Selling your house during divorce in Utah can be extremely difficult. Everyone’s emotions are high throughout a divorce. Most people during this time want to destroy the house. In reality, with time the emotions simmer and we all become adults once again.
When it comes to divorce proceedings, the courts usually guide us to being adults faster than we are ready. Keep the home in tact because if you have to sell, you want top dollar. Plus you don’t want your ex-spouse to claim you damaged the property and have your portion garnished for the momentarily emotionally gratifying deed.
Agreeing to Sell and Split
A common way to split assets in a divorce, especially a house that you live in, is to put it on the market, sell it and split the equity between the two of you. This is common especially if there aren’t children involved. It simplifies things by eliminating a pending mortgage and if you can sell quickly, expedites the divorce process. With that being said, if the housing market is on a down turn, this would make things go on even longer than desired.
Talk to a real estate professional. Get an honest idea of what the house value is. Find out what repair costs will give you the best bang for your buck. Negotiate fees with the realtor so that the net profits will be as high as possible and do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) so you can know what to expect in your neighborhood’s market.
Preparing the House for Sale in Utah
Do your best as a couple to clean up the house and make it presentable for sale. Remember you both have a stake in the successful sale. De-clutter and make it look like a happy family lives there. Continue to mow the grass. And if you really want to make it smooth, tackle that honey-do-list you have been avoiding.
She’ll scratch her head wondering why you were incapable of doing it before and you’ll know you just increased your sale value. Funny how you can win that way sometimes.
The Next House
If selling the house you were living in and wanting to buy a new house, make sure to plan with the realtor to ensure that when you buy the new home it coincide with the sell. Divorces sometimes will get held up in court and sometimes property sales can get hung up for a million other reasons. You don’t want to be making two mortgage payments when if everything falls apart.
Be honest with lenders and start the process early. While you need to be prepared, don’t lock any rates in before you are really ready to pull the trigger. Constantly running credit for new approvals can hurt credit scores.
One Spouse Keeps The Pad
While this option is more common when children are involved (to keep them stable), it is a viable option in any divorce if parties agree. In this scenario, you decide to buy the house from your soon-to-be-ex. He or she will agree to quit their interest in the property by completing a quit claim deed. For their part, you agree to assume the mortgage and buy them out of their equity.
To buy your spouse out of the mortgage, you need to contact the lender and explain the divorce scenario and request an assumption of the loan. Lenders will more than likely underwrite you as an individual to make sure you can afford the house on your own. Make sure you document all income you have, including spousal support.
If the lender won’t let you assume the loan, you need to apply for a refinance. If interest rates are lower, this might not be a bad scenario anyway. Again, this is a loan application. Meet all income and debt obligations to qualify.