As a married homeowner facing divorce, you’re probably curious as to what happens to the house you live in. Who decides who stays in it or how it’s divided? Can you even sell it during the divorce process?
It is likely that you have any number of questions, and this blog post provides some answers. Read on to learn how to sell a house during a divorce in Illinois.
What to Expect
The first thing you need to know is that Illinois is considered an equitable distribution state. Unlike community property states where all assets are shared jointly, divorcing couples can divide property and debts fairly.
If you and your spouse are in agreement, you can include the house in your divorce settlement. If you cannot agree, a judge will make the decision.
This situation could lead to the judge ordering the sale of the house and splitting the proceeds between the two parties. It is also possible that one party receives the house while the other receives other assets of equal value.
In Illinois, the minimum residency requirement to file for dissolution of marriage is a minimum of ninety days. A “no-fault” divorce is also possible in Illinois after two years of legal separation or if the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
How is Property Distributed?
It is important to keep in mind that just because one spouse owned the property before marriage does not mean they can keep it. In some instances, a judge may assign more value to a house. Nevertheless, it will likely remain a marital property and be divided accordingly.
Typically, a couple’s property is divided equally after its value is determined. The court may, however, award a larger portion to one spouse based on a variety of factors, such as:
- Age difference
- Property type
- Skills and Education
- Separate property value
- Debts owed and future expenses
- A person’s fault for causing the divorce
- Earning capacity or income differences
Who Gets to Stay in the House?
During a divorce, if the parties cannot agree on who will stay in the family home, the status quo continues, and neither party has the right to kick the other party out. In the absence of a court order, spouses should resist leaving the marital home as early move-outs may be used to argue that the spouse who left has sufficient financial resources.
However, if either spouse acts in a significant negative, threatening, or harassing manner toward the other, a petition for an order of protection may be filed to remove them from the premises immediately.
The order can also be filed if one of the spouses proves that the physical or mental well-being of either spouse or their children will be compromised if both spouses continue to occupy the marital residence.
Getting The Home Selling Process Started
Whether the court orders you to sell your house or an agreement is reached with your spouse, you must list it for sale and follow the normal home-selling process. As part of this process, the house must be listed, shown to potential buyers, and its sale price negotiated. As part of your divorce agreement, you must pay off any outstanding mortgage debts after the home is sold.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
In order to prepare your home for sale, you should do the following:
- Ensure that necessary repairs are made. You can increase the value of your home by making it more appealing to potential buyers.
- The home should be decluttered and staged. Potential buyers will see the potential of the home if it looks inviting.
- Take the time to research. You must research the market value of your home before you price it accurately.
When you list your home, you need to be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers and their agents. Keep in mind that you are not required to accept the first offer you receive. Keep an open mind, and don’t be swayed by lowball offers. You should also be prepared to negotiate the closing date, the price, and the repairs (if applicable).
Finalizing the Sale
Once you accept an offer, you’ll need to sign a purchase agreement with the buyer’s agent and schedule a closing date. When the deal closes, you will hand over the keys to the buyer and move out.
Sell Your House Fast in Illinois with Favor Home Solutions
Though the process outlined above may sound simple enough to follow, many factors can go wrong and make the home-selling process a nightmare. At Favor Home Solutions, we know how time-consuming and stressful the divorce process can be. Let us give you a helping hand by giving you a fair, no-obligation cash offer for your home.
Our team is committed to helping you put this chapter of your life behind you and start over. If you are ready to sell your house fast, contact us today.