Can you sell your house during a divorce? It’s a question you might be asking yourself if you’re in the midst of a divorce process in Vermont. For those who have been through a divorce, you know what an emotional and difficult time it can be in someone’s life. So it’s always important to very clear about what you want to accomplish and what the best solution is to sell your house, whether that’s to sell it on the housing market or sell your house fast with a cash buyer.
It can be difficult to sell a house during a divorce under any circumstances, but especially so if both parties aren’t on the same page about what to do with your Vermont residence. Selling a house during divorce might sound impossible or unwise but it can actually be a beneficial way to help everyone get a fresh start and begin the process of moving forward. Whatever the reason, if you need to sell your house fast in a divorce, Burlington House Buyers is here to help. But regardless of how you proceed, let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about selling your house during a divorce.
Legal Reasons for Selling a Home During a Divorce in VT
The hope is that any divorce involving two people can be worked out and settled amicably. The ideal scenario is that both sides can easily come to decisions to split property and assets and that both sides can walk away happy. Of course, the ideal scenario isn’t always what happens in a divorce. That means that dividing up the assets and property can be a tense or even messy affair. When it comes to selling a home during a divorce, that can be a situation fraught with emotions and conflict, especially since money is involved.
While it might not be cut and dry, both people likely contributed to the original purchase of the house, even if one person may have paid more than the other or generated the money needed to make the purchase. But when it comes time for a divorce, both sides will likely want their fair share of the investment. If the two people aren’t able to agree initially, they could try to agree through the legal system. And if that doesn’t work, the courts could make that decision for you, and you may not agree with the outcome.
So it’s important to always try to agree on what to do with your Vermont house before it gets to that point. Often, the easiest and most logical solution about what to do with the house during a divorce is the sell it fast. Often the biggest asset in the marriage, this can help make things feel more manageable and start the process of moving in your own directions.
Financial Considerations for Selling a Home
While selling your house during a divorce may have an emotional reason behind it, there are also some financial considerations you might want to consider as well. Since you presumably bought the house while married or co-own the property, there’s a chance that the mortgage is based on the incomes of both people. Once that income is cut in half, it can become exceedingly hard to keep up on payments. And the last thing you want is to create an entirely new problem in the form of missed loan payments or foreclosure. And that’s before you take into account insurance, taxes, and utilities.
One of the most important financial considerations you should keep in mind is the capital gains tax and the ramifications if you sell the house. According to the capital gains tax laws, a married couple can sell their house and exclude up to $500,000 in profit from taxable amounts. The problem is that once you become a single person, that exclusion drops to $250,000. That’s a huge change in taxable income and could end up giving you a huge tax bill you weren’t expecting when you sell the house later.
If you do decide to sell your Vermont house during divorce while you’re still a couple, you can file a joint tax return and claim the full $500,000 tax deduction, so long as you’ve lived in the property for two of the last five years and that you can prove this has been your personal residence and not a rental or investment property.
This can pay off if you’ve owned the property for a long time and you’ve seen a huge growth in equity. That’s going to mean big tax savings for you at a time when you’d surely like to minimize costs and maximize profits. If one person decides they’d like to remain in the house, this could end up costing you a lot in taxes, so make sure you think through that decision.
Liability Reasons for Considering Selling Your House
If that’s not enough reason to consider selling your house during a divorce, consider all of the liability reasons that could be a problem for you. While there are certainly ways for one person to remain in the house while the other moves that, that can create some issues for both sides that are unintended.
If one spouse decides they have the financial ability to remain in the house, they could say they want to take over the mortgage and, if they can get the lender to approve it, take over as the sole owner of the house. This would remove the other spouse from the homeownership and eliminate their liability to it. Of course, it isn’t always possible for one person to take over ownership of a house and a mortgage on their own.
When children are involved, there can feel like an incentive to remain in the house and try to minimize disruptions as much as possible. That means both people remain on the mortgage but perhaps only one of them actually stays in the house. This requires a lot of good faith and trust on the part of the spouse who moves out as they will remain liable if the remaining person fails to make loan payments, doesn’t pay utilities, gets into trouble with the HOA, or any other issues. This could have an impact on your credit as well.
Negotiating While Selling a House in Divorce
If you do decide to list your Vermont house on the open market, you’ll have to agree with one another on how to handle offers, negotiations, and acceptance. You can talk about the price you’re willing to accept or hope that your real estate agent knows what a good price for your house would be. When offers roll in, you’ll try to have open lines of communication to figure out a strategy or have your attorneys communicate that strategy.
Agreements When Selling a House During a Divorce
As part of your divorce, you’ll want to define a divorce settlement agreement. This way, you have a legally binding contract that spells out who is responsible for what and who gets which assets after the divorce is final. When it comes to selling your house, the agreement should outline whether or not one person is in charge of the sale, how the profits from the sale will be distributed, and who is responsible for the upkeep and preparing the house to be sold.
Selling a house for Cash During a Divorce
If the idea of a drawn-out sale process on the housing market sounds like too much to handle and you want to sell your Vermont house fast, you can do that by selling it directly to a cash buyer like Burlington House Buyers.
When you sell the house to a cash buyer like Burlington House Buyers, you avoid real estate agents and commission fees. You also don’t have to pay for repairs or cleaning. You get a fair cash offer that you can say no to if you don’t like. By selling a house for cash, you get to close on the sale on your timeline, often within days. And you get cash for your Vermont house so you can move on to the next phase of your life quickly.
Selling your house during a divorce in Vermont can feel like an impossible situation. But if you can work with one another and make good choices based on reason, you’ll find that you have options. And if you want to sell your house during a divorce fast, reach out to Burlington House Buyers today and we’ll make you a fair cash offer ASAP.