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How do you work with your spouse to sell your home in divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2022 | Divorce |

You and your soon-to-be ex have decided that the only financially feasible way to deal with the house in the divorce is to sell it and split the proceeds. That was the easy part.

Now comes what can be a very difficult process – if you let it be. Decisions like how much time and money you want to put into repairs and renovations can become a battlefield for estranged spouses. So can determining which offer to ultimately accept.

Consider bringing in a real estate divorce specialist

Not surprisingly, there are real estate agents who are specially trained and certified to handle these home sales. Among other experience they can bring to the sale, these Certified Divorce Real Estate Experts (CDREs) have some expertise in dealing with spouses whom they have to deal with separately and helping ensure that personal battles don’t derail what should be their ultimate goal – to get as much for the home as possible as quickly as possible.

You don’t have to hire a CDRE. If you have an agent you’ve used for other transactions whom you both trust, they may be the best choice for you. However, you can still benefit from the advice that these divorce specialists have for divorcing couples selling their home.

A few tips from the experts

For example, it’s usually best to finalize your home’s sale before the divorce is final – particularly if you’re making a significant profit on it and filing a joint tax income tax return for the year. As a married couple filing jointly, you can exclude as much as $500,000 in capital gains.

Don’t leave the home empty. One spouse should stay there so that it still looks lived-in. Agents and buyers can tell when homeowners have moved on. They assume they’re anxious to sell and will take a lower price.

It’s also important to keep the home well maintained. It’s best to determine whether one of the spouses will be responsible for minor repairs and maintenance (lawn care and so forth) or if you’ll have professionals handling those things.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you sell your home.  In addition to having experienced legal guidance, having real estate, financial and tax professionals on your divorce team can help you make the most of what is likely your single most valuable asset.