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“In the best case scenario, the divorcing couple has agreed to an amicable separation."

Tips and Advice When Selling Your Home Because of Divorce

Lucky are those who sell their homes simply because they want a change of scenery or are financially able to afford a higher-priced home. With the divorce rate higher today than it has ever been, a common reason behind homes being put on the market is because the couple owing the home are divorcing.

In the best case scenario, the divorcing couple has agreed to an amicable separation. Instead of arguing about the children and division of assets, the couple has decided to make the divorce as painless as possible for all those involved. This usually means any profits from the sale of the home are split evenly and without contention.

Unfortunately, this situation rarely occurs.

Options Concerning What Happens to the Home
When a "friendly" divorce is out of the question, either party may consider several options:
1) One spouse can keep the home but pay the other spouse half of the market value of the home. A neutral party such as a real estate agent who is keenly aware of local housing market statistics can be used to provided a fair appraisal of the home.
2) Let each spouses' attorneys handle the negotiations regarding the sale of the home. Because attorneys are not emotionally invested in the divorce, they can often persuade clients to concede to their more objective, expert advice
3) If the loss of having a dual income is going to adversely affect each spouse's financial condition, the option to lease or rent the home exists, which also avoids selling the home. Another reason to temporarily rent a home involved in a divorce is if the current market for real estate is experiencing a temporary downturn.

Finding a Real Estate Agency that Specializes in Handling Divorce Cases
An experienced real estate agent who has the insight and legal knowledge to facilitate this type of transaction can often help mediate decisions made by spouses regarding what happens to the home following a divorce. Divorcing couples should also be aware that unethical real estate agencies are always on the lookout for bickering spouses who want to sell their home but can't agree on how the profits should be divided. Real estate "fleecers" will try to take advantage of the intense emotions involved in some divorces and expedite a sale that is not in the best interests of the couple with fast talk and less than genuine promises of a financial windfall.

Trust your intuition when you first meet a real estate agent. Ask questions about their licensing, how long they have been operating in the area and if real estate is their full time job. Let them know what is occurring in your life and what you expect to get out of selling the home. A good agent who has had past experiences with divorcing couples and property transactions will be able to provide information immediately about the law, local property values and market conditions and will understand without being told that discretion is desirable.

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About Orly Chen

  Orly Chen is a leading
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