How does Divorce affect my selling a house?


How does Divorce affect my selling a house?

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Following are a few tips if getting divorced and trying to sell real estate.

If Already Divorced

Your divorce decree should have properly listed owned real estate (including each property’s legal description).

If, for example, Spouse 1 got all the real estate assets from Spouse 2, then Spouse 2 should have signed and filed a deed with the county after the divorce was final, stating that both are single persons (i.e. not married). If this was completed correctly, county tax records (what REALTORS® review when working with real estate deals) should eventually (usually a couple weeks to a couple months) be updated to only show Spouse 1’s name as the owner of record (i.e. removed Spouse 2’s name).

If your divorce proceedings did not properly (as described above) account for a specific piece of property which you’re now trying to sell, you’ll either need to get your Ex to deed it to you (as described above), or you’ll both need to sign the listing agreement and the title company’s closing paperwork in order to list it and sell it because you’re both still the owners of record. This could also complicate how the net proceeds (cash) will be handled at closing.

If your divorce is final and all the proper paperwork was filed to deed it over to one spouse (you) but county tax records haven’t yet updated to reflect this change, you’ll need to provide us a copy of the deed filing leaving the property only in your name in order for you to be the sole signer on the listing agreement. If this is the case, tax records will usually be updated by the time it gets to closing (usually 1-2 months after contract is acquired if the purchaser has mortgage financing).

If Your Divorce is Not Yet Finalized

If you’re trying to sell a property but your divorce is not yet finalized (maybe your soon-to-be-Ex verbally stated you’ll end up with the real estate), then you’re not divorced yet.

In this situation, since you’re still married, you’ll both need to sign the listing agreement and the title company’s closing paperwork (even if your spouse’s name is not displayed on tax records, per Oklahoma law).

If you sell your house prior to your divorce being finalized, then your net proceeds will go to both of you (because you’re still married) and will be even easier to divvy up since it’s just cash.

Additional Information

While we’ve tried to provide some general tips and guidelines, we’re not attorneys and this is not legal advice. We recommend speaking with a divorce attorney and a real estate title attorney.

Real Estate Answers: Selling

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