Selling Your Western Massachusetts Home due to Divorce
There are many different legal aspects to consider when selling your Western MA home due to divorce.
First of all, value- what is the value of the home, and how are you as the separating couple going to determine that value? If you are working with a divorce lawyer, it is very important to discuss the best approach with him or her. For example, should you have one, two or three appraisals done, and agree to accept the average? Should you ask your Western MA real estate agent to prepare a comparative market analysis? Involve your REALTOR in this, as he or she should have a good handle on the real estate market and may be able to offer some property value expertise.
Next, is one of you going to buy the other out, or are you going to sell to an unrelated third party? If you are looking at a buyout, there may be other property that you each own that you may use to “offset” the value- for example, Joe and Mary are getting a divorce. Joe has a substantial amount of retirement, and Mary does not. Mary is buying Joe out, but may pay less and Joe may keep more of his retirement. If one of you is refinancing to buy the other out, it is important that you involve your loan originator in the process so that you may be sure you will qualify and may realistically afford the payments on your own.
In addition, there are ownership factors and tax factors to consider as well. The ownership issues involve a transfer of the title to the property; that is, preparation of a deed into the person who is buying the home. If it is a buyout, your divorce file number should be referenced in your deed. Your Western MA attorney will be able to assist you with this. A tax professional will be able to work with you to discuss who should claim what expenses and deductions- and how you both should file the next tax return.
The most important thing in all of this is to involve your trusted team of professionals: attorneys, loan officers and REALTOR, in the process- they will help to guide you through the process as smoothly as possible.
If you need more information or assistance I am Attorney Sarah Miller of Feeding Hills, MA.
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Questions or comments about real estate, real estate financing or legal implications of a real estate purchase or sale? Wondering about the divorce process and how it relates to real estate? Confused about short sales? Considering buying a bank-owned home but find the process overwhelming? Contact us here or find me on Facebook.