When you walk down the aisle and say “I do” in front of your friends and family, it’s natural to believe that you’ll live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for every couple. And while divorce rates are dropping nationwide, around 39% of marriages still end with a divorce filing.
If you’re currently going through a divorce, you might be overwhelmed by some strong emotions. The logistical details may very well take a backseat to the confusion, grief, or anger you’re feeling. However, it’s important that you prioritize your living arrangements during your separation and impending divorce — and that can become incredibly complicated if you and your spouse are homeowners.
That said, this isn’t an impossible challenge to overcome. By referring to the following tips, you can develop a plan of action and ensure your best interests are taken into consideration.
Sell Or Stay: Decide On a Plan
One of the first things that divorcing couples may need to decide is whether the house they share needs to be sold at all. In some cases, former partners may continue to cohabit a property for a time. This may last only a few months or could be the best long-term solution for everyone involved, particularly if this decision is made for the sake of any children you share.
That’s not common for many divorcing couples, however. Another scenario might be that one partner wants to (and can afford to) remain in the home while the other partner moves out. If both parties are on the deed and mortgage, the spouse who stays will typically “buy out” the partner who’s leaving. Some divorcing couples who opt for this situation will determine how long the remaining spouse will stay in the home and may plan to sell the property once a certain amount of time has passed.
But what if your house has too many painful memories associated with it or no one can afford to hold onto it? If neither spouse wants to or has the means to remain in the home they share, it makes the most sense to sell the property and split the profits.
Although there are some couples who decide to sell their home after the divorce is finalized, this can make asset division much trickier. Therefore, it’s often best to sell your home before the divorce becomes official. And in order to do that, you may need to sell your home more quickly than normal.
Seek Out Professional Help
If you’re under a time crunch to sell your home, you’re probably going to need professional assistance. Trying to list, market, and show your home can be incredibly difficult if you go the DIY route — and attempting to negotiate with a buyer on your own can be tedious at best (and disastrous at worst).
That said, working with a real estate agent may not always yield the results you want, either. Although the expertise of a realtor can be priceless, even homes that are handled by agents can spend several months on the market without any movement. What’s more, you may be forced to fix up your home — which will require you to spend time and money you may not have to spare — in order to appeal to buyers in your area. If your home needs significant upgrades or you’re not able to wait more than a few weeks for your house to sell, you may want to consider other alternatives that can get your property sold quickly and as-is.
One solution to this problem is to work with a cash investor. Cash home buyers are known for purchasing properties in virtually any condition and speeding up the selling process significantly. When your main goal is to walk away from a property with cash-in-hand in order to start fresh, a real estate investor may be the professional solution you need.
Set a Firm Timeline
Whether you decide to sell your home yourself, work with an agent, or sell to a cash home buyer, you’ll want to establish a realistic timeline and do everything possible to ensure everything is taken care of during that period.
When selling a home yourself or through an agent, you’ll have only so much control over how quickly your home sells. You can market your home like crazy and follow all recommendations made by your agent — but if no one’s interested or you’re priced too high, you could end up delaying your plans and settling for an offer you feel is too low. What’s more, you may have to worry about the deal falling through and paying commission fees on top of it all.
Working with a real estate investor is one option that will give you more control over your timeline. Since you’ll be selling directly to the buyer and you won’t have to make any updates to your home, you’ll have the freedom to set your closing date, schedule your move, and coordinate all of the details down to the day. In many cases, sales can be finalized within a week of accepting an offer. For many couples, that can be a huge relief and allow them to focus on other aspects of ending their partnership.
Although getting a divorce will never be easy, and neither will be selling a home you shared with your partner, these tips can provide you with valuable guidance during this difficult time.