Divorce: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

I have 10 years experience helping divorced couples liquidate their assets.
What are the most common questions about real estate and divorce? Common questions and my answers are listed here.
Please contact me for additional information, or to schedule a confidential consultation.

What makes you better at handling the sale of homes involved in a divorce, than other Realtors?

I have a longstanding track record of handling the sale of homes with the care, understanding and patience that delicate situations like these need. Homes involved in divorce require a high level of expertise that a seasoned professional like myself can provide. I also take great pride in my ability to navigate these tasks in a fair and balanced way, which leaves all parties involved happy and facilitates a quick and painless sale.

What happens if we owe more money on our mortgage than the worth of the house that was determined in the inspection?

Usually, the best solution is to have a “short sale.” Your mortgage lender, based on your individual circumstances, may allow the property to be sold for less than the remainder of the loan. There may be some tax and asset division questions that your attorney and accountants can answer.

What happens if we have a dispute between my spouse and I about accepting or declining offers on our home?

When we have our initial consultation concerning the comparable value of the property, I present the range of prices that you may receive. If both spouses agree to accept the range of prices at the outset, it makes it much easier for both to accept an offer. I am here to facilitate the process going as smoothly as possible and have a long history of being able to accomplish this.

Is it easier to sell a home before or after the divorce?

If a property is sold before the divorce, the equity is an actual amount that can be divided between the spouses. After a divorce, the property usually is conveyed to one spouse with the other using a portion of their assets to buy it from the other. Generally speaking, for the most part it is easier to sell the home before the divorce.

Who is responsible for signing and agreeing to the documents, myself or my spouse?

If it is your primary residence, you both will sign. If it is an investment property, it depends whose names are on the title. Generally the final closing documents may require both signatures.

Will important decisions require both my spouse and I to agree or, will one of us have more authority than the other? Will the proceeds from the sale be split fifty-fifty between my spouse and I?

I find it best when both sides are able to review the issues thoroughly and can be brought to an agreement on the decisions. Even when one spouse abdicates their authority to make decisions, I still take the time to explain all the terms thoroughly to everyone involved. The proceeds are disbursed according to your settlement agreement from your attorney or the court. My experience with property sales concerning divorces is to keep both parties fully aware of all the marketing strategies, offers, and concerns from buyers and market values. The more informed everyone is, the smoother the process is.

What are major selling decisions?

Deciding the asking price for the property, what repairs need to be made to maximize the selling price, and acceptance of the final offer, are the major decisions that need to be made when selling a home.

What would be some of the minor decisions?

Small decisions tend to fall into a more “day to day” category that include tasks such as upkeep of the property, cleaning, lawn care, coordination of showing the house, and review of marketing materials.

What if myself or my spouse are in a different city?

You are in luck! Federal and State Laws now allow the majority of the legal real estate documents to be signed using electronic signature programs. All that is needed to e-sign (electronically sign) the paperwork is an email address. It is a very user friendly system that you can even access through your smartphone!

Are there other options besides using a computer?

If needed, the necessary documents can be prepared and clearly marked so that there is no confusion about where you need to sign. These documents can be sent through express mail or courier to wherever you or your spouse are located. It even comes with a return envelope. We would be glad to review the paperwork over the phone with everyone at a time that is convenient to you and your spouse.

What should be expect on the day of sale?

If you and your spouse are in the area, you will come to the title company to sign the final documents on either the same or different days, depending on how you prefer. You both do not have to be in the office at the same time. This helps up be accommodating to all schedules.

When will the proceeds from the sale be distributed?

Proceeds may be distributed between you and your spouse the day of closing or, deposited in your accounts. There will be precise instructions from your agreement and attorneys.