If you and your soon-to-be ex have decided to sell your home and split the proceeds, you want to get as much for it as you can. Unfortunately, too many divorcing couples just take the first offer that comes along. Others let conflict or lack of communication get in the way of improving the market value of their homes. Sometimes, one spouse fails to cooperate, so the other must petition the court to move the sale along.
If you and your spouse are in agreement on maximizing the value of your home, you can both leave the marriage on more solid financial footing. Let’s look at several ways to doing that.
Find a real estate divorce specialist
These real estate agents are trained to handle the issues that are specific to divorcing couples selling a home. They work with both spouses, so it’s essential to agree on an agent you both trust. Your attorney and your spouse’s attorney likely have worked with some of the same agents, so that shouldn’t be too difficult.
Keep the property in good shape
When one spouse moves out, it’s not uncommon for maintenance issues to accrue – particularly if the spouse who handled them was the one who moved. To get the best price on your home, it’s important to fix things that an inspector will note.
Sometimes, a new coat of paint, a thorough pool cleaning and a new dishwasher will enhance the sales price. You’ll need to negotiate who will be responsible for getting those things done and how the costs will be covered.
Don’t let the mortgage go into arrears
Too often this happens simply because each spouse thinks the other is handling the mortgage payments. Sometimes, both spouses are simply too distracted by the divorce and let them slide. The last thing you want is to have to sell your home for less than it’s worth (“short sale”) to avoid foreclosure.
The sooner you let go of the emotions you have surrounding your home (good or bad) and focus on making the most of your largest marital asset, the sooner you’ll be able to move forward.