There are many practical considerations when it comes to divorce and the marital home. How do you split the asset? Can you refinance? Whose name is on the title? What happens with capital gains if you sell – who gets the deduction? What is your house really worth?
We help you to answer all of these questions and more.
The first step is to call us and set up an initial consultation with us. This consultation is completely free, and you are under no obligation whatsoever. We are here to help. We will speak with you either in person, on the phone or via Skype. We are licensed realtors in the state of California. Our office is located on the west side of Los Angeles, but we have deep connections with experienced agents across the US and internationally who are trained in the field of real estate and divorce. We are happy to talk with you, assess your situation, and see how we can help in the best possible way.
In order to come to the best decision for you, we recommend thinking about the following questions:
1. What is your house worth?
2. What are your monthly/annual expenses?
3. Are you on the title?
4. Are you on the mortgage?
5. Can you refinance in just your name?
6. Can you afford to by your spouse/ex out of his/her share of the house?
7. If I decide that I want to sell how do I do that?
8. If I sell my house, where will I live?
9. What’s better to rent or to own?
We can help you explore and figure out the answers to all of these questions.
The process starts with knowing what your house is actually worth. There are a number of ways to find this out, and some are better than others. We list the three ways here, ranging from least to most desirable.
You could start with an Internet search, on websites such as Zillow, Redfin, your local Multiple Listing Service, and the like. These are easy to access, and a good place to get started. The issue with websites, is that they are algorithm based, and houses are not all alike, each one has particular features, that you really have to see to appreciate, and to adequately and accurately assess.
The next way to get a price of your home is to hire an appraiser. An appraiser is a neutral third party, who is paid a fee to assess how much your house is worth. The drawback to this method is cost (they can run several hundreds of dollars).
The third method, and our personal favorite, is to contact a broker, such as ourselves, to do a Broker Price Opinion for you. Real estate agents have access to a wide range of tools and inventory, and will give you their opinion of what your home is worth for free. They see tons of houses, and understand the ins and outs of pricing a house accurately to sell. Make sure you vet your agent, and that they are experienced, and knowledgable. We can help with a referral to a reputable agent. Please reach out to us, so we can help guide you through this process. Knowing what your house is worth right now, today, is vitally important.
The next step is assessing your finances, budget and expenses. We are tied to a wonderful network of CPAs, financial coaches, CDFAs (certified divorce financial analysts), etc. We can work with you to establish a preliminary budget and see what makes the most financial sense for you.
If you’d like to explore title and mortgage questions, we can help with this as well. Knowing if you’re on title, or how your title is held is an important step in determining ownership of the house. Talking to a knowledgeable mortgage broker or banker can give you an idea of what you can afford on your own.
If you decide that selling the marital home makes the most sense, we can walk you through the steps to getting your home ready for market. Should you make any repairs, paint, re-carpet? Stage? Clear out closets, remove clutter, rearrange or even purchase furniture? Addressing these questions can make a huge impact on the sale price of your home. Let us guide you to make appropriate decisions that make sense for you.
Everything starts with one step, or one brick, or one word or one day.