Last thing you need to deal with when going through a divorce

Look, I get it… I have seen it all and I have witnessed every game in the book. Its not new, I could tell you horror stories that would make you cringe but one particular one I will share is about a woman that pulled all kinds of stunts even after he willingly gave her everything including a house she couldn’t afford… she still wanted more, even down to the broken down grill. Why do that to someone? Why do it to yourself?

I have a better idea…Instead of being bitter why not look at the big picture?  Understand that your only hurting yourself.

Heres the deal, I have been helping people buy and sell houses for more years than I can count and have counseled many a couple through this same situation. Yes of course its difficult but playing games is only going to make the attorneys more money ( NOT YOU ) I guarantee it. Finding a good attorney is a great place to start but know that they make more money when you don’t come to terms than when you and your ex move forward quickly to a resolve. Mediators make money, attorneys and their staff get paid… you are still not going to keep the house unless your able to pay the mortgage and refinance to get the house out of both of your names and into yours alone. And be cautious of that… just signing a quit claim deed gets your name of the deed but not out of the financial liability of the mortgage. Cut your losses now and sell, pay off your debts and have a fresh start. Seems simple enough, right? 

Homeownership can be the last thing keeping a marriage “together” — even when a couple has decided to separate, and long after one has moved out. (And sometimes even after they’ve actually gotten divorced.)

It’s kind of interesting how much more binding the contractual ownership of a house is compared to marriage.

But more often than not, when people get divorced, the house they own together needs to be sold at some point. 

And no matter how much or how little two people hate each other, it’s not uncommon for one of them to use the house as a way to avoid the finality of divorce.

Dragging Out An Already Stressful Process

It’s not news to say that divorce is a tough thing to go through. 

It’s stressful. An emotional roller coaster. And a lot of times there’s finger-pointing and trying to prove who’s more right or wrong.

It’s also not news that selling a house is often stressful, even for people em not getting divorced.

Add those two things together and…well, you can do the math. It’s not necessarily easy or pretty.

So who’d want to drag the process of selling the house out any longer than it needs to be?

Well, there’s almost always one person in the relationship who just wants to be done with everything and move on more than the other…

…which leaves another person who doesn’t want things to be done, for whatever reason. And that’s the one who’ll drag out the process of getting the house sold as quickly as possible.

Why Would Someone Do That?

Sometimes it’s done just to “stick it”  to the other spouse (and the house is a subtle weapon)…


So the other spouse can’t move on
To hurt the other spouse financially

But other times, it may not even be so deliberate…

Just because the marriage is ending doesn’t mean there weren’t good times. It could be a matter of holding on to those memories.
It can feel like the final admittance of failure.
There may still be hope that maybe the marriage can be saved.

On purpose or not, it makes it tough for the one who wants to just move on.

Sometimes It’s Not Obvious

Most people don’t get divorced all that often. For most people, it’s a pretty new experience. Hopefully a one-time thing…

And most people don’t sell houses all that often either.

So when their house isn’t selling, it can be really tough to pinpoint exactly what’s getting in the way of the house not selling.

But real estate agents see things from a more objective perspective. 

If an agent handles enough sales due to divorce, it becomes more obvious that there are certain things people do to get in the way of their house selling (whether they’re aware they’re doing them or not).

It Costs More Than Time

It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if it were just a matter of dragging things out and taking longer. But it also can cost both spouses in more ways than expected.

This is why it’s important for you to understand how you and your spouse may act and react during the sale of your home when divorcing.

Ultimately, it makes a lot of sense to simply hire a real estate agent who truly understands and has the skills to handle the sale of a home due to divorce. It’s not a typical sale.

But it also helps for you to know and understand as much as you can on your own before and during the process so your agent can be as effective as possible and help you avoid losing more than just time.

Let me remind you again that nobody wins here. In every situation where one of the parties starts down this path the house ends up in foreclosure and the parties end up bankrupt. NOBODY WINS  (FYI, the woman I told you about in the beginning is still living with her mom in a rental 13 years later working a minimum wage job) Don’t be like that, seriously.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.