There are times when selling a house may be difficult, but necessary. Many times a home is sold after a parent or other beloved relative has passed away.
Others may need to sell their home because of financial difficulties. Sometimes couples decide to sell their house when they are going through a divorce.
Going through a divorce while selling a home in California adds an additional degree of difficulty.
You’re dealing with the mental and emotional strain of the relationship’s end while still trying to maintain your composure as you go through the sale process.
Fortunately, you can get through the ordeal just fine. All it takes is some composure, determination, and careful planning.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Make yourself your top priority.
No matter what happens during both the divorce and the home sale, remember to take care of yourself.
You’re probably going to go through a wide gamut of emotions in the weeks and months to come. That’s perfectly normal. Make yourself your number one priority.
Focus on self-care and stay on task so that you can put both events behind you as soon as possible.
Related: Selling a Home in San Mateo, CA
2. Focus on your goals.
Your immediate goals should be to sell the home and end the marriage in as peaceful of a way as possible. If you’re the one selling the home, you may also want a reasonable profit so that you can afford a nice down payment for your next home. For some, this will be very easy.
Others may have a bigger struggle. One party may fight the divorce, the home sale or both. Keep a level head, and stay focused on your end goals. Don’t do anything that you’d regret later. There may be days where things may seem impossible, but you just have to persevere.
3. Deal with conflicts appropriately.
If your soon to be former spouse contests any part of the home sale process, don’t be afraid to step in or have the appropriate officials intervene on your behalf.
If you have to work with your realtor and lawyer exclusively from start to finish, then so be it.
Just make sure that you don’t lash out at the other party in anger or frustration. That could delay the sale or even stop it from happening altogether.
4. Hire a realtor with divorce knowledge.
The real estate agent that you work with should have good knowledge and experience in selling the property where couples have divorced. They know that the process is probably not going to be easy.
Even though the realtor that you hire will be representing you, they should stay neutral to both parties during the entire process.
This helps to avoid any bias or accusations of unfair advantage. This will save you a lot of hassles and can help the sale go smoother.
5. Do your homework ahead of time.
Another important step is to do your homework. Before you put your home up for sale, take a few minutes to look at your finances.
Review the mortgage contract to see what name(s) are listed. Find out how much is remaining on the mortgage balance and find out if there are any outstanding loans, liens or other debts on the property.
You should also review your bank balance, income, and expenses so that you can better prepare for your future.
Spend some time researching other similar properties in your area that are currently on the market. This will give you a good idea of what you should realistically be able to sell your home for.
Keep in mind that any profit you make from the sale of the home may be decreased by seller closing costs, attorney fees, monthly utilities, obligations to your former spouse, and other fees and expenses.
6. Have your home staged.
After you’ve put your home on the market, your realtor will start to schedule open house appointments. Before you welcome your first visitors, you should have your home staged. You can either do this yourself, or you can hire professionals to do the job for you.
First impressions are important, so you should ensure that your home is warm and inviting. If you have any repairs or renovations that need to be done, it’s a good idea to complete those projects before your first open house showings start.
7. Make copies of all important documents.
Keep copies of all important documents associated with the home sale. You should have copies of the closing paperwork, as well as any tax returns and other financial information.
You may be required to submit some of that information during divorce proceedings. Those copies could come in handy should your former spouse dispute or ask for documentation of items in your financial records.
8. Take your belongings with you once the house is sold.
Once the closing is complete, you’ll receive your check for the sale and the buyer will be given the keys to their new home. Before they move in, you should make sure that you have everything completely moved out of the house.
Don’t leave anything important behind. If you decide to leave furnishings or appliances in the home, that should be stipulated in the sale contract.
Your spouse should also be advised to take any of their belongings with them before the closing, because they may not
be able to retrieve them once the property has changed hands.
These are some of the more important things to consider if you’re selling a home while also simultaneously going through a divorce. The entire process will take several weeks or months to complete.
There may be good days and there may be bad days during that time. Reach out to your realtor, attorney or friends or family members for support and advice when you need them.
Think with your head instead of your heart as often as possible. This is a business transaction, and it should be handled accordingly. It will take time, but it can be done.
📞 Have Questions? Ask The Chris Eckert Real Estate Team
Give The Chris Eckert Real Estate Team a call today at 650.627.3799 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.