Selling House During Divorce: “Should I Sell My House Quick or Wait?”

“Should I sell my house quick or wait? I’m heading towards divorce after my spouse’s affair.  What should I do? I don’t know any real estate agents to ask.”

Does this sound familiar?

Your thoughts may toggle between “sell my house quick” versus waiting, but you must carefully weigh your options.

What sounds good today may not tomorrow.

You’ve got market conditions to consider, the competing houses in the neighborhood up for sale, tax implications, the price of moving and living somewhere else, affording the mortgage on the next home- just to mention a few.

Luckily for you I brought in an expert on this topic.

I invited nationally recognized Remax Realtor from the New England area Bill Gassett with over 25 years experience in real estate, who has advised several thousands of visitors to his blog, to answer your questions.

I wrote the questions in my text-based interview with Bill in first-person voice.

In other words, are written with you in mind. They are written as if you are the one asking them straight to Bill.

Whether you are a spouse who deals with divorce and your house sale now or a real estate agent in need of suggestions of how to best help your clients, feel free to contact to Bill with the information at the bottom of this post.

Selling Real Estate During Divorce: “Should I Sell My House Quick or Wait?

My Interview with Nationally-Recognized Realtor Bill Gassett from Remax

“What are the advantages to sell my house quick before the divorce is finalized?”

“There are a few pros for selling a home before the divorce is finalized. The season of the year you are selling the home in could have a major influence on what you net out of the sale.

For example, in many locations selling in the spring will bring the most money due to demand from buyers. While the exact opposite could be true if you sell in a cold weather climate.

It is important to speak to a local real estate professional to determine when to sell is best.

Additionally, one party may need the proceeds in order to purchase a home they have located that is desirable. Buying a home after divorce is something that requires a lot of thought. Sometimes people rush to get out of their current circumstances and make hasty decisions.

It is easy to have regrets about your purchase later when you make quick decisions.”

“Are there any financial advantages of taking your time to wait to sell the home until after divorce?”

“Again the answer to waiting to sell until after the divorce is finalized could hinge on the season.

Trends for selling a home for the most money can vary tremendously throughout the country. There are usually high and low points for getting the best return.

There also could be tax implications involved for one of both parties. Speaking with a qualified tax professional is always prudent for those who are going through a divorce.”

“What factors should we consider if one of us will remain in the house? What financial challenges can pop up later that we might not be considering now?”

“One of the most common issues in divorce is one party wanting to keep the family home at all costs. While there can be a lot of emotional ties to a home, especially with kids involved, it is not always the best move financially.

When one party is eliminated from the equation, keeping up with a home financially could potentially be more difficult. Sometimes a spouse will make irrational decisions due to stress and not thinking things through properly.

Additional costs of home ownership can factor into the equation that may not have been considered.

For example, maybe one of the parties took care of cutting the grass, doing the landscaping and plowing the driveway. If this person is no longer around then more often than not the other party is left to pay someone to handle these tasks.”

“As a Realtor who has dealt with dozens of couples who sell their house while going through a divorce, what challenges do you face while working with them?”

“Dealing with divorce can be very stressful for a real estate agent when things are not amicable. It is very easy to be caught in the middle of two people who are not getting along. As an agent you really have to walk a tight rope.

It is very easy for one party to get bent out of shape when you don’t remain completely neutral. Sometimes this can be really difficult, especially when one party truly is being unreasonable.

In the extreme it is possible that one party may even try to hold up a sale for any number of reasons. On occasion one of the parties will have to take the other back to court unless something is worked out.”

“What problems can come up to prevent me to sell my house quick and then makes it sit on the market for a long time?”

“The biggest hurdle to a successful home sale is when one party tries to get every lost dollar out of the home.

Sometimes the parties will not agree on a sale price. Even though it has been discussed up front, one party may change their mind.

When an offer comes in and one party is being difficult it really makes your job difficult.

