Sell a House During Divorce in Dutchess & Putnam Counties
We buy with cash so you can split the equity quickly.
Going through a divorce is hellish enough. And having to sell a house during divorce just adds to the stress. Even under the best of conditions, there are always challenges along the way.
Sometimes, we’ve seen couples who are forced to stay together financially due to home ownership, simply because one party can’t afford the house alone.
More often than not, selling the family home is a better option for couples, particularly if the divorce is less than amicable. Whether you’ve been living in your home for a few months, or it’s been your family home for decades, couples often find that being left with the home in a divorce leaves them with painful memories of their ex-spouse. Because of this, selling your house allows you both to make a fresh start.
It might sound tricky to sell your home during a divorce, but it doesn’t have to be. With a wide range of options available to you, like listing with a real estate agent, or selling your home to a Real Estate Cash buyer, like us.
Can I Sell My House?
In New York law, there are two types of property in a marriage. You can either have marital property, which was acquired during the marriage, or separate property, which was purchased before you got married. Marital property is considered to be owned by both parties, even if there’s only one name on the legal paperwork.
If your shared home is marital property, then you will both have to agree on what to do with the house during the divorce, regardless of the names that are on the property title.
If the family home is considered to be separate property – for example, if you owned the house before you got married, and your spouse moved in – then the entire value of the home isn’t subject to equitable distribution. When you’re selling this property while in a divorce, only the amount the value has appreciated is subject to equitable distribution.
The exception to this is if you add your spouse’s name to the property title, as then the whole value becomes subject to equitable distribution regardless of you purchasing it before your marriage.
Sell Your House Before Your Divorce
If you both want to get a divorce, it’s often easier and quicker to sell your house before divorce proceedings start. This is because once you get your lawyers and the court involved, there will often be a degree of delay and loss of control. It’s a good option to explore if you’re both still on good terms.
Because you don’t need to get a court involved, you can split the proceeds of the house sale in a way that you both see fit. Plus, you’ve got a better chance of avoiding capital gains tax if you sell as a married couple. By selling your house before you file for a divorce, you can also free up funds to pay for (sadly) lawyers, as well as have everything in place for you both to start your new lives as soon as it’s finalized.
The biggest drawback is that, if you sell your house before divorce through a real estate agent, it can take months before you’re able to start the divorce process. However, you can easily sell your house before divorce with Bob Will Buy It. Since I’m a cash buyer, you can sell your house to me in as quickly as three weeks.
Sell Your House During Divorce
Both Parties Agree To Sell The House
You can sell your house during your divorce as long as you both agree to the sale, and agree to split the profits of the sale. This is often the easiest way forward, which is why it’s becoming more popular with couples who choose to divorce.
If this is the case, the court will draw up a consent order that outlines that the house will be sold and how the proceeds will be split between spouses. New York is what’s known as an equitable distribution state. This means that before any marital property is split between you and your spouse, the court will take into account a variety of factors, such as each person’s debts, what they need to move forward, and what each person contributed during the marriage.
This means that while the proceeds from the sale of the home won’t necessarily be split 50/50, they will be split fairly, so you both get the money that you need to start a new life.
In some cases, you may both agree to sell the house at a later date, but continue to co-own it for period of time. This can be a popular option, particularly with couples who owe more on their mortgages than the house is currently worth. If you’ve got children, you might agree to sell the house when they’re over 18 or finish high school.
If this is the case, then you should mutually agree on a future date to sell the house, or at the very least, a date to re-evaluate the divorce agreement.
Only One Party Agrees To Sell The House
In some instances, only one of you will want to sell the house. This can be for a variety of reasons, which can be quite complicated and/or emotional. When only one of you thinks you should sell the house, you do have a few options.
The first thing that most lawyers will discuss is one of you buying the other person’s “share” in the house. This is a great middle-ground because it gives both of you what you want, and you don’t have to worry about a court-ordered house sale that forces you both out of the home. This is a particularly good option if there are children involved, and the in-spouse (the person who will buy out the other’s share in the home) wants to maintain continuity for the children.
