Selling Your Home During A Divorce
It’s almost mid June, and the heavy rain seem to amplify the wrenching emotions you have about your separation and impending divorce. The fact that in the past two decades 5 million people have separated or divorced is no consolation. You never expected your marriage to dissolve. Now, you need to move on. A myriad of decisions have to be made and the legal implications of divorce has you further mired in legal jargon.
There is a bit of good news though to ease your situation. Turning to the internet provides a wealth of information on the fundamentals of divorce proceedings as you readjust to a life outside of marriage. Friends, similarly, offer anecdotal experiences as testimony to the scope of divorce laws, but during your search it has become apparent that conflicting information necessitates the legal representation from a lawyer and professional advice from an experienced realtor; for many people, a martial home represents the most of their assets and so resolving what to do with the martial home has both short- and long-term significance for both parties.
To make certain you consider the potential impacts before deciding what to do, begins with locating a knowledgeable realtor sensitive to the complications of divorce.
What is the matrimonial home in Ontario?
In Canada, divorce proceedings are provincially mandated, and so Toronto falls under Ontario legislation. The matrimonial or family home is considered to be the primary residence– neither a family cottage nor the rental investment– of the family or married couple and is subject to different tax laws, and is designated special status under the Family Law Act. Generally, the spouses on title are “Joint Tenants” for inheritance purposes.
The matrimonial property cannot be sold without the consent of both parties which protects children and financially unstable individuals. This means any attempts to undermine either party by selling the house without consent from both family members is illegal.
In the case of common law relationships, the terms of entitlement are set by the length of continuous cohabitation, which must be three years or more.
Unfortunately, if you aren’t on title to the matrimonial residence you may not benefit from the sale of the house.
Choosing a realtor who understands the stresses of divorce while negotiating for your best interest
Separation and divorce can be a costly transition. It is important to hire a realtor who is equipped to handle divorce-related home sales as well as the conflicts that might arise while negotiating fairly for divorcing couples. Here are a few qualities and skills your realtor will need to demonstrate:
Can your agent deal with two disputing individuals?
When there is a joint ownership of your house, both you and your spouse are involved in the process. A good realtor must be able to communicate with you both without exacerbating the situation by creating more headaches. That is, can the realtor get you both to agree on contracts in order to maximize the largest return from selling the martial property while remaining sensitive to your needs?
Is your realtor willing to spend the extra time?
In guiding clients through tough conversations rationally and without bias under challenging circumstances, where couples are most likely at odds with one another, the realtor never assumes that one party is going to inform the other, so your agent spends more time working with you as a married couple.
Can your real estate agent deal with sensitive material?
An agent must handle confidential information with the necessary etiquette. You must be able to confide in your agent who will keep your situation confidential. Further, during contract transactions, if the buyers’ agent knows you are getting a divorce your position might be compromised.
Does your realtor have home inspection experience?
You will want someone who is good at negotiating home inspection repairs. The purpose of a home inspection is to ascertain if the house is structurally sound. If the buyer should ask for unreasonable repairs, can your agent settle on your behalf?
Does the Realtor know your area?
A qualified realtor who knows your area can sell your house competently. They understand the nuances of pricing your home correctly which is essential to selling your home. Your agent knows the neighbourhoods, the statistics, the average prices in your area and has, moreover, the network capabilities to get your house seen by potential buyers. Do they have more than an online listing to make a quick and beneficial sale?
References are important
You will need someone who has a proven history of selling homes: an agent with an excellent track record of getting a price close to what their clients are asking. This is called the “list price to sale price ratio”. Talk to a variety of satisfied sellers who had a good experience with a realtor and ask for recent references.