Has divorce caused you to have to sell your house?  It’s never easy. I mean doing one of these is tough enough but to go through a divorce and pack up the house that you don’t really want to sell but now HAVE to sell, is a nightmare. Here are some ways to keep everything organized, calm and as stress free as possible.

No Need to Do It Together

Is the divorce contentious or just unfriendly?  You do not have to sit together to discuss any of the issues at hand.  You may not enjoy your spouses company anymore because they either make you feel guilty for breaking up the family or they did something very hurtful and you can’t stand the sight of them. The Realtor and any other professionals can  meet with you separately or you can all meet via Zoom from your own homes. In addition, all listing agreements, disclosures and extensions can be signed digitally, in your home or at your office. If any professional tells you that signing in-person is a must, get a new professional. They are stuck in the dark ages!

Decide  Ahead of Time:

Price is based on market value, not what you paid for it, what you spent on that stone wall in the back, the kitchen remodel 25 years ago or what your neighbor got for his house which is most likely completely different from yours.  The realtor uses comps or comparables to come up with the right price. A comp is a home of similar style, similar square footage, similar upgrades and 10-15 years newer or older than your home. Allow the Realtor to present a price range to both of you and decide from within that range.  If you can’t agree on price,  then agree to allow the Realtor to make the final decision.  He or she probably knows best anyway. She has sold hundreds of houses to your 1-3, right?

Repairs: Yay or Nay

After the home inspection the buyers will probably ask for a few items to be repaired or replaced.  Some of the issues they ask for are simply “padding” to make the list longer so you’ll agree to some of what they ask. For example, they really want the furnace replaced but they ask for 5 smaller items to be repaired in addition. If you choose to do the 5 smaller items, that may appease them so they don’t have to spend the money and time hiring a tradesperson to come in. Your Realtor can help you determine which repairs to agree to take care of and give you recommendations for tradespeople she trusts.   Decide which of you will contact them, arrange visits and get quotes for each job. You have the option of having the repairs done yourself (but be careful, the request may include having the work done by a licensed professional) or hiring someone and gathering the receipts or crediting the buyers at closing. Do what’s easiest for you.

Different Departure Dates

Move out dates:  Both of you should not be moving out on the same day.  It will cause massive confusion on the part of the movers and most likely, Grandma’s dresser will end up in the wrong house.  Movers generally come in threes so now you’ll have six burly men wandering around your house trying to carry larger items, all at the same time. Think of the confusion that will cause! Avoid disaster by not only choosing separate days but also by organizing each person’s belongings in separate areas of the house, such as the garage for one, and the large family room for the other.  You can also color code boxes and furniture pieces with colored duct tape, using one color for the Mrs and another for the Mr.

Closing: Same Day, Different Room or Time

 If you are on good terms, choose closing dates that work for both of you.  If not, make certain the buyer’s attorney is aware of the situation and ask for separate times to sign documents. Or worst case scenario, the attorney can put you in separate rooms and. bounce between the rooms.  Unfortunately, closing documents can’t be digitally signed so you’ll both be signing in person but it doesn’t have to be at the same time. Make sure you request the proceeds to be disbursed in separate checks, as well. 

The best way to move during a divorce is to organize, prepare ahead of time and avoid as much conflict as possible during this already stressful time.

I hope this was helpful and there is even more information in this blog:

Divorce-Selling