Selling A House In A Divorce

couple going through divorce sell house Chicago

Going through a divorce sucks! It’s difficult with many emotions, including grief, anger, and fear. It can feel overwhelming to deal with. Most times, the most stressful part is dealing with the marital assets you have accumulated as a couple. This can include your house. Choosing what to do with your home can be extremely challenging when there are so many raw emotions. We’ll review your options for selling your house during your divorce.

The fortunate part of dealing with a house during divorce is that it’s the same as how you would deal with it usually. The only difference with the sale is what you have to do with the final profit outlined by your divorce agreement. This means you can sell it with a real estate agent, have them list it, and manage the sale process for you in exchange for a percentage of the sale in commission. You can maximize the price by selling it by yourself and managing the sale yourself, including scheduling open houses and showings and the staging process. Or you can even sell it to a cash buyer investor who will make the process easy, take away stress, and take no time. 

One thing to point out is that each state has its own divorce laws, and you should seek legal counsel for any questions or concerns you have. A good family law attorney can help guide you through the divorce, including the division of assets, such as your house. 

Do I Have To Sell My House In A Divorce?

Do I have to sell my house in divorce Chicago

In the case of such a significant shared asset like your home, it can inevitably lead to disputes about selling vs keeping the home. The short answer to selling your home in divorce is that you may not need to. But it really is much more complicated than that. It will depend on your local laws and what your divorce agreement states. 

Emotions may be tied to the house, and anger towards your divorcing spouse may make you stubborn to your other options. Consider the time and energy you may need to put up a fight either way. That’s why knowing a couple of options is essential when you sell your house in a divorce. Lean on your attorney to help keep the emotions down and allow you to make a sound decision that will aid your financial stability and happiness. 

What are my options when selling my house during a divorce?

Option 1 – Temporarily Co-Own The House

sell house divorce co own during divorce Chicago

This option has many advantages and is usually best for those whose divorce is still amicable. We’ll often see couples utilize this option when they want the kids to stay home. The best thing to do in this situation is to treat it like a business.

What does that mean exactly? With most businesses, you’ll want to clarify most things and that there is a clear plan of what to do for different situations. This can include a time frame, who will take care of the costs, including the mortgage and repairs, and who is responsible for what to do when the house is sold. There are cons to it as well.

Just like with a business, any profit will be tied to what happens in the market. There may be disagreements about how the property is being managed. And ultimately, it can affect both divorcing partners’ credit if a payment is missed. This is not a good long-term solution because it will still keep you guys attached but it can be something that helps you guys get through the divorce process. 

Option 2 – One Spouse Buys Out The Other

Some may not realize that this is an option. This is great when one member of the couple has an emotional attachment to the house and the financial means to keep it. It is precisely what it sounds like too. You provide a payment to the spouse who is giving up his ownership of the deed. 

spouse buys out to sell house during divorce Chicago

This may seem like the easiest and best process, but it brings its own more extensive set of complications. The first is the price or assigned value for the house. There is also a value that most assigns to the earning potential of keeping the house and the contribution, actual value added in work or items, to the property. This usually brings the most significant point of contention. 

The spouse looking to keep the house may want to point out that it’s great for the kids to stay in the same school district and that the time they are looking to sell may not be favorable market conditions as a way to ease contentions. 

Before exercising this option, the buying party should consider all the financial requirements. This includes the actual price or value assigned to the property. Do they have enough assets to pay the other party out? Can they afford the mortgage currently on the property? If they can’t, can they obtain a new mortgage allowing them to pay out the amount owed to the selling party? This can become very complicated and require outside professional assistance to help complete the process. 

Option 3 – Selling A House In A Divorce and Splitting The Proceeds

This will be the way most divorcing couples will typically go. One member of the divorcing couple will wonder how to sell a house during divorce. Will it provide help to both of us? Ultimately, it may provide money to both parties to help them settle debts and even help pay for attorney fees. If there is enough equity, it may help set each former spouse up for the next step in their life. It is just like it seems. You will sell the house, and each party will collect the division of proceeds as outlined by your divorce agreement. 

split profits to sell house in divorce Chicago

This may seem like the fairest and most straightforward of the options and with not as many complications. They can be tricky, though. Both parties will need to agree on the sale. This includes the price to sell and the process to sell. As we mentioned before, just like with a regular real estate sale, it will have the same process with more of a goal to sell the house quickly for as much as possible. So, picking out an agent will need to be decided, as well as the marketing plan the agent will use. You will also need to consider the cost of the repairs needed to sell, who will pay for them, and how it affects your divorce. Once the house is listed for sale, it may be difficult to get competitive offers if there is a hint of divorce. We’ll cover that in a little bit.

