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Selling Your Home in a Divorce

Selling a home in even the best circumstances can be stressful – and selling as part of a divorce settlement can be especially complicated.

One spouse may focus on maximizing profits, for instance, while the other just wants the sale over with. And combative spouses sometimes want to get their last digs in by impeding the sale. Your settlement should detail each party’s rights and responsibilities – plus the consequences of non-cooperation.

Here are a few “Dos and Don’ts” to ease the process:

  • Do specify how maintenance and repair costs – including those called for in the sales contract — are handled. This will help keep the home in good condition and prevent inspection issues from sidetracking a sale.
  • Don’t advertise that the home is part of a divorce settlement. Buyers might assume extra motivation and be willing to pay less – or simply run away from the potential complications.
  • Do keep the home in showing condition and make every effort to make it available for requested showings, if you are the custodial spouse.
  • Don’t do anything to damage the property or otherwise sabotage the sale. At the very least, it’s unfair to buyers, realtors and attorneys who are just trying to do their part. At the extreme, you could be subject to legal and financial ramifications for obstructing the court-ordered sale.
  • Do give a copy of your divorce decree to the settlement agent so the proceeds can be divided at closing.

For questions about selling your home in a divorce, contact a knowledgeable attorney.

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