In some cases, you may be forced to sell the house by the court if you can’t agree on whether to sell the house in divorce or how much to sell the house for.
However, if you or your ex-spouse can’t afford to buy the other out, you can’t agree on the value of the house and the share the other person has, the court will need to get involved and you will loose some control on how your house gets sold. In most cases, you will be forced to sell the house.
When You Have Children Under 18
If you have children under the age of 18 living in the matrimonial home, then looking at how to sell your home in a divorce is a lot trickier.
In New York, whether you can sell your home in divorce will come down to who has custody of the children. Even if you both agree to sell your home, New York judges can grant exclusive occupancy rights to the spouse with custody over your children, which will usually be until they’ve graduated high school. At which point, you’ll be able to sell your home.
Forced To Sell House
In some cases, you may be forced to sell your home in divorce by court order. This can happen for a few reasons, such as:
- You and your spouse don’t agree on whether to sell the home while in divorce
- You and your spouse don’t agree on how to value the property for sale
- One spouse cannot afford to maintain the home alone
- One spouse has been wasting the couple’s assets elsewhere
While you can be forced to sell your house in divorce by the court, the court can also delay this sale if children are involved. Most courts in New York will delay the sale until your child or children have graduated high school, at which point the court-ordered house sale can go ahead.
What About My Stuff?
Over time, you’ll both have accumulated a ton of stuff that you might not want or need to take with you after you get divorced.
I totally understand that there are going to be things that neither of you wants to carry into your new lives and things that are just going to take up expensive storage space. If you’re sell your house to me, you can take what you want and simply leave anything else behind.
In fact, after I buy your house, I donate anything that’s still usable to local charities that work with families, children, and pets in need such as Dutchess Outreach, Brenna’s Basement, Furry Angels, Dutchess County ASPCA. Pots, pans, plates, flatware, small appliances, bedding, towels, clothes, laundry, hair care items, etc, gets collected, cleaned up and donated. It reduces the burden on our environment and best of all… helps people and animals in need.
Selling a House That Has a Mortgage
Pay It Off or Get a Short Sale
When you’re looking to move on from your divorce, holding onto the family home doesn’t help. In this case, the best option is usually to sell. Unfortunately, that might not be so easy, especially if you owe more on the mortgage than your house is worth.
If you’re in this negative equity situation, it makes the selling process a lot more difficult. This is an unwanted complication when you’re facing the stress of a divorce. Of course, if the split is amicable, you might decide to continue paying the mortgage together until the market improves, and sell your home at a later date. In the meantime, one (or both) of you can continue living there, or you could rent out the property.
However, if the court has ordered that you have to sell the property, then you’ll need to pay off the difference on the loan or go for a short sale.
Issues with Short Sales
A short sale is where you sell the property for less that what is still owed to the bank. In this case you have to get permission from the bank to sell this way and know that all of the proceeds from the sale go straight to the lender, and you don’t see a penny.
The downside of a short sale when you divorce is that both of your credit scores are negatively impacted. And, in some cases, you both may still be liable for the difference between what the house sells for and the amount still owed on the mortgage.
In some cases, the bank might decide to forgive that liability during the short sale. But then, the IRS may tax that forgiveness as income, and you and your ex will have to pay income tax on the part of the loan that was forgiven. It’s like rubbing salt in the wound.
In short (no pun intended), a short sale should be your absolute last-ditch option if you’re forced to sell your house during a divorce. While there are downsides to owning the home together following your divorce, it at least gives the market time to improve until you can make some money back when you sell a house in divorce…. hopefully.
Refinancing Your House After Divorce
Attempting to refinance your house after a divorce is another option as long as you’re not underwater on the mortgage. This only works as long as one of you agrees to let go of the house and the other, who’s refinancing, has good credit and income enough to pay for the new mortgage.
However, as you might already have guessed, this presents a bigger problem in that it leaves one person paying for the mortgage on a single salary. If, as part of the divorce, you or your spouse will be receiving alimony, spousal support, or child support, this can be counted as income towards refinancing the house.
