How to Sell the Matrimonial Home During a Divorce

Here are the Steps to Sell Your Matrimonial Home in Calgary 

I am not an ambulance chaser and I am not trying to capitalize on a horrible situation, I am going to attempt to paint a picture of what you need to do if you are going through a separation or a divorce when it comes to your real estate portfolio.


Last year, 2019, was one of the worst I have experienced in 13 years with respect to the number of people I know personally and who had reached out to me letting me know they were going through a separation or a divorce.


My heart truly breaks when I hear about stuff like this especially when there are kiddos involved.


If you are going through this right now, my heart goes out to you and I am sorry this is the situation that you are in.


Here is What Needs to Get Done

I am going to start this part off with a disclaimer....I am not an attorney, I am not giving you legal advice. I am going to give advice based on my real estate experiences and hopefully this will help to ease the burden.


If you need legal advice please seek out the help of an attorney that specializes in divorce law.


The first thing that needs to get done prior to selling and prior to buying your next home is a separation agreement.


This all may still be fresh and you may be exploring options and trying to figure out what to do next, do NOT list your house without the agreement in place first.


For a couple of reasons, if you don't have an agreement on how to divide the asset that is a problem. The other issue is securing financing for the next property, no lender will approve you if you don't have that agreement in place where it outlines a clearly defined division of your joint assets.


Lender's don't want to see new debt as a result of a separation as it could hurt your overall total debt service ratio and limit your purchasing ability.

Listing the House and Moving on

Once the separation agreement is in place it will be time to either get the house listed (as per your agreement) or one of you might be buying the other out.


If it is option number #2, the lawyer and the lender will be asking for an appraisal at some point. What I can give you as a Realtor® will provide a baseline but it won't be accepted by the lawyer's or the bank, an appraisal will cost around $500-$700 depending on who you use.


Ok, if it's option #1 here is some advice for you:

  • If one of you has moved out and the other is in the house with limited furniture, consider staging as an option. It will help with photos and will help to sell the property faster
  • No matter your situation, pricing is everything, so make sure that you price to sell. The last thing you want is your potential sale to drag out longer than it needs to.
  • If you are both in the house, make sure you are on the same page about showings. You don't want to have disagreements over showings availability to maybe set times that would be acceptable to the both of you.
  • Negotiations are critical as timing could become an issue so it's important that everyone is available to be reached when an offer is presented. 
  • A price you are willing to accept: Consider having one person on point to handle the negotiations with your Realtor®. Make sure to have the discussion on what you are willing to accept beforehand and document it. If you don't feel comfortable going this route then don't, just make sure to follow the advice above around being available.

It is always best to try and work together to get the assets sold, that said, I know how hard it may be so the best advice I can give is to try and be as reasonable as you can and try to get on the same page when it comes to price, conditions, terms and possession.


Working together is going to be tough but will yield much better results in the long run.

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