Going through a divorce is an emotionally and financially difficult time. If you jointly own a home with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, one major question you’ll need to address is whether you should sell your house before or after the divorce is finalized. There are pros and cons to both options of when to sell your house before or after a divorce, so carefully weigh all the factors before making this big decision.
If possible, try to come to an agreement with your spouse on the best timing. However, if you are unable to agree, you may need to go through mediation or let the courts decide. Get advice from your divorce lawyer as well, as laws pertaining to property division vary by state. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to sell your house before or after your divorce.
- Selling the house before a divorce is often considered advantageous, as it can save time, money, and hassle. By selling prior to the divorce, routine real estate fees are the primary costs, avoiding additional legal fees associated with reviewing paperwork during or after the divorce process.
- Escrowing the proceeds from the sale can streamline the financial aspect of the divorce. Statistics indicate that, post-divorce, a woman’s household income tends to drop significantly, making the financial considerations of selling a shared property crucial.
Reasons to Sell Before the Divorce
- Eliminates arguments about the house – Selling the marital home before finalizing the divorce can help avoid future conflicts. After the split, any shared asset has the potential to create arguments, especially an expensive one like a house.
- Avoids rush to sell later – The pressure to get the house sold ‘as-is’ increases after the divorce. Life events for each partner may require quick sale later, which could mean accepting a lower price.
- Equal proceeds while relations cordial – If you sell when initially separating, proceeds can be split while relations are still amicable. Later resentments may build and make compromise harder.
- Takes emotion/stress out of sale – Selling when still married keeps the business transaction unclouded by raw emotions that may come post-divorce. This also reduces stress levels for both parties.
Reasons to Sell After the Divorce
- Time to weigh options – During separation before a divorce, emotions run high. Taking time to weigh options helps ensure the best decision for your post-divorce life.
- No pressure to move immediately – Financially, one spouse may want to remain in the home with the kids. Selling post-divorce allows time to make new living arrangements.
- Potentially higher sale price – If improvements are needed to maximize the sale price, selling later allows time to prepare the property after the legal split.
- Avoid tax penalties – For those eligible, selling the house up to 3 years after the divorce could qualify for tax exemption on capital gains from the sale.
Sell Your House Before Or After A Divorce – Final Thoughts…
There are good arguments on both sides of whether to sell a jointly owned home before or after your divorce is finalized. Consider factors like wanting a clean break right away versus needing time to transition. Get solid legal and financial guidance from professionals to decide what will work best for your personal situation.
With good planning and communication, selling your formerly shared home does not need to be overly contentious. Approach the process thoughtfully, together if possible, while also looking out for your own interests. Though challenging, staying focused on practical realities can help you through this difficult transition in life.
What Realtor Can Help You Sell Your House?
If you have decided that now is the time to sell your home in the Houston area, your first call should be to our team at Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Chris Schmidt Team. As the best realtor in Houston, we have the experience, skills, and local insider information to guide you through the home selling process and ensure that you have the most relaxing and stress-free experience possible. Your success is our success, and we are committed to making sure you are 100% successful. We sell houses fast and for top dollar!
To learn more about the home selling process or to get started on your real estate journey, give our realtors a call at 713-322-5604 or fill out the form on this page with the requested information to get a detailed response from one of our skilled professionals.