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How do you work with your soon-to-be ex to sell your home?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Family Law

For most divorcing couples, their largest and most valuable asset is their home. Whether yours is a small condo or a sprawling beachfront estate, determining what happens to it is likely one of the biggest divorce-related decisions you’ll make together.

If you determine the most financially sound option is to sell it and split the proceeds, you’ll need to get it appraised so you can agree on an asking price and what you’re willing to accept. The sooner you begin the sale process, the better off you’ll be. It can take time, and you don’t want such a large transaction looming over you as you sign the divorce decree.

Selling a home with a soon-to-be ex can be highly challenging. That’s why having a neutral professional guiding you through the process can make all the difference. While you each need your own legal representation, you have to share a real estate agent for this transaction.

You need a real estate agent you both trust. It’s best to retain one with experience dealing with divorcing couples. There are even agents who are certified divorce real estate experts (CDREs). They’ve undergone training not just in how to deal with sellers who may barely be speaking to one another but in the unique legal considerations when a home sale is part of a divorce.

A few important decisions you’ll need to make

Likely, one of you has already moved out. It’s typically best for the other spouse to remain in the home until it’s sold. Agents and potential buyers know that when a home is vacant, the owners have moved on and are likely to accept the first decent offer they get.

You’ll also need to determine how much time and money to put into upgrades and repairs so you can increase the asking price and improve “curb appeal.” Your agent can advise you, in part based on the condition of other properties for sale in the area. You’ll need to determine how you’ll split the costs. Putting it in a written agreement is smart.

The same is true for regular maintenance and minor repairs. Will you be outsourcing those or handling them yourselves? Again, an agreement outlining responsibilities and how any costs will be split is wise.

The better you and your spouse can work together to sell your home, the sooner you can devote your full attention to the numerous other decisions you’ll need to make.