How To Sell A House During Divorce in Hamilton

How to Sell a House During Divorce in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

When we first fall in love, the thought of a marriage ending in divorce seems unimaginable. However, it’s a common reality for many. According to the Statistics Canada (Graeme Bruce/CBC), the divorce rate for first marriages in the Canada is around 30 to 40%. This raises important questions about the division of shared assets, such as real estate, when a marriage ends. Must all assets be divided equally, or are there other considerations?

Can You Divorce Without Selling the House?

In Ontario, you have options regarding keeping or selling the house during a divorce. The first step is to inform your lawyers and the court of the date you acquired the house. This information helps determine whether the house must be sold and the assets divided equitably or if it is considered separate property.

If the court deems the property “separate property”—purchased before the marriage, gifted, inherited, or bought with separate assets—the spouse typically has no claim to it. Exceptions may exist, such as improvements that increase the property’s value. A lawyer can help determine whether a property is separate or marital.

A court will consider several factors in deciding who gets the house, including:

  • The property’s value
  • Each partner’s financial circumstances
  • Each partner’s employability
  • Both physical and monetary contributions to the marital home
  • The age and physical and mental health of each partner
  • The amount of time each partner will have custody of the children

Who Gets The House in A Divorce?

In Ontario, divorce laws governing the division of assets, including real estate, follow the Family Law Act. This act applies the principle of equalization of net family property. This means the value of assets acquired during the marriage is divided equally, but the division is based on fairness rather than strict equality.

Options for Selling (or Not Selling) Your Marital Home

One of the spouses buys out the other legal interest and keeps the home

You and your spouse can negotiate to buy out the other’s interest in the house. This doesn’t mean you must sell the house. You can negotiate to buy out your spouse’s legal interest and keep the home. You’ll need to transfer the title to your name within the court’s specified timeframe.

One Spouse Keeps Use and Occupancy Until the Youngest Child Turns 18

A parent with custody of minors may use the house until the child turns 18. The court decides whether this spouse is responsible for the mortgage, bills, and insurance. Once all children reach 18, the house must be sold, and assets divided.

Co-own the home

Co-owning a property might be best for the family’s welfare, especially if you have children and want to keep them in the same house. For example, a wife and husband with three children might decide to co-own. The husband, the sole provider, and the wife, the primary caregiver, may agree to this arrangement to maintain stability.

Sell the House Immediately and Split the Equity

Selling the house can be straightforward. Once sold, the assets are divided 50/50 or as designated by the court. In a sluggish housing market or if the house is in poor repair, selling directly to a homebuyer or investor might be faster.

Steps to Sell a Home During Divorce

1. Hire A Divorce Specialist Real Estate Agent

Before listing the house, determine asset division through lawyers or the court. A divorce specialist real estate agent can guide you through this process.

2. Agree On Home Sale Specifics

Decide how to sell the house: quickly for a fast split of assets or after making it market-ready for maximum profit. If disagreements arise, the court may need to intervene. Agree on how to handle repairs, listing, agent selection, pricing, occupancy, and responsibility for mortgage and bills.

If you decide to spend the money on any necessary repairs and upgrades, you’ll want to come to an agreement on how to split those expenses, as well as how that investment may impact the final split of the profits. Before you spend one more dime, make sure to finalize these agreements with a lawyer so that you’re not left high and dry at close. 

But expenses and profits are just the tip of the iceberg. How will the house be dealt with during a listing? Whose agent will you use? What price point should it be set at? Will it be empty or will you or your spouse live in it until the property is sold? Who is responsible for the mortgage and bills and, if no one is living in the house, who is the one who will make sure that it’s ready to be shown during open houses and daily showings? If possible, let your lawyers hash this out before taking it to court. This can save you a lot of time and help keep any profits from the home sale being eaten up by the price of paying a lawyer to represent you in court.

3. Know What to Expect in Order to Close the Sale

Review offers from potential buyers together, with help from your lawyers and real estate agent. Agree on a strategy before listing the house, whether to accept the first offer without contingencies or choose the highest profit offer.

4. Divide the Proceeds

Understand how the proceeds will be divided. The escrow company will pay off any liens or obligations before distributing the remaining funds.


