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Selling a House During a Divorce

Is it possible to sell a house during a divorce in Texas? This is one of the most common questions that people ask when they are going through this difficult time. The answer, unfortunately, is “it depends.” 

With some legal considerations and financial reasons for selling your property, you may be able to do so. But selling a house during the divorce proceedings can be tricky and complicated. 

This post will discuss the legal and financial reasons for selling your property, as well as the process and steps to sell a house during a divorce. We will also talk about who is liable to sell the house, as well as how much it would cost you in total.

If you are considering selling your home in Texas while going through a divorce, then this expert guide should help you make an educated decision on whether or not it is worth doing so!

House for sale During a Divorce in TX

Can You Sell a House During a Divorce in TX?

Is it possible to sell a house during a divorce in Texas? Absolutely, but to make the process run as smoothly as possible, you’ll want to get on the same page with your spouse. You’ll want to agree this is the best option. As challenging as it may be, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and be direct about expectations. Letting go of a house can be difficult, but for many divorcing couples selling a marital home can provide financial and emotional freedom.

Legal Reasons for Selling a House During a Divorce

Many legal reasons can motivate someone into thinking about selling their house during divorce proceedings in TX. Mainly it’s not to be legally tied to someone with whom you are no longer in a relationship. Also, this helps to divide assets.

Ultimately, selling the house is more of a financial decision than anything else. Therefore, in order to sell a family home during a divorce in Texas and divide this fairly, you should contact your lawyer and discuss the matter with him/her.

Furthermore, whoever owns the property legally will be responsible for it until it’s sold or transferred into another person’s name (provided there are clear ownership documents). 

If only one party has legal ownership of this property (which isn’t uncommon), then he/she automatically becomes its sole owner even if they don’t live on said premises anymore.

Financial Reasons for Selling a House During a Divorce

When it comes to financial reasons, there are several reasons that can be considered. If these two divorcing parties have many bills and debts, then the property’s value may not cover the total amount owed. In this case, one or both of them would need to sell off assets in order to cover their debts.

Another financial reason for selling a marital property during a divorce is to split the debt between both parties rather than having one person take on all of it alone. Selling off assets would mean that each party only has to bear half the total amount owed. Doing so could make living standards much more manageable after they are no longer together but still have some shared bills and responsibilities to deal with. 

When selling a home during a divorce, it is best if both spouses agree on who will get what from its sale value. If they cannot come up with an agreement, then one spouse may be entitled to more than 50% of the property’s final value depending on each state’s laws.

Who is Liable to Sell the House?

In most cases, when selling a house during divorce proceedings in TX, you should consider who has legal ownership of said property. This person will automatically become its sole owner even if he/she doesn’t live on its premises anymore (unless they decide otherwise). 

Texas is one of nine states that is a community property jurisdiction. In general, this means that any property acquired by a couple during their marriage (with a few exceptions) is equally owned by both spouses. This can have a profound effect on the dissolution of property during divorce proceedings.

So, if the home is in both of your names, both of you are liable to sell the house. That is if you both agree selling the home is in your best interest and neither of you would like to buy out the other person.

Make sure to verify this information with a family law attorney beforehand; that way, they can determine who is rightfully liable for the home and how to proceed.

Estimated Costs Associated with Selling a House During a Divorce

Each case varies depending on where you live in Texas, your lawyer’s legal advice, etc. However, whoever legally owns the property (i.e., holds the title) will incur any costs associated with its sale until it’s transferred into another person’s name(provided there isn’t a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that specifies otherwise).

The estimated costs of selling a house during divorce vary greatly based on location, size of the property, condition, etc., so there’s no simple answer. But you can expect a few costs to consider:

  • Repairs/Staging costs can get pretty expensive, and it may be challenging to come up with the money to cover these expenses, especially while paying for your divorce. To give you a better idea of what these could amount to – repairs typically cost 5% of the sale price. Home staging can range from $500-$5500, with most spending $1600-$2400 a month.  
  • Real Estate Agent Commissions in Texas typically cost 6%, which is split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. Using the typical Texas home value of $262,820, a 6% commission would cost $15,770. Of course, you could always try to sell a house without a realtor, which may be a bit challenging while getting divorced. 
  • Title/Escrow fees typically range from around $200-$500. Still, they may be significantly higher depending on the county where your property is located and transferrable liens that need to be paid off.
  • Property taxes- until your home sales, you’ll still need to pay your property taxes. Property taxes in Texas are the seventh-highest in the U.S., as the average effective property tax rate in the Lone Star State is 1.69%. Compare that to the national average, which currently stands at 1.07%. The typical Texas homeowner pays $3,390 annually in property taxes.
  • Capital gains tax- When you sell your home, another tax implication you may have is capital gains tax. If the value of the house is more than what you’ve purchased it for and you make a significant profit by selling it, capital gains tax may apply to you.
  • Home inspection fees are typically about $300-400 or so; again, it could cost more depending on the location & condition of the home being inspected.

Is it hard to sell a house while going through a divorce? Figuring out who pays for what while trying to go through a divorce can be difficult. Also, trying to agree on how much to spend on repairs, who will handle managing repairs being done, staging, and hiring an agent you both trust isn’t easy either.

