If divorce is in your future, one of the assets included in your divorce is likely to be your marital residence. Among the ways your home can be handled in a divorce is to sell the property and distribute the proceeds. A Murfreesboro divorce lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains what you need to know about selling the marital residence during a divorce.
Your Home and Your Divorce
For many couples, the marital residence represents their most valuable investment. That means it may also be the most valuable asset involved in the division of assets in a divorce. Some people cannot wait to move from the marital residence because it holds unpleasant or overly emotional memories. Others will fight passionately to keep possession of the marital home in a divorce. Regardless of how you feel about the home you live in it will be part of your divorce. Unlike assets such as cash or stocks you cannot physically divide a home and distribute the parts to each party. One common solution is for one party to be awarded the home while the other spouse is compensated for his/her share of the equity in the home using other assets.
Another option is to sell the home and divide the proceeds. If you and your spouse decide to go this route, it is essential that you reach a clear agreement regarding the sale of the home and how the proceeds are to be distributed. It is imperative that you discuss the option to sell the marital residence with your divorce attorney to ensure that your financial interest in the home is protected during and after the sale.
Determining the Value of Your Home
If you and your spouse reach an agreement to sell your home (or even prior to reaching an agreement), one of the first things you need to do is determine the home’s value.
- Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): You can ask a real estate professional to conduct a CMA which involves an in-depth review of your home’s worth in the current market based on recent sale of comparative homes.
- Professional Appraisal. Lenders require a home appraisal before approving a mortgage; however, you can also hire an appraiser to estimate home value at any time. Among other things, appraisers evaluate:
- Market: The region, city, and neighborhood in which a home is located.
- Property: Characteristics of the house, including improvements and the land it sits on.
- Comparable properties: Sales, listings, vacancies, cost, depreciation, and other factors for similar houses in the same market.
Tips for Selling Your Home
If you are entitled to a portion of the proceeds from the sale of your home, you want to get top dollar in the sale. To ensure that happens, consider the following tips:
- Work with a real estate professional. Trying to sell your home yourself in the middle of a divorce is not a good idea. Instead, work with a professional just as you are doing in your divorce.
- Make necessary repairs. You do not need to do a complete overhaul; however, if the roof, plumbing, electrical or any other significant repairs need to be made, investing in those repairs before putting the home on the market will pay off in the long run.
- Declutter. An empty house can be difficult for a buyer to envision living in; however, a house that is cluttered or too full of personal items can have the same effect.
- Set the mood for buyers. Put a little time and effort into creating some curb appeal. In addition, make sure the home is clean and aesthetically pleasing. Set out some pleasant-smelling wax burners and switch the light bulbs to soft white to set the mood.
Contact a Murfreesboro Divorce Lawyer
If you have additional questions about selling the marital residence during your divorce in Tennessee, it is important that you consult with an experienced Murfreesboro divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact the team at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.