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How to Sell your Home after Divorce

Friday, March 26, 2021   /   by Sushma Khinvasara

How to Sell your Home after Divorce

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Going through a divorce is never easy. It can be both emotionally and financially stressful, even more so if you have children and property together. It can be incredibly hard to think about selling the home that you shared with your spouse, and to consider as well where to move for your new home. It is okay to feel such anxieties and stress because of your relationship ending. Try to take a break and give yourself time to fully process these massive changes in your life. When you're ready, it is time to think about the important questions related to the selling of the home you formerly shared with your spouse. Below are some of the important questions that need to be addressed to make it easy for you to sell the home and move on.

How do I sell a home with someone I don’t get along with anymore?

It can be very frustrating when you're trying to sell a home with an uncooperative spouse. There might be a delay in the process by making it difficult for you to finish the needed renovations, being unreasonable with the terms, and worse is preventing the divorce from proceeding. Sometimes, a spouse would intentionally make the house unsellable, or have it sold for a much lesser price. If you are being forced to buyout or pressured to sell by your spouse, you can get protection from the court. There is a legal arrangement called "exclusive possession" wherein one spouse is entitled to live in the matrimonial home while the other needs to vacate. During this time, both spouses should prepare the home to be sold in the market. The higher the sale price, the more money each spouse will get after a divorce. It is important to remember though that you can't make major decisions such as renting, subletting, refinancing, or selling without your spouse's written permission under the Ontario Family Law Act. It is highly recommended for you to consult a divorce attorney regarding the sale of the home and preventing obstacles from your spouse.

Do we split the money after the sale?

If you and your spouse decide to sell and split the money, then you are both required to share also in the expenses for the renovations and upgrades needed to sell the house in the market. Before selling, make sure that the separation agreement has been finalized, or else the real estate lawyer will hold the proceeds in a trust.

What if our homes don't sell right away? How do we make sure we sell and just get it over with?

Do not advertise your home as a divorce sale and let potential buyers know that you are selling because of a divorce. The reason is that these buyers would think that you are in a rush to sell your home and that they have the upper hand in negotiating the price. Instead, prepare your home very well for the market by staging it as if you and your spouse are still living together. Make it into an appealing and comfortable house that would invite buyers to imagine themselves living in that warm space. Also, try to with a real estate agent who has experience in dealing with divorce sales.

Are there pros and cons to selling and what other options are available?

The advantage to selling your home is that having a fresh start would be easier without any ties, especially if you are no longer on good terms with your ex-spouse. You can use the money you get from the sale to move to a new property. The disadvantage would be you'd have to move and go through the trouble of finding a new school if you have children together. Some couples who get divorced wait until the children are at a certain age before deciding to sell.

Divorce doesn't always come at the best time for the housing market. Depending on real estate in your area, you may not get as much for the house as you want. Plus, selling means moving and those associated costs and the trouble of figuring out a new home and possibly new schools for your children.

Other than selling and splitting the proceeds, the other options available are:

  • Buy-out the spouse and own the property

When you buy your spouse's share, you will have to take care of the existing mortgage and also pay half of the equity to your spouse

  • Maintain mutual ownership and turn the home into a rental or divide the property and each spouse lives in their designated space

These two options only work if you are on good terms with your former spouse and won't mind making major decisions together. Both should get a lawyer to finalize a contract that states each one's responsibilities towards the property.

Should I rent or buy again after the divorce is over?

Some wonder which one is the best course to take after a divorce, rent, or buy a property. It's only natural after a divorce that you want to have a fresh start and move to a new home. However, there are a couple of things to consider. First, after divorce, there are typically mortgages and obligations within the marriage that were not cleared up yet. This would likely affect how financial institutions decide on remortgage terms for a down payment for your new home. When you rent instead, it would give you time to prepare yourself financially and emotionally.

Selling a home after a divorce is not extremely different from selling when you are unmarried. However, there are special things to consider when selling a home after divorce such as how to sell when working with an uncooperative spouse, the pros and cons in selling, and other options you might want to try.

If you have any questions or need help selling your home, I can help. You contact me at 647-834-9928 or send an email to sukhinvasara@gmail.com

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Century 21 Green Realty Inc. | Sushma Home Selling Team
Sushma Khinvasara, Sales Representative
6980 Maritz Dr, Unit 8
Mississauga, ON L5W 1Z3

Information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Data is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS®.
Information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Data is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS®. Copyright 2023 Last Updated February 1, 2023
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