In some cases, you may have to get creative with how you refinance the house. You or your spouse may need a non-occupant guarantor or co-borrower to sign onto the mortgage as a safety net for the lender. An experienced mortgage or financial advisor will be able to help you or your spouse find the best option here.
One Spouse Keeps the Home
If your spouse keeps the home, don’t expect it to be smooth sailing in getting a mortgage for your new home. Sometimes, it’s not so easy getting your name off your old mortgage, and qualifying for a second mortgage can be tough unless you have a high income. Your spouse might have to apply for another mortgage just so you can get your name off of it.
In some cases, you should be prepared to either continue living with your ex, move to a rental property, or even move in with family or friends while you go through the process of separating yourself from your old mortgage and applying for a new one.
The other issue then becomes how you deal with your other assets if one spouse is occupying the property. When you sell your home during a divorce, you’ll both have to move out, making it easier for you both to divide up your things. However, when one spouse stays, and the divorce was less than amicable, you may have to fight to retrieve the items that are rightfully yours.
Consider Where You’ll Move To
Another thing to consider when you want to sell a house during divorce is housing options in the community where you plan to live.
If you’re thinking of selling your house, then you need to think about whether you’re going to continue living in the same area or if you want a fresh start somewhere else. Staying in the same area might be preferable if you’ve got children, you’re still on good terms with your spouse, or your job is nearby. But, if things didn’t end well with your ex and you’re not tied to your current area, you might prefer to move to a new town, county, or even state for a clean break.
Once again, things become more difficult if children still in school. If you’re in a situation where you have custody of the children and you can’t keep the family home, you’ll probably have to find similar housing in the same school district. Failing that, you’ll have to cast your net wider to see if you can find suitable housing in another school district.
This could become a positive. For example, if you live in a district with low ranked schools, now’s a good opportunity to move into a better district for your kids. Spackenkill, Wappingers and Arlington are all districts with excellent rankings. Finding a property there may also help to give your children a fresh start, too.
If you decide to buy another home or rent, will your monthly payments be more or less? Applying for a mortgage on a single income can be difficult unless you’ve got a high monthly income, and more so if you’ve got children. While you might be able to secure a mortgage on a new house, your monthly payments might be higher than you’re used to, and you might need to find a co-borrower to secure that mortgage as a single lender.
Beacon, while more expensive than Pleasant Valley, tends to offer a decent mix of housing availability, recreation, and it’s good for families, making it a decent option for a fresh start.
On the other hand, you could rent a new property until you can restabilize your income enough to apply for a mortgage. However, renting can often be more expensive than purchasing a house, particularly if you’re expecting your children to be staying with you at least part of the time. Plus it’ll still take time to find a rental property, and you’re not guaranteed to be accepted when you apply to rent.
What about the costs of moving or even renting a storage unit? If you’re not moving into a new home straight away, you need to budget for a storage unit to keep your belongings safe until you get settled elsewhere.
Tax Consequences of Selling a House During a Divorce
When you’re getting divorced, it’s often hard to accept you’ll have to sell your beloved family home. You may be in love with the house now and want to stay, but what if during the next two years, you must sell it?
You could end up with an expensive capital gains tax bill. When you sell your house during your divorce, and you’ve lived in the house for at least two of the past five years, you’ll be able to claim a capital gains tax exemption of $250,000 per individual. However, this is only if the home is your primary residence. If you wait to sell the home until after you’re divorced and you’ve found a new property, you’re liable for the full tax amount if you sell your marital house within 2 years of the divorce.
So, you might be better off trading the house for other assets. Alternatively, if you can sell the house before the divorce, you’ll qualify for the couple’s capital gains tax allowance of $500,000 per couple.
As if looking to sell a house while in a divorce isn’t stressful enough, selling assets before a divorce can also be challenging. If not done correctly, there could be serious tax implications.
