One of the realities of today’s world is that over half of the population will experience a divorce. Of course, divorces are not just a severing of two people’s emotional lives from each other; they also include a division of assets. One of the assets that is most prominent in a divorce situation is the home that the couple occupied. This home represents a significant outlay of funds for both members of the divorcing party; in almost all cases the purchase of a home is the largest investment any of us will every make. Both individuals will have an active interest in ensuring that their part of the investment is protected.
The Reality of Divorce: Antagonizing Circumstances
Even if you are fortunate enough to be in an amicable separation, the fact is that certain tensions will arise. This is sure to happen when the house comes into question. Keep a close watch on your feelings and make sure that you are not led by emotion into a bad decision, such as signing over your rights to the property or selling prematurely. No matter how acrimonious, it is also important to remember that any deals done under the table will eventually be found out. In this case, rest assured that the individual who performed the sneaky deed will probably lose everything gained an more besides.
Sales Options in a Divorce Situation
Ideally, the parties will agree to split the sale price in half. This situation will be a typical sales one, wherein a buyer is found, the house sold. The only difference is that the money will be split either evenly or by a formula determined by legal counsel. There are other options, however, when it comes to selling a house in a divorce.
The two individuals may agree that one person will retain ownership of the house. This is still a sales situation, the difference is that in effect one spouse buys out the others’ right to the property. A good way to go about this is to have the house appraised by a neutral party, and then divide the estimate in half. The spouse who will be staying in the house will then pay the other party for their half of the house.
In any sales case, both parties should consult separate legal counsel. When it comes to agents, however, it will be best to go with one professional (this will avoid the cost of an even higher commission). Negotiations on who this individual will be can be carried out be the counsel for each party.
The Loss of Income
A big concern in any divorce situation is the loss of the dual income, or the loss of an entire income if one of the individuals happens to be a parent who stays at home. In both cases, there will be a definite interest in selling the house as quickly as possible in order to avoid sliding into debt. If you are getting divorced in a time when the real estate market is not particularly favorable to sellers, you may want to consider a lease option.
A lease option can be negotiated so that the individuals selling the house make sure that their mortgage payments and property taxes are covered by the lease per month. This also allows a whole new market access to the home; people not yet ready to buy but who do need a house will be interested in a lease. The lease option gives the new tenants the opportunity to buy the home within a set amount of time. This can be ideal for a couple selling their home in a divorce; it will cover the major recurring expense that the couple accrued together as well as allowing for the sale of that asset at a better time.
Beware of Fleecers!!
Divorce will mean that you are vulnerable both emotionally and financially. It might not occur to you, but there are hundreds of individuals and companies out there who make a living from exacerbating a difficult situation for their own gain. Look out for companies who offer to buy your house from you in order to alleviate the financial stress of your mortgage payments. These people have identified a market which is easy to exploit; the odds are that if you can just manage to speak to your former mate on civil terms you will come out much better financially than if you let your negative emotions have their way with your decisions.