How To Sell A House After Divorce: Avoid These 5 Mistakes

how to sell a house after divorce

By Leslie Glazier, Real Estate Agent, Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE), Real Estate Collaboration Specialist - Divorce (RCS-D)

Selling one’s family home is a highly stressful and emotional process for divorcing couples. These feelings are understandable since the home is two things: a valuable asset and a place filled with memories, family, and security. People often ask me how to sell a house after divorce, and I can best answer the question by explaining the mistakes people make.

Because most people have a desire to resolve their divorce quickly, they might end up rushing through selling or transferring the marital home. This strategy is generally short-sighted and can result in long-term financial and emotional consequences for both sides.

As a certified divorce real estate specialist in Chicago, I recommend avoiding these five common real estate mistakes couples make during divorce:

1. Inadequate tax planning

The effect of your divorce on real estate taxes is expensive if not appropriately addressed. In fact, taxes should be at the forefront of one’s mind when addressing property division issues.

There are two reasons for this:

1. Mitigating the payment of unnecessary taxes
2. Distributing property equitably to both sides

While property settlements may appear to be fair, there are elements that lawyers and judges miss during this stage of the discussion. Evaluating an offer with a real estate divorce specialist in Chicago alongside a family divorce lawyer will ensure that the departing couple is receiving equitable treatment.

2. Engaging in passive or aggressive behavior

If you’re wondering how to sell a house after divorce, think about this. When a person feels attacked, it is not unusual for his or her “flight-or-fight” instinct to kick in. One action is passive, while the other is aggressive.

Both behaviors are not helpful during the sale, transfer, or division of real estate in a divorce.

For spouses who avoid conflict, this person may receive an unfair portion of divorce proceedings. More aggressive spouses may act with vengeance and leverage emotional manipulation to take more than they deserve.

Both parties must retain separate counsel to handle communication and negotiation discussions exclusively to avoid this situation. Approaching real estate and other appreciable assets in this manner produces a more just result for either side.

3. Rushing through the sale or transfer

Moving on as soon as possible is a sentiment shared by many divorcing couples. This desire makes sense since it is a process that confronts difficult emotions and conflict.

However, it is imperative that you do not rush through the sale or transfer of the home and divorce proceedings, in general. Once a judge finalizes the decree, it sets the foundation for future matters, including alimony, child support, and other loose ends that marriages sometimes produce.

Taking the time to carefully consider the gravity of every critical decision that may impact future decisions is vital to an outcome that is favorable to both parties. While finalizing a divorce ASAP is ideal, there is nothing worse than the sting of regret later.

4. Relying on emotive thinking

When it comes to divorce, it is critical to remember one thing: cooler heads always prevail. Thinking in terms of one party coming out the “winner” and the other, the “loser” is a surefire path toward shifting from rational to emotive decision-making.

How well does that usually turn out?

While it is challenging to remain practical, especially if a stubborn ex is involved, making well thought out decisions that consider the long-term effects are more effective than leading with the heart on this one.

If communication between divorcing couples causes conflict, attorneys and other representatives should step in to ensure that both parties are making rational decisions.

5. Not working with a certified divorce lending specialist

When it comes to dealing with marital real estate, and how to sell a house after divorce, divorcing couples have several options. Some, like sale or transfer, are better than others, like foreclosure.

Adverse outcomes are sometimes the result of both parties not fully understanding their options when it comes to handling the house. Working with a certified divorce lending specialist (CDLP) is a strategy that both parties should utilize for a better result.

A CDLP can help them determine if they qualify for a refinance or new loan to avoid losing the home altogether. Ultimately, this individual will help both sides and their attorneys understand the intricate solutions available.

Like this article? Check out “How Will I Ever Be Able to Trust Again After Divorce?”

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