For many divorcing couples working with a “We buy houses Texas” cash home buyer is the best option. Companies that buy houses in Arlington purchase homes in as-is condition, and hiring an agent isn’t necessary, which means no realtor commissions. 

Working with a home buyer like Four 19 Properties could make selling your Texas home a lot easier for both of you. The only things you’ll need to agree on would be accepting the cash offer and when you’d like to move out.

How to Sell a House During a Divorce

Selling a house can provide a clean slate and a chance for a fresh start after a challenging time in your life. Below we’ll break down how to sell a house during a divorce to hopefully make the process as smooth as possible.

Determine When to Sell 

Once you both agree that you’d like to move forward with listing the house, you will need to decide when the best time to sell the family home would be. Should you sell before, during, or after the divorce settlement? Of course, each option has its pros and cons for a divorcing couple. 

If you were to sell the property before the divorce, each spouse would likely get a fair share of the profits. But if you’re not on the best-speaking terms, this may be challenging. 

You might choose to sell the home while you’re going through the divorce. In such situations, it makes sense to work with a real estate professional that you both feel you can trust. Ultimately, you’ll have to work together to decide on a price as well as how you will divide profits fairly. 

Throughout either process, you’ll have to worry about repairs and staging the house to sell and who will be responsible for mortgage payments. You’ll want to make sure to protect yourself by having an attorney document how the mortgage, utilities, and other household expenses will be covered until the divorce is final. This will help to avoid falling behind on payments that could lead to a foreclosure.

If you were to sell after the divorce, you would still have to work out who gets the house or an amicable way to sell.

Get the Home List Ready 

Once you both agree that it makes sense to sell the family home and the right timing, you’ll need to prepare to sell.

First, do a walk-thru of the house and identify any repairs. Then, make a list of issues to address, from repairing a leaky roof to a leaky faucet. You’ll also need to know how much each repair may cost. So you may need to get quotes from several handymen or contractors. 

From there, you’ll want to decide which repairs are necessary. Oftentimes homeowners find that it’s easier to sell the house as-is during a divorce. But if you do decide to make repairs, figure out who will pay for what and get it in writing. 

Finally, determine who will handle the staging process. Home staging may involve cleaning, decluttering, rearranging, and/or renting furniture to help potential buyers visualize the home’s potential.

Put the House on the Real Estate Market 

Once you’ve gotten this far, it’s time to put the house on the real estate market. Usually, people choose to use a real estate professional to handle the selling process. 

You’ll need to both agree on a listing price, which your realtor can help you to determine, or you can have a home appraisal done to determine the fair market value. 

If someone still lives in the marital home, you’ll need to figure out how to handle showings. Dealing with open houses can be an inconvenience, and placing a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard will likely draw unwanted attention from neighbors. This may cause questions to arise about your personal life that you may not want the whole neighborhood to know about.

Ideally, you want your home to sell quickly. This is preferable before the divorce is final in order to utilize martial tax breaks. If you decide to sell your Texas house traditionally, the property may sit on the real estate market for 40-180 or more days. Currently, the average time it takes to sell a home in Texas is approximately 83-days. That’s roughly 48-days to get an offer, plus a closing period of 35-days. You may be able to sell in less time if you list during the best time of the year to sell your house in Texas.

Officially Sell the House

After both of you agree on an acceptable offer for the home and officially sell, it’s time to figure out who gets what percentage of the profits. This may not always mean a 50/50 split. 

In cases where one spouse contributed more to the mortgage or financial upkeep during the union, they may be awarded a larger portion of the sale. 

Another scenario- if one spouse keeps a larger amount of other assets, they might take less of the home sale profits. 

Ultimately, you’ll want to consult with your divorce attorney during the home sale process to come up with an agreeable decision.

couple going through divorce

Final Takeaways 

Make sure you’re aware of the process and steps to sell a house during divorce in Texas before making any decisions on what’s right for your situation! 

If you’re still uncertain about selling a house during a divorce, the good news is that other options are available. For example, you could consider co-owning the property and living as roommates. Also, consider refinancing, or you could keep it as a rental property or an Airbnb. 

Fortunately, there is an easier option for those wondering how to sell a house in Texas during a divorce: sell to Four 19 Properties. For most divorcing couples, the goal is to sell quickly and move on rather than worrying about a shared asset. 

A majority of couples would prefer to skip the stress and hassle of staging a house, keeping it “showroom” ready at all times, and paying for often expensive repairs and costly improvements that so many prospective buyers expect. 

In contrast, cash home buyers in Fort Worth like Four 19 Properties can provide an offer within 24-hours, close in as few as 7-days, and buy the property in as-is condition. Not only is this process quick, but it doesn’t include costly realtor commissions. Plus, you’ll be able to discreetly sell your home without alerting your nosy neighbors and having to answer personal questions. 

If you’re interested in working with a local cash home buyer, contact Four 19 Properties today to learn more about their home buying process, about their company, or to get a cash offer for your Texas home.

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