The easiest way may be to sell your house to a cash buyer, like SILT Real Estate and Investments, LLC. We have helped dozens of divorcing couples sort through the values of their most significant asset to give them a fast, fair, competitive cash offer to make the divorce process easier. If you want to avoid the hassles of listing the property and get the divorce process moving (and save attorney fees), fill out the form below, and we’ll contact you shortly.

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Can I Sell A Property Before Divorce Settlement?

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way for selling house in divorce, when listing the property, divorce may be mentioned. Like sharks to blood in the water, it will bring low offers that aren’t competitive. Potential buyers will consider how eager the sellers are to get rid of the house, affecting their offer. If you’re considering to sell the house before or after divorce, it may be best to sell house before divorce.  

Can I sell a property before divorce settlement Chicago

Here’s a few tips if you opt for selling the house before divorce:

  • Try to make it appear that both couple members are still living in the house. This is easiest if both members are still living there. Try to keep the primary closet full of clothing even if one member has to sleep somewhere else in the house.
  • If you can not live together and to keep the appearance of still living together, consider keeping some belongings in the house. It also saves you costs on storage if there is too much to bring to your new residence.
  • Lastly, present a united front for any offers. This could mean both parties providing input to an agent or both being present if selling by owner. 

The goal should be to ensure that no buyer knows that the couple is going through a process to divorce sell house. This should keep the offers fair and allow you to make the most from the sale of your house during divorce.

Is There Capital Gains Tax on Selling A House After Divorce?

Is there capital gains for selling a house in a divorce Chicago

There is one thing you should know before splitting proceeds from the sale of the house before divorce. Most couples don’t consider the capital gains tax on the sale of the house. It follows the same rules as any capital gains rules for real estate, and you should consider advice from a trusted CPA to help with this. For most capital gains on real estate, if you have not lived in the house for the required period needed to avoid capital gains, there will be taxes to pay. 

The thing to remember about selling before or after divorce is the tax benefits for a couple vs. an individual. Even if you are getting divorced, it may be something to consider if there are large amounts of equity and you’re worried about capital gains. 

What If My House Is Underwater When Selling House During Divorce?

selling a house in divorce that's underwater Chicago

As a couple, you should decide what to do here. The downside to having no equity is that you can’t use the house to pay off debt or help start your new life. If one person can’t handle the property by themselves financially, the best bet may be to get rid of the house before finishing your divorce. You can always try a short sale. Be sure to get the lender involved early. Just remember that short sales can still have their problems. Selling to an investor who can buy your underwater house may be your best option and will save any loss for both sellers. 

Can My Spouse Sell Our House Without My Consent?

consent to selling a house in divorce Chicago

If you are on the deed, they can only sell the house with your permission. The question comes into play when one spouse owns the property with the other spouse is not on the deed. The good news in this situation is that if it’s the house you are living in, they can not sell the house without your permission. You would have homestead rights. They wouldn’t only be able to do so with a proper court order and would have to follow your local laws. 

What if they are selling assets before divorce?

This would be a question best for your legal counsel. As far as selling real estate before the divorce, any real estate owner can sell their real estate without the consent of any third party. Generally, this question is asked because they are concerned about an investment property or vacation home, and what someone is usually concerned about is hiding assets. The good news in that case is that there is a record of ownership and sale, and can’t generally be hidden. BUT AGAIN, SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL!

Is There Anything Else About Selling A House After Divorce Agreement?

what to know for selling house divorce Chicago

After a divorce has been finalized, you’ll have taken care of most of the important stuff that will need to be done to sell the house. One person may be in charge of the sale. That means no help with decisions or any assistance financially for the house. It will be much easier to sell the house after divorce, though.

This also means that someone looking to buy the property can’t use the divorce as a bargaining chip to lower the offer. They will need to be competitive within the conditions of the market. When selling, though, you should still consider the time in which you sell.

To sell a marital house in spring will likely give you the most significant profit on selling your property during divorce. Kids will be ending school, and with the usual hot housing spring market, you will find it easier to sell your house. Also, most people will have their refunds from the tax return giving you a greater chance of landing a higher price.

Selling the marital house during the summer months can cause a break in routine for kids. Changing homes is difficult for anyone and even more so for kids. If there are kids involved, and they are in school, this will allow the least amount of change to routine. They will also be ready to start in the next school year if there is a change in school districts.

The Final Word On Selling a House In A Divorce

final thought for selling the house in a divorce Chicago

This is a time when there is anger, resentment, and grief. It may be best to get help from professionals like a good listing agent to advise you of your unique situation and if you should sell a house during divorce. When addressing what to do, consider your financial situation and the new beginning to the next phase of your life. After evaluating all of the steps and emotions needed to get through a sale of your house during divorce, consider a cash offer from a local cash buyer investor. We can make the process easy by making a fair cash offer that closes on your timeline with no additional repairs needed to the property. If this is the right option for you, fill out the short form below. Or if you want to ask some questions, call (708) 415-3801 or contact us here.

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