The Wistrick Team - Di-forced To Sell
Expert Tips

Expert Tips

Di-forced To Sell

March 09, 2023

Divorce is the #1 triggering event that forces couples to sell a home unexpectedly. A shared home is often the largest asset in the settlement and the most emotionally charged component to work through.

This could play out a number of ways, but I want to explain the two most common.


One Stays, One Goes

In many cases, one spouse wants to keep the house (due to childrens’ schools, proximity to work, affordability). If one spouse stays, the other is typically entitled to a portion of the home’s equity. That’s where it can get tricky in today’s market. 

In the last two years, home values have spiked and interest rates have doubled. 

How does one get paid out if the home isn’t actually sold? A cash-out refinance is a popular way to pay out a spouse and remove their name from the mortgage and title. Here’s the big catch … the refinance uses today’s rates (around 6%). The spouse staying in the home has to qualify for the refinanced mortgage. 

Before moving forward with a cash out refinance, couples need to know how much home equity they actually have. The Wistrick Team runs initial comps and net sheets to help divorcing couples understand their options, and we’re happy to recommend a good appraiser if legally required. 


The House Must Go

In many cases, both spouses financially have no choice but to sell. This involves many steps that need to be taken in order to pave a clear path to closing.

The first step is deciding on one Realtor to represent both parties. This is the most critical step because selecting the wrong agent will take an already tense situation to the next level. 


Key Skills to look for…

✓ Expert Negotiator who can sell a property with the least amount of back-and-forth.

✓ Detailed Communicator who can manage 10+ people within one divorce transaction. 

✓ Efficient Manager who understands how to swiftly move through the process with all parties involved.

Marketing Pro who knows exactly how to get the home show-ready, captured, and distributed to market.

✓ Experienced in divorce transactions because tensions are high and tempers fly. The Wistrick Team has been called on for 20 years to assist in these situations. 


It’s Not Over Just Yet

Closing day can be tense. But a great Realtor can help ease the pressure by coordinating separate signing times. Once all parties have signed, we will work with the attorney to make sure wires were sent correctly, everyone has copies of the paperwork, keys transferred, etc. 

Once the closing is complete, a diligent team will set a series of follow-ups. The Wistrick Team sets reminders for big ticket items like escrow refund checks, notifying both parties that more money will be coming within 30 days of closing (we’ve seen ex-spouses try to hide that money). Other key items include making sure utilities are turned off, homeowners insurance canceled, and so much more. 


If you are (or someone you know is) in a divorce situation with real estate involved, we are always here to help. We can be contacted confidentially to get questions answered (we will never disclose exploratory conversations to the other spouse).

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