Selling a Home During a Divorce: What Home Sellers Need to Know:

Selling a Home During Divorce

Careful Considerations

Selling a home during divorce is probably one of the most difficult situations to endure as an adult.

Vancouver property values are very high which makes its sale all the more important to both parties involved. Not just from the potential payout but the investment of time and money over the years to build that property wealth. 

Impact of Divorce on Real Estate Transactions

First, you will need to determine the value of the home in order to determine how to divide the proceeds from the sale. Hiring an impartial Realtor who understands the situation will be a valuable resource throughout the process to everyone involved. 

It’s also important to let your Realtor do their magic without the reality of the situation shining through. Negative vibes and passive aggressive energy can hurt your chances of a positive impression and make the space feel warm. 

Selling A Home During Divorce in Vancouver

Selling a home during divorce

After you have selected a Real Estate Agent you should focus on:

  1. Preparing the home for sale. here is a great article that discusses what you can do. 
  2. Closing the sale: Once you receive an offer on the home that you and your ex-spouse agree to, you will need to finalize the sale by signing the necessary documents and transferring ownership to the buyer.
  3. Divide the proceeds from the sale according to the terms of your divorce settlement or court order.

Staying in the Family Home During Separation

A common situation is for one spouse to stay in the family home after separation while the other spouse moves out. It is often the case that the spouse who remains in the family home stays there with the children. If this issue is contested, a party can ask the Judge to determine who should have interim exclusive residency of the family home whether or not the home is registered in their name.

There are ways for a spouse to stay in the house during separation:

  • BY AGREEMENT. Spouses can make an agreement on who will occupy the home until all financial matters are resolved in their case. Spouses can agree on who will make the mortgage payments, property tax payments, home insurance payments and home repairs until matters are resolved.
  • BY COURT ORDER. The BC Supreme Court can grant interim exclusive occupancy of the family residence to one spouse. If the Court gives one spouse exclusive occupancy, it can also order that the other spouse’s right 

How to get a Court Order Forcing Sale of the Family Home Before Divorce

Court Ordered Sale

If in a family law case it appears necessary or expedient that property be sold, the court may order the sale and may order a person in possession of the property or in receipt of the rents, profits or income from it to join in the sale and transfer of the property and deliver up the possession or receipt to the purchaser or person designated by the court.

Where a sale is ordered but the spouses cannot cooperate or agree, the Court has the power to fix the listing price, appoint a real estate agent and determine terms for showing the property to prospective purchasers. The court can also order one spouse to have sole conduct of the sale of the family home if the other spouse is behaving in ways to frustrate the sale.

In some cases, the Court will want to approve an offer for sale they will certainly be asked to do so if one spouse does not accept a pending offer which the other spouse wants to accept. Sometimes, the Court can also order an interim distribution of some of the net sale proceeds if circumstances warrant the distribution.

The Value of your family home is not established until a court or settlement agreement divides your family property. 

If you need to take out a mortgage after your separation, a mortgage broker will likely review your family law settlement agreement or court order to see if you qualify. 

For many couples, especially those with children, ongoing financial support obligations are an expected outcome of separation or divorce. What may come as a surprise, however, is how such obligations can affect the future of their family home.

In recent years, it has been challenging enough for one ex-spouse to buy out the other’s interest in a Vancouver property given the housing market in this city. The introduction last fall of new Canada-wide mortgage “stress test” rules, which require borrowers to qualify at a much higher rate than the current average, has made it that much more difficult.

If you have any questions regarding selling your home during a divorce feel free to book a free consultation by clicking the button below. 

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Jacob & Jacky
Our Vancouver real estate team has earned the trust of our clients by consistently putting their best interests first. We understand that selling your home is a major investment and we approach every transaction with the utmost care and attention. With us as your Vancouver REALTORS®, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. We know that trust is the key to client satisfaction and we strive to offer the best customer service possible, which includes empathy, active listening and a friendly, positive attitude. Our goal is to get the job done right, while ensuring you have an exceptional home selling experience throughout the process.

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