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Selling shared property can be complex during divorce

When it comes to dividing shared real estate, the equation during a divorce can be tricky. In some cases the soon-to-be-ex spouses can agree on which one should take possession and eventually ownership of the shared home or apartment as part of the overall divorce settlement. In other cases, it can quickly become clear that neither spouse wants to continue to live there, and that means that the time has come to try to sell the property.

Selling a home or a condo in the midst of a divorce is no small feat. For one, it means both people must agree on a price and eventually a buyer, which can be difficult in a contentious divorce.

Another complication can arise when one or both of the spouses still live in the home while they look for new places to live. This can make it more difficult to show the house, or, if someone is in the process of moving, can leave the interior of the home in disarray. In some extreme situations, there may be a restraining order in place, preventing one spouse from speaking to another even while they must make an agreement and a deal to see the jointly owned property.

This is where the self-proclaimed “divorce specialist” real estate agents come into play. These agents specialize in dealing with the particularities of divorcing homeowners and have some tips for people trying to sell a home amidst a breakup. One important thing do to, is to avoid letting buyers know that a divorce is occurring. This can drive the price down as potential buyers thing the sellers are desperate. Another tip they offer is to make an effort to have items in the house evenly distributed – like clothing in both closets – so that it doesn’t look like someone just left. These details can be subtle, but when it comes to making the most of the shared asset, details can be important.

Source: New York Times, “After the Breakup, They Help Sell the House” Elizabeth A. Harris, Apr. 1, 2013

Information about asset division during a divorce can be found on our Las Vegas family law site.

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