5. Sell Your House AS-IS to A Cash Buyer

If you and your ex-partner can’t communicate or need a quick sale, consider selling to a direct cash homebuyer or investor. They pay cash for properties in any condition and close quickly, providing a fast resolution during a stressful divorce.

Selling your house as-is to a cash buyer in Hamilton, Ontario, can be a practical and efficient solution during a divorce. It offers the benefits of a fast sale, reduced stress, and the ability to move on with your life more quickly. By following the steps outlined above and seeking professional guidance, you can navigate this option successfully and make the best decision for your unique situation.

Benefits of Selling to a Cash Buyer

1. Speed of Sale: Cash buyers are typically investors or companies specializing in quick property transactions. Unlike traditional buyers who rely on mortgage approvals, cash buyers have the funds readily available, allowing the sale to be completed in a matter of days or weeks, not months.

2. Sell As-Is: When selling to a cash buyer, you don’t need to worry about making repairs or improvements to your home. Cash buyers purchase properties in their current condition, saving you the time, effort, and money required to prepare your home for the market.

3. Reduced Stress: Divorce is already a stressful process. Selling to a cash buyer can alleviate some of that stress by simplifying the sale process. There’s no need to deal with showings, open houses, or negotiations with multiple potential buyers.

4. Certainty and Reliability: Cash sales are less likely to fall through compared to traditional sales that depend on mortgage approvals and other contingencies. This reliability can provide peace of mind during an otherwise uncertain time.

5. Avoiding Additional Costs: Selling a home traditionally involves various costs, including real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and repair expenses. Cash buyers typically cover most, if not all, closing costs, and there are no agent fees, maximizing the amount of money you keep from the sale.

Steps to Sell Your House to a Cash Buyer

1. Find a Reputable Cash Buyer: Start by researching and identifying reputable cash buyers in the Hamilton, Ontario area. Look for companies with positive reviews and a proven track record of fair dealings. You can also ask for recommendations from your lawyer or real estate agent.

2. Request a No-Obligation Offer: Contact the cash buyers and request a no-obligation offer. Most reputable buyers will evaluate your property and provide an offer based on its current condition and market value. This process usually involves a simple home inspection and can be completed within a few days.

3. Review the Offer: Carefully review the offer to ensure it meets your financial needs. Consider the convenience and speed of the sale, and weigh these against the offer price. Remember, the goal is to achieve a fair balance between a quick sale and a reasonable price.

4. Accept the Offer: If you’re satisfied with the offer, formally accept it. The cash buyer will then initiate the closing process. This step typically involves minimal paperwork compared to traditional sales, further simplifying the process.

5. Close the Sale: The closing process for a cash sale is straightforward and can be completed quickly. The cash buyer will handle most of the paperwork and logistics. Once everything is in order, you’ll receive the payment, and the ownership of the property will be transferred to the buyer.

6. Divide the Proceeds: After the sale, the proceeds will be divided according to the terms of your divorce agreement. If there are any liens or obligations on the house, the escrow company will pay them off before distributing the remaining funds.

Additional Considerations

1. Legal Guidance: Throughout the process, ensure you have legal representation to protect your interests. Your lawyer can help review the offer, handle negotiations, and ensure the sale complies with the terms of your divorce agreement.

2. Transparency and Communication: Maintain open communication with your ex-partner (if possible) and your legal representatives to ensure a smooth transaction. Transparency about the sale process and proceeds can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

3. Financial Planning: Consider how the proceeds from the sale will impact your financial situation post-divorce. Work with a financial advisor if needed to plan for your future and manage the funds wisely.

Selling Your House During A Divorce? Contact Us For Your Cash Offer Today!

We Buy Your House is a local house buying company that’s built their business by buying houses for cash, no matter what the condition or the homeowners’ financial situation. We promise competitive cash offers without the hassle of dealing with real estate agents, lawyers, and more. If a direct home sale sounds like the best option for you, let’s chat! Call us day or night at +1 (289) 426-2700. We have a reputation for buying houses with less stress and less fees. 

If you own a property that you need to sell fast due to divorce, we have a solution. Contact us today and get a competitive cash offer for that house or rental property. We buy homes, no matter what your individual financial situation or the property’s condition. Even if the house has been neglected for years or suffered damage in the last storm, once you accept our fair cash offer our team of experts will handle all of those expensive repairs and upgrades so you don’t have to! We make selling a house during a divorce as hassle-free as possible.

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