There is a big difference in how to handle selling a house during a divorce depending on the status of the divorce. If a couple is separating temporarily or in the early stages of a divorce and no divorce court order has been issued, then everything is pretty much negotiable between the two parties (with advice from their respective attorneys). This means deciding what is worth fixing up, who pays for those items, picking which real estate agent to use, setting the price, how to split up the proceeds, etc. However, once a judge signs an order regarding any of those topics, then those instructions are to be followed. If one party would prefer to retain the property, they are often given a set amount of time to buy the other party out for their portion (based on an appraised value) or the home needs to be put up for sale.
Deciding how to split up the proceeds can be tricky if a court order hasn’t been issued. Sometimes, both parties agree to split the proceeds exactly 50/50. Other times, one party believes they should get a larger share. As long as both parties give the same written instructions to the title company, the proceeds can be split however they want. But neither the agent nor the title company has any say or influence in how the funds are split up. If an agreement can’t be reached by the time of the scheduled close of escrow, there is another option that will allow the escrow to close and decide on the division of funds later. The proceeds can be deposited into a special account that neither party can withdraw from without mutual consent. Sometimes I’ll see where both parties get some proceeds at closing, and then the disputed funds are put into this other account to be resolved later.
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