When is the best time to sell your house during a divorce?
Written by Mary Ann Hess

When is the best time to sell your house during a divorce?

Making the decision to divorce is never easy. In many cases, this includes the division of property and other assets accumulated during the marriage. A home is usually the largest asset a couple shares. If the two of you have decided to move forward with a sale, you may be wondering when is the best time to sell your house during a divorce.

Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer. The best time will depend on factors that are unique to your situation. Ultimately, you can choose to sell before, during or after your divorce. Here’s what you should know about each of your options and why they may be appropriate for your situation.

Pre-Divorce

In some cases, selling your home before proceeding with the divorce can be financially beneficial. In many states, selling your primary residence during a divorce allows each spouse to exclude up to $250,000 of gains. This may be greatly reduced if you wait until after your divorce to sell your house. There are some requirements, such as living in your home at least two of the last five years. Be sure to contact a professional to make sure you qualify.

Choosing to sell your home before beginning or during the divorce process, can make the task of asset division easier. By selling before your split, you’ll have a concrete number to divide evenly rather than trying to negotiate an equivalent exchange during the separation process.

During Divorce

For many, it makes more sense to sell your house during a divorce. A family home is full of memories. Selling the house during the divorce can help provide spouses with a sense of emotional closure. Separating couples can use the profit from the sale to begin new, separate chapters of their lives.

Post-Divorce

Real estate and property can be significant investments. However, the timing of your divorce may not align with a strong seller’s market. If both owners can look at the bigger picture and are willing to wait, the value of the home may increase.

Choosing to wait can prolong the turbulent feelings from the divorce as you deal with the sale of the house down the road. There is no guarantee of how long it will take for the housing market to turn around. It’s important to note that some state regulations and alimony laws may affect the total profit of a post-divorce sale.

Tips to Sell Your House During a Divorce

Separating spouses may feel overwhelmed when selling a house during the divorce process. This complicated matter should be handled with the help of experienced professionals who can guide you along the way.

It’s important for separating couples to emotionally detach. Thinking of the property as an asset that needs to be divided, rather than the home you raised your family in, can help both owners prepare to let go. Enlist the help of various people, including your attorney, tax professional, real estate agent and even a stager. The professionals can help give a realistic picture of what it will take to sell your home as quickly as possible, for the highest selling price, as well as the legal and financial ramifications of your decision.

If you want to learn more about when to sell your house during a divorce, contact a Best Legal Choices professional today.