Things that might be specified in the agreement could be:
Who will get the home ready for sale and viewing? Pay for repairs? Decorating?
Which Realtor to use (Both parties must agree)
Which spouse will make decisions, solely? By Mutual Agreement?
What will the price be?
Who decides to reduce the price or what offer to accept?
Which debts or liens will be paid by the sale? Who decides this?
How will the proceeds of the sale be split? Even split or some other ratio? Who decides?
Whose portion will the costs and commissions come out of? Even split or some other way?
If there is a loss in the sale who is responsible for the remaining balance?
If no agreement is forthcoming, things can get more complicated, but just because there is a disagreement on the sale, it does not always prohibit such a sale. You will need to ask the court for an order to sell the house before the divorce proceedings are heard. To obtain a Court order for sale before the trial there are criteria or situations that must be met.
A: Foreclosure, if there is a real danger of foreclosure due to none payment of the mortgage or some other liens attached to the house, a court order may be obtained for sale prior to the divorce trial. Even if both spouses do not agree, it is of utmost importance that one you moves quickly to sell the house before foreclosure; rarely does a foreclosure work out for the best interests of either party.
B: A spouse may file to sell the property so they can use the proceeds for legal fees created by the divorce proceedings. Sadly if a divorce is contested and there are other legal issues involved such as abuse or child custody, the proceedings can become drawn out and very costly. One party or both may seek an order to sell the property to help cover those costs.
Taxes, of course, the taxes from the sale will need to be paid, and selling at the wrong time can have consequences on the amount of taxes owed.
How can we help? What can we do?
Here at selling a home fast we have experience in helping people to sell their home (to us) in these tricky situations, we have information and contacts we have worked with many times that we can recommend to help you smooth the process along and sell before foreclosure or as quickly as possible to release funds for both parties. Give us a call today on – 510-570-1959 or fill out the form above.