How to sell a house during a divorce

How to sell a house during a divorce

Divorces are stressful, hard, and can cause a lot of emotional turmoil. There is, of course, the changing relationship to consider with both partners having to learn how to navigate a world apart. However, it isn’t just the emotional hurdles divorcees must handle, they also must work out financial issues. The biggest of which is property and how to sell a house during a divorce.

For most Canadians, a house is the single most valuable asset a family or couple has. It is valuable both in terms of financial and emotional investment. But it is also something that frequently has to be sold during a divorce for the good of both parties. The following is a look at just how you can go about it during a divorce:

How to Sell a House During a Divorce


Get on the Same Page with Your Soon-to-be-Ex-Spouse

While we hope that your separation and divorce are being done amicably, we know that isn’t always the case. But even in situations where you can’t stand to be in the same room, it is important to do so to ensure you are on the same page about selling a house during a divorce.

Both of you need to agree on this as a course of action and get a shared idea of what needs to be involved before you sell the home (to get the best price) and come to an agreement on the desired sale price and sell-by date. The latter is especially important as one or both of you might have new financial constraints limiting you from moving on with your new life, such as needing money for a new lease. So agree together on both a desired amount and date and set a minimum amount and date.

Have a Plan for How to Prepare the House

It is very rare for home sellers to be able to list and successfully sell their home the same week as they make the decision to sell. That’s important to keep in mind when planning how to sell a house during a divorce. Almost all houses are going to need some renovations, some clean-up, or something that ought to be fixed or cleaned up with to get the best price. In most cases, both things will apply.

For example, if you have an old porch out back that isn’t up to code or has some termite damage. That porch will need to be repaired or replaced in both cases, and it’s best to get that done before you start bringing in potential home buyers.

Additionally, your realtor can also talk to you about simple updates that can add in some serious ROI. Like painting an interior can often earn you an increased value around double of what you’ll spend on paint. Or for bigger improvements check out our list of the top renovations to increase the sale price of your home.

The problem is that when thinking about how to sell a house during a divorce, getting these necessary and desirable repairs and upgrades done can be a challenge. Sit down with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse and make a plan for what needs to get done as soon as possible and then a list of desired upgrades. Create a calendar, especially if one or both of you aren’t living in the home and make a decision on when and who will do what.

To simplify the job of splitting the costs of any updates, you could consider our Property Concierge program that allows you to renovate your home before you sell with no money down.

Plan, Renovate, and Sell!

Now, as they say, men make plans and God laughs. A wise saying, as nothing is guaranteed and you never know when the real estate market will change. That said, with a cohesive plan, calendar, and an agreement on when and for how much you are willing to sell the house for and how much you want to sell for, the process of selling during a divorce can become significantly less stressful. Just make sure you’ve got a good realtor to help you both over any bumps in the road!