The decision to sell your home as you divorce and divide the proceeds may have been one of the easier ones that you and your soon-to-be-ex have had to make so far. It’s usually not financially feasible for one spouse to afford the family home on their own.
Now the two of you have to be able to work together to sell the home as efficiently and for as much as possible. If you can’t work together well, it’s important to at least not put up roadblocks that will make the sale more difficult.
Getting a real estate agent you can both trust is a good first step. It’s wise to find one who has experience helping divorcing couples. There are even real estate agents who have certification in these sales.
Let’s look at just a couple of things that divorcing couples can do to optimize the value of their home and improve its marketability.
Reach agreements on your asking price and minimum you’ll accept
If your agent knows the market, they should be able to help you determine an asking price that will bring in prospective buyers and a floor for what you’ll accept. Part of this will be based on how much you want to put into upgrades. You may prefer not to spend time or money on those.
Make sure that one – and only one – of you stays in the home
Likely, one of you has already found a new home – at least a temporary one. It’s better if the other one stays there. Homes are always easier to sell when it doesn’t look like the owners have moved out and are likely desperate to sell.
It’s typically preferable that both soon-to-be exes aren’t both living there. If it looks like estranged spouses are living two separate lives under one roof, potential buyers may steer clear. It is important to work out how repairs and maintenance will be handled if the spouse whose responsibility they were is the one no longer there.
The better you and your spouse can work together and the more quickly you can sell your home, the more time you’ll have to focus on other property division matters, child custody and support issues and other matters.