Divorce And Real Estate: Has Personal Property Been Divided? A Helpful Guide

by | Sep 15, 2023 | Attorney Resources, Client Resources

In the realm of real estate, my role as a Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE®) often involves guiding homeowners through the complexities that arise during a divorce. While I neither promote divorce nor discuss relationships, my focus is squarely on providing support in navigating the intricate intersection of real estate and divorce. When homeowners decide to sell their shared property, it’s crucial to address the division and disposition of personal belongings before listing the home for several reasons:

Inside of an empty living room with a couch and light coming in from big window on the left side

The Benefits of Settling Personal Property Matters Before Listing

Jump Starts The Listing Prep Process

Prospective buyers prefer a clean, clutter-free environment, and having personal belongings sorted out and removed can make the home more appealing and easier to show.

Streamline The Selling Process

Divorce is emotional and stressful enough; and time moves fast between contract execution and closing. We are navigating through contract timelines, inspections, repair negotiations, repair execution, appraisals, buyer visits, packing, moving, etc. Settling personal property matters before listing the home saves homeowners from working through those negotiations at the same time.

Prevent 11th Hour Delays

Per contract (and unless otherwise agreed), sellers must deliver their home at closing, free and clear of all personal belongings. If the party occupying the house simply packs up “their” stuff and moves out (and the “out” spouse does not retrieve their belongings prior to buyers taking possession), sellers are potentially in breach of the contract. Additionally, disagreements over personal belongings taking place throughout the listing and contract term can lead to unnecessary conflict and delay the process of selling the home.

Remove Temptation

If personal property is already divided and retrieved we can avoid the possible temptation to use personal belongings as leverage regarding matters related to the sale of the home.

Meleah Wehman top Realty Austin Realtor sitting on a chair looking at her phone

How I can help when it comes to personal property and divorce

Navigating this challenging process takes teamwork.  The sequence of events, applying a methodical process and equal communication is extremely important to ensure a real estate transaction in the midst of divorce goes as smoothly as possible.   My goal is that time and resources are not wasted.  If you have any questions about handling real estate during divorce, feel free to reach out to discuss available options.

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