Selling your house during divorce in Chicago can be extremely difficult. Emotions can be high in a divorce. Chances are that someone at some time wants to destroy the house. The reality is, eventually emotions subside 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
One of the common ways to split assets in a divorce, especially a house, is to put it on the market, sell it and split any equity equally among 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. That being said, if the housing market is slow, this could drag things on longer than desired.
Speak with a few different real estate professionals to get an idea of not only how much you can sell your home for but how long it will take to sell your home at different price points. Of course, if you offer a more competitive price then you will be able to sell your home much faster than if you had a much higher asking price. Set your price point at a level that will match the speed in which you wish to sell the property.
Preparing the House for Sale in Chicago
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.
When a potential buyer walks through your home, you’ll want to give them the impression that your house is ready to move right into. Many buyers will lose interest quickly if the house is going to need a bunch of repairs while others may expect you to accept a lower offer price in exchange for having to do the repairs.
The Next House
If you are selling the marital house and will be buying a new house, make sure to coordinate things with your realtor to ensure you time the purchase properly. Divorces get hung up in court and house sales get hung up for a million reasons. You don’t want to be tied into a new home mortgage when other components fall 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. This means you will be taking sole responsibility for the loan moving forward and your spouse will be released from any other further responsibility in regards to the property and mortgage. To get approved for a loan assumption you will have to provide sufficient documentation to lender that proves your individual income is enough to service the monthly loan payments moving forward.
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.