When getting married, no one thinks it will end in divorce. Unfortunately, this is the fate of almost 700,000 marriages every year.
Divorce being common makes it no less emotionally stressful for those involved. It entails making difficult decisions like dividing joint property. It often means determining whether (and how) to sell a home.
A contentious divorce makes these issues even more difficult. If you find yourself in this type of situation, you will want to resolve things as fast as possible.
This information covers everything you need to know about selling a house during divorce proceedings in York County, including how to do so as expeditiously as possible without jeopardizing the price. Keep reading to find out how to sell your house, so that you can move on with your life.
As stated, divorce is an emotional sequence of events. One of the most important things is to do your best not to allow emotions to impact financial judgments. This includes making decisions about what is often the most valuable asset that married couples own: their home.
No one is telling you not to get angry or frustrated. That is only natural. But try to not let those feelings negatively impact your decision-making.
In short, when making hard choices about the property, try to think of it as a business transaction. Proceed as if you were putting your house on the market without the emotional turmoil of divorce.
Know the Law
How marital assets get divided depends on where you live. Some states are “community property states.” This means all assets acquired during the marriage are divided equally, no matter what the circumstances of the divorce.
There are nine “community property states,” but Pennsylvania is not one of them. They operate under the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means that if both spouses cannot come to a divorce agreement about how to divide property, then a court decides.
This is where things can get complicated. A judge can take into account different circumstances relevant to the marriage, and then make a determination about how to fairly divide property based on them. (Note that marital misconduct is not one of the factors they can consider for these purposes.)
Keep in mind that a court can make a decision about whether to sell property in York County if spouses cannot agree upon it. They can even step in during the sale process if disagreements arise and cannot be resolved.
The important thing is to understand what you stand to lose or gain by allowing this to happen. In most circumstances, it is preferable for the two parties to reach an agreement on their own, or with the help of a mediator.
Review Capital Gains Tax Implications
You also should familiarize yourself with the ramifications of real estate capital gains taxes. There is an exclusion of up to $500,000 in profits. Anything you sell your house for beyond that amount is subject to taxation.
Also, the exclusion drops to $250,000 if you are single. This means that if you are going to sell your house soon, there is a huge incentive to do so while you are legally still a couple.
Note that each couple could claim the exclusion while filing an individual tax return. This becomes more complicated though. There are stipulations about how long you must have lived in the home and if it is your primary residence to qualify for the exemption.
Agree on the Details Beforehand
Even if you are splitting the proceeds from the sale of the home 50/50 (or have agreed to some other arrangement), there are other things to consider. These include things like which spouse is responsible for getting the home ready for showing or who pays any liens or encumbrances.
There is a legal mechanism, known as a “stipulation,” that can solidify these arrangements. It is a binding agreement that both parties must enter into so that everyone is on the same page going forward.
An experienced attorney can further advise you on how this works. It is essential for avoiding litigation in the future, where it may be your word against your spouse’s.
If all the process-related details are agreed upon, the last thing to discuss is price. This includes the listing price and an amount that both of you are willing to settle for.
The important thing is not to wait until offers start rolling in to make these determinations. Of course, there will likely be circumstances that warrant further discussion, like whether to take an offer or keep waiting, even if the price is within the pre-agreed-upon parameters. But it does help for everyone to start on (generally) the same page.
Hire Proven Professionals
One of the best things you can do when selling a house during a divorce is to hire professionals who can help. This starts with a financial planner.
They can answer any questions you might have about how different decisions will impact your other finances. This will help you be as informed as possible so that you can make the best decision possible, even in difficult circumstances.
Likewise, experienced real estate brokers who specialize in these types of situations can be a major asset as well. They will be sensitive to both your fiscal goals and your timeline. This can help you move things along quickly without jeopardizing potential sales revenue.
Learn More About Selling a House During a Divorce
Now that you know some tips for selling a house during a divorce in York County, you can get the ball rolling. Remember that contacting professionals with a lot of experience in this area can help you sell your property as fast as possible without budging on price.
First Choice Home Buyers is a local home-buying company with more than 20 years of experience in purchasing homes for cash. If you need to sell your home quickly, but still want competent staff and exemplary customer service, reach out to us today. We will help you sell your house for the price you need.