However, if you do liquidate assets, make sure you know what you’re dealing with when it comes to investable assets and the costs associated with them. Also, you need to find out the cost of a real estate asset and what the capital gains tax bill will be when you sell the house. Get a good business valuation and appraisal for any collectibles you may have. Don’t liquidate a 401K or fail to get a fair price when you sell an asset.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to worry about taxes if you transfer assets back and forth with your spouse, collaboratively. This way, you and your spouse decide what something is valued at, and in most cases, a judge doesn’t get involved unless you can’t decide between yourselves.
How To Sell Your House During Your Divorce
When you’re selling a house when in a divorce, as hard as it is, don’t argue.
Many real estate agents agree that couples who argue while they’re trying to sell a house when in a divorce, often don’t agree when it comes to routine decisions about fixing up the house, repairing, and even listing the property. This could jeopardize a potential sale and worse yet, the home could fall into foreclosure. Both of these things can drag out your divorce proceedings, which we’re sure is the last thing either of you wants.
So, set aside your differences and sell the house or agree to turn the house over to your spouse or yourself. If neither of you can agree on what to do with the house, you’ll undoubtedly end up with a court getting involved to decide for you, which only adds to the cost of your divorce.
List Your House Using an Agent
Traditionally, many couples who divorce hire a real estate agent. Or, they sell the house themselves but then have the hassle of being in charge of the whole process – in my experience, this tends to be a rare thing.
While using an agent is a common way of selling your house, if your divorce is less than amicable or you want to move on with your life as quickly as possible, using an agent isn’t always the best option. After all, it usually takes 6 months to a year before the house is sold, the mortgage is paid off, and the remaining money is distributed. If you’re dealing with a court-ordered house sale, then it might take a year or more for everything to be settled.
Instead, why not sell your home to Bob Will Buy It!?
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Sell Your House to a Cash House-Buying Company
If you’re looking to make a new start as fast as possible, then the last thing you want is a drawn-out divorce proceeding where you’re both waiting for the sale of your house to be settled. The fastest way to sell your house while or in a divorce, is for someone, like me, to buy your house with cash, as-is. All you need to do is fill out the form to get started.
I live in Hopewell Junction and buy houses in Dutchess and Putnam Counties. Whether you live in Poughkeepsie, Millbrook, or Wappingers Falls, I can buy your house quickly, because I buy with cash (I don’t need a bank’s permission for a loan) As-Is (I won’t ask for repairs and can purchase the house even if it has additions/improvements not approved by the town). In just a few weeks, you’ll be free of your house and able to move on with your life.
This is hands down, the best way to sell a house fast in Dutchess & Putnam Counties and we are the only company who buys houses in the Hudson Valley that is Accredited by the Better Business Bureau. With us, you don’t have to worry about endless house viewings, waiting for buyers to send your realtor their offers, and constant back-and-forth negotiations to get the best deal for your house.
Get a Cash Offer Quickly
We buy houses in Dutchess & Putnam Counties. We work fast to get you a no-obligation cash offer for you right away.
Our customers often appreciate our no-pressure, empathetic, approach. You won’t get a hard sell with us. If the offer we make to buy your house doesn’t work for you, you don’t have to accept it. No charge. No fees. And, if you do accept our offer, we can close the deal in as few as three weeks, so you’re not waiting around for buyers to make their minds up.
Does your house need repairing, or you’ve got things on your property that you built without a building permit? It’s not a problem for us. Unlike with a realtor, we won’t ask for you to bring your home up to code, repair your home, or even have it professionally cleaned and empty before we buy it.
Plus, you won’t lose cash on the sale paying out for realtor commissions, closing assistance, or even if you’re forced to put your home back on the market because your buyer can’t get a mortgage. We’ve seen it happen, and it’s not fun for anyone involved.
I’ve been providing this service for almost a decade and I’ve helped dozens of couples going through a divorce by buying their house so they can make a fresh start. Going through a divorce is tough enough, and I’m not here to make the situation worse for either of you. I’m here to give you the best price I can for your house so you can move on with your life.
We’d love to talk to you today about the house and your situation. We’re here to help even if you decide not to sell your house.
Give us a call at 845-846-7653 or fill out the form below to get started. We look forward to talking with you.