We are selling the matrimonial home. What do we need to know?

Learn how to approach and prepare for the difficult task of selling your matrimonial home.

By Adele Paletta
November 13, 2009
ON FAQs/Asset and Property Issues

Divorce is never an easy time, and having to sell the home you lived in will be emotional. If you keep a couple things in mind during the process, it will help you make some final decisions.

One question you need to ask yourself is: who is on the title of the property? If you are both on the title, then you both have to agree on who is going to sell the home; how much you are going to list the home for; closing dates, etc. Even if the one spouse is not on the title but lives in the matrimonial home, that spouse still must be part of all decisions pertaining to the sale of the home. A separation agreement should be in place before selling your home. If not, then the proceeds of the sale of the home may end up in trusts with the lawyers for a long time.

In the midst of a divorce, there are four options to consider that pertain to the matrimonial home:

  1. Sell the home and divide up the proceeds. Your main consideration under these circumstances is to maximize your home's selling price.
  2. Buy out your spouse. If you intend to keep the home, you will have to determine how to continue meeting your monthly financial obligations on only one salary. A financial planner can help with this.
  3. Have your spouse buy you out. There is a lot to think of with this. Be aware that if the old home loan is not re-financed, most lenders will consider both you and your spouse as original co-signers who are liable for the mortgage. All paper work needs to be done properly with legal advice.
  4. Retain your ownership. Some divorcing couples postpone a financial decision and keep joint ownership for a period of time while one spouse lives there. There may be tax considerations of doing this. Again, have a financial advisor help you with this decision so you know all the pros and cons.

All of these questions can be answered with legal advice and financial advice. When you have decided which avenue will work best for the both of you and your family, a real estate agent can then start to do her or his job: either selling your home, or helping you find a new home.

Royal LePage Realty Plus Real Estate Sales Representative, Adele Paletta expertise lies in the Greater Western Toronto area including: Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington.

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November 13, 2009
Categories:  FAQs

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