DON’T WANT THE HOUSE? I didn’t either! Scroll down for my thoughts on this.
Keep the House?
When facing divorce, one of the first questions many people will often ask is, “Can I keep the house?”
There's only one way to know for sure whether you can or should keep a marital house: careful consideration of the current state of all matters pertaining to the home.
Matters your attorney will not address.
Matters most real estate agents will not address.
If you need to decide whether to keep, sell, buy or refi your marital home in a divorce, don't make that decision without contacting an RCS-D REALTOR who will fully inform your decision.
As a Certified Divorce Coach and Licensed RCS-D REALTOR, I understand the many nuances and pitfalls of divorce real estate. Serving the needs of divorcing clients in Kansas and Missouri, with a network of RCS-D Referral Agents, in every U.S. State since 2018.
WANT TO KNOW ALL THE TIPS & TRICKS
THAT WILL HELP YOU IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET DURING DIVORCE?
As an RCS-D REALTOR, I help
whether you want to Keep, Sell, or Refi
the marital house and if you want to purchase your own "fresh start" home.
I am also a divorce listing specialist and ABR Accredited Buyer’s Representative, so I can help you confidentially sell your marital home for the most money possible in the least amount of time while protecting your privacy and maximizing your equity split.
How is an RCS-D Agent different:
What is on the title for your marital home?
Home ownership is a document-intensive legal and financial undertaking. Remember how many papers you had to sign when you bought the house? Where are all those documents now and what do they have to do with whether or not you keep the house after your divorce? Are there any liens? Has a debt been defaulted on that affects ownership and value of the property ? Would you know?
Will you qualify to refinance on your own solo income? Will you be house poor if you do? What settlement will you need to negotiate if support will be a piece of that puzzle?
Assuming the mortgage on your own without knowing all of these factors is not wise.
You can know for certain whether keeping or selling is truly best for you. Don’t assume.
How will the actual value of the marital home be determined for the division of assets?
Appraisal minus mortgage statement balance does not equal equity. Furthermore, all appraisals are NOT created equal. An online “guesstimate” by a software platform is NOT the actual value of your home—and all appraisers are NOT created equal. Even two human appraisers could assign totally different values to the home. It is subjective.
Even if your attorney is on top of things ensuring you to get a qualified appraisal, that may not be enough to fully protect you! Learn what to look for and how to ensure your position with the home—before mediation.
What is the actual condition of the marital home?
Before you independently take on the responsibility of the marital home, shouldn’t you know what you are buying? Would you ever buy a home without an inspection? Just because you have lived there for many years does not mean you have a pulse on every system and structure within.
Don't you want to know the longevity & true value of this house before you base your future financial security on it?
What is your credit score? How can you protect that during and after divorce?
Is your credit score at risk because of your spouse’s decisions now or to come? Has your signature been used on loan or credit documents without your knowledge? Would you know if it was? Are you aware of all legal and financial obligations you may be held responsible for? How can you be certain your credit is being protected? You need to know before you mediate or go to trial.
What happens if you DON’T
work with an RCS-D REALTOR?
Will your lawyer gather this house information on your behalf? Possible, but unlikely. Even great lawyers do not address most of these issues proactively. They are legal, not real estate, professionals. Don’t make assumptions–do your House Homework! You need all of this information before you mediate.
Will you have the money or emotional energy to hire another lawyer and fight another legal battle if you discover this critical house information AFTER your divorce is final?
Will your neighborhood agent know how to protect you through this delicate situation? Will they deal with you and your soon to be ex separately so you don’t have to? Will they keep the fact that you are getting a divorce private so your potential buyers aren’t given an advantage over you in negotiations? Most likely, no.
What happens when you DO
work with an RCS-D REALTOR?
Annie's 5-Star House Homework is a must for your full financial protection. You cannot make an informed decision until you know what you don’t currently know!
Explore your true house valuation and equity with an RCS-D REALTOR and her network of vetted title, condition, insurance, credit, appraisal, and mortgage professionals. Too late comes quickly! Property division in permanent. Before mediation is the best time to act.
Most of your divorced friends went without this assistance, and they have the scary stories to tell as a result. You can have a co-pilot to help guide and fully inform you through these complex and emotionally laden decisions regarding the marital house. This includes investment properties if that is a factor.
Don't make an uninformed and emotional decision about the biggest asset and greatest liability of your divorce.
mediation is the best time to act.
DON’T WANT THE HOUSE?
I didn’t either! Too many bad memories. I negotiated a fair settlement that included my half of the home equity (along with the years of support I would need to get back on my feet) then I enjoyed a fresh start in a new home I could call my own. It was nothing fancy, but it felt amazing! I could breathe easier. I truly relaxed. My kids felt the difference and enjoyed it.
You can have this too. You don't have to stay in the house "for the kids" anymore than you needed to stay in the bad marriage "for the kids." Kids truly do adapt well to change, especially when it means a new home with new memories, a happy mom and the extra money to enjoy life.