If you’re splitting up with your partner, you may wonder how to sell a home during a divorce in Alberta. It’s not surprising many people are asking about this right now. This year has been busy for divorce professionals. Couples on the verge of separation may have held out through the pandemic, but are now looking for resolution. 

Lots of Real Estate Movement

After a time of crisis, many resolve to make a fresh start. That may include getting out from under a crumbling marriage. Once you have committed to getting a divorce, one of the biggest decisions is selling the shared home.   

It can be fraught with problems, not the least of which is navigating a hot (or hotter) real estate market. When do I list my home? How much is my home worth? Who moves out? What do we agree to sell it for? How much of the sale do I get for my next place? When do I get it?  

These are tough questions, especially if you and your ex are not speaking, or are openly hostile to one another. We understand this. You have more than enough life details to iron out. We don’t want the process of selling your home to be an added burden. 

How to Sell Your Home During a Divorce

With that in mind, here are few tips on how to sell your home during a divorce, and how property is divided in Alberta. 

  • Get a formal separation agreement, or better yet, a notice of consent signed before you list your property.  
  • Spell everything out in detail beforehand so that the entire sale process goes smoothly.  
  • In Alberta, if only one name is on a title, the spouse has to sign additional documentation agreeing to sell the property. Your Realtor can walk you through this process. 
  • Strongly consider having both parties move out of the house and have it professionally staged. Not only does it show better in general but it will remove any questions potential buyers may have if it feels like the house is half-full of furniture.  
  • You may not feel up to doing it yourself, so hire out tasks like paint touch-ups, carpet steaming or lawn clean-up that are needed prior to listing your house for it to show its best. Keep the receipts and split the costs. If one party doesn’t want to pay up front, you can use it to negotiate how the proceeds of the sale are divided once the money comes in.  
  • Price your house to sell without giving it away. Every dollar counts when you are splitting assets, but it doesn’t help anyone move forward when the house is overpriced and one party refuses to accept a price reduction. Many months on the market can make for added time and stress in the divorce process.  
  • If only one party is living in the house, spread your clothes and shoes throughout the closet so they look intentionally hung and placed. Use matching wood hangers and supplement with nice shoe boxes or luggage pieces if the closet looks too empty. 
  • Remove all personal photographs from the house and replace with neutral art pieces and mirrors.  
  • Choose a realtors who is compassionate and works hard toward your common goal. Be available and keep communications lines open with them. If you and your ex aren’t speaking, tell your realtor that. They can then adjust communication accordingly. 

Divorce doesn’t mean you are indefinitely stuck with a home you either can’t afford, or no longer want to stay in. By following these tips, you can move forward smoothly and constructively.