If you’re a married homeowner in Pennsylvania facing divorce, you may be wondering what happens to your house. Which party gets to keep it, or how is it divided? Is it even possible to sell it during a divorce?
It is likely that you have plenty of questions, and this blog post is ready to shed some light and provide answers. Read on to learn how to sell a house during a divorce in Pennsylvania.
What to Expect
One of the first things you should know about Pennsylvania is that it is an equitable distribution state. Divorcing couples can divide assets and debt fairly, unlike in community property states, where all assets are divided equally regardless of who owned them initially. The state of Pennsylvania also requires a minimum period of residency before filing for divorce.
Divorce settlements can include houses if both parties agree. If no agreement can be reached, a judge will decide the case. In some cases, the judge may decide to sell the house and split the proceeds. One party may also receive the house while the other receives other assets of equal value.
How Does Property Distribution Work?
The fact that one spouse owned the property before marriage does not mean they can keep it after marriage as a home may be valued higher by a judge. Even so, it is likely to remain marital property, which means it will be divided accordingly.
According to Pennsylvania marital property laws, couples usually divide their property equally. However, a spouse may receive a greater share depending on several factors, such as:
- Age difference
- Type of property
- Separate property value
- Skills and educational background
- Debts owed and future expenses
- Income or earning capacity differences
Behaving badly or having an affair does not, by itself, count against you in the property division. However, it does affect alimony, and you might lose a larger share of marital property if your affair or other bad act wasted marital assets.
Who Gets to Stay in the House?
Should the parties be unable to agree on who will stay, the status quo continues, and neither party may kick the other out. In the absence of a court order, spouses should avoid moving out of the marital home, as early move-outs can be used as proof that one spouse has sufficient funds to leave.
When either spouse exhibits significant negativity, threats, or harassment toward the other, a protective order may be filed.
The Home Selling Process
You must follow the standard steps for selling a house if a court order or an agreement with your spouse requires you to list your house for sale. In this process, the house is listed, shown to potential buyers, and a sale price is negotiated. Upon selling your house, you must first pay off your outstanding mortgage debt.
Prepare Your Home for Sale
As part of preparing your home for sale, you should:
- Make any necessary repairs. Your home will be more attractive to potential buyers if you make it more appealing.
- Declutter and stage the house. Potential buyers will be attracted to a home that looks inviting.
- Do your market research. You can determine the best price for your home and how to sell it based on market trends in your area.
In order to sell your home, you must negotiate with potential buyers and their agents. Keep in mind that you are not required to accept the first offer you receive. Be open-minded, and don’t let lowball offers get you down. When negotiating, it is important to discuss the closing date, the price, and any repairs (if any).
Close the Sale
Once you accept an offer, you will need to sign a purchase agreement. As soon as the sale is complete, you vacate the home and hand over the keys to the buyer.
Sell Your House As-Is During a Divorce in Pennsylvania
Although the process outlined above seems straightforward, there are many factors that can go wrong that can make the home selling process a nightmare when going through a divorce. At Favor Home Solutions, we understand what a stressful and time-consuming process divorce is. Our team is ready to assist you and provide you with a fair, no-obligation cash offer for your home.
You can start over and put this chapter behind you with our help. Contact us today if you want to sell your house fast without paying an extra penny on repairs or fees!