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Posted by susan-adm on October 19, 2017
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Divorce And Your Home

The marital home is a significant asset and selling it is a very tangible decision that highlights that divorce is really happening. It’s an intensely emotional and stressful time as you try to adjust, communicate to family and friends and juggle work. I have worked with many clients who are divorcing, helped them sell, buy and get ready for the next stage in their lives. Here is some advice I can share with you on divorce and your home.

The choices

It is no surprise that many couples would rather sell than stay in a home with painful memories. That being said, with your financial future in consideration, the valuation conversation with your ex-partner can be hard to agree. In Ottawa, we have enjoyed a booming and insulated market so there is often a capital gain that can help each party establish themselves in a new home. I offer free valuations for all clients, and if the couple are unable to reach an agreement on the valuation, can refer them to independent appraisers, as needed.

You may choose to buy out your spouse and keep the home or vice-versa. Often this is a choice related to children, making them feel secure and keeping them close to their school and friends. Selling doesn’t have to mean leaving the community, just that I will have to look harder for somewhere in your current neighbourhood.

Finally, you could decide to own jointly for a period of time, but this may hinder the spouse that is leaving the home to obtain a second mortgage. This, and deciding the right budget for your next home are all things I have helped clients with in the past.

Privacy during the sales process

I am often asked why I do not drive a branded car like many other real estate professionals. The intent of staying low-key is to give my clients privacy where it is needed. For example, in the situation of a couple divorcing, the REALTOR® and sign are a hard reminder to family members that things are changing. By being discreet you can also choose when and how to tell your neighbours and community that you are selling and separating. When I prepare a home for sale we can even ensure the house is fully staged to ensure that it appears as if a couple lives there.

Timing a move after the sale

Once the sale process is underway, a spouse may decide that they want to purchase a new home immediately, or to rent until they are ready to buy a home. Where you are caring for other family members (children or other relatives) you may feel under pressure to create a new, safe space. If you have agreed to continue to share the mortgage until sale then this is also needs to be factored in, and we have great mortgage advisers that can help you work through this.

Understanding and compassion

I genuinely care about all my clients throughout the buying/sales process, but there is an extra depth of compassion and empathy required when a couple is divorcing. I realize divorce is emotionally exhausting, but I can at least help with selling or buying a home, as I have helped others. If you would like to talk more about your home, regardless of the circumstances, please get in touch