In divorce it is not unusual where one party has to take the other party to court and let a judge end up liquidating the property.”

“Do both spouses typically stay in the house while selling?”

“It can really go both ways when it comes to the parties staying in the home together or not. More often than not one of the parties will vacate.

And when they both decide to move out and leave the house vacant what problems can arise to sell quickly?

On occasion but not often both parties will decide to move out. Selling under these circumstances is usually not that difficult. It could however, impact the bottom line as homes that are vacant sometimes sell for less.

People ask why this happens and it is tied to the fact that buyers assume there is more of a sense of urgency when a home is left unoccupied. If the market gets wind of a divorce it could be even more damaging.”

“This is not your routine normal real estate deal due to the raw emotions that surround the divorce and separation. What characteristics and experience make a good real estate agent for the job?”

“A real estate agent handling divorce must have patience, great negotiating skills, balance, impartiality and confidentiality.

You really need to keep a level head when you are dealing with two people who may want to strangle each other.

The real estate agent must remember they are working for both parties equally. Above all else you cannot play favorites. A real estate agent above all else must be able to keep both parties discussions confidential.”

“How would you suggest us, since we are going through divorce, to find the right real estate agent? Neither of us know any?”

“There are two good ways to find a real estate agent that has experience handling divorce. The first would be to do an online search. Something like ‘top real estate agent in city, state that handle divorce.’

Another good method would be to ask any friends that you know who have gone through a divorce. They may have had a good experience with an agent.

One of the most important aspects of selling a home is picking the right Realtor.

So many people do not take the time to property interview an agent.

With a divorce it is even more critical to choose an agent that both parties feel comfortable with. The agents track record becomes very important. Some of the biggest mistakes choosing an agent come from sellers who are sold a bag of goods.

It’s human nature for home owners to believe their home is worth more than the neighbors. Unprofessional agents often inflate market values to land a listing.”

Summary of Selling House During Divorce: “Should I Sell My House Quick or Wait?”

Your first thought to yourself after deciding to divorce could easily be, “I must sell my house quick”.

Nationally recognized Realtor Bill Gassett suggests that before you simply throw your house on the market to plan appropriately.

You want to make the right decisions both financially and for your family’s emotional needs.

When you decide to sell your home while going through divorce, you will confront many delicate and touchy situations.

You or your spouse may not quite ready to leave the marriage.

Watching your husband/wife move out can cause a lot of emotional trauma.

You both worked hard together to save up to purchase your biggest asset. And your home became a memory maker, a place of birthday parties, anniversaries and family gatherings.

Because of the fragile nature of selling your home during divorce you must choose a qualified and experienced real estate agent who understands how to juggle and manage the challenges inherit with this situation.

Don’t make hasty decisions that could cost you months of time and thousands of hard-earned dollars blowing in the wind while house sits on the market, collects dust and scares off potential buyers.

Choose the right agent for the job.

If you are asking yourself, “Should I sell my house quick while going through divorce?”, then I suggest you take Bill’s advice from this post, as well as the posts I’ve linked to in it.

Contact Bill Gassett with more questions and to possibly refer an agent who works in your area.

Meet Re/Max Realtor Bill Gassett

Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been assisting people moving in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past thirty one years. Bill has been one of the top RE/MAX Realtors in New England for the past decade plus. In 2016 he was the #3 RE/MAX real estate agent in New England. Connect with him on Google+

selling house during divorce sell my house quick or wait

Bill Gassett

RE/MAX Executive Realty

22 South Street, Ste. 203 Hopkinton, MA 01748 One of The Top RE/MAX Agents in New England RE/MAX LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT 508-435-5356 (work) 508-435-5550 (fax)

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Articles written by Bill Gassett on his site:

Divorce and Selling Real Estate
How to Hire a Real Estate Agent in Divorce


Surviving an affair or divorce does not only pertain to the relationship itself.

Visit my post Affair Recovery Keys: 17 Infidelity Survival Traits [Free PDF Download]



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