Homeownership can be the last thing keeping a marriage “together” — even when a couple has decided to separate and long after one has moved out.
It’s interesting how much more binding the contractual ownership of a house is compared to marriage.
But more often than not, when people get divorced, the house they own together needs to be sold at some point.
And no matter how much or how little two people hate each other, it’s not uncommon for one of them to use the house as a way to avoid the finality of divorce.
Dragging Out An Already Stressful Process
It’s not news to say that divorce is a tricky thing to go through.
It’s stressful—an emotional roller coaster. And a lot of times, there’s finger-pointing and trying to prove who’s more right or wrong.
It’s also not news that selling a house is often stressful, even for people not getting divorced.
Add those two things together, and, well, you can do the math. It’s not necessarily easy or pretty.
So who’d want to drag the process of selling the house out any longer than it needs to be?
Well, there’s usually one person in the relationship who wants to be done with everything and move on more than the other.
So the other person isn’t ready to be done. And that’s the one who’ll drag out the process of getting the house sold as quickly as possible.
Why Would Someone Do That?
Sometimes it’s done to “stick it” to the other spouse (and the house is a subtle weapon)…
- So the other spouse can’t move on
- To hurt the other spouse financially
But other times, it may not even be so deliberate…
- Just because the marriage is ending doesn’t mean there weren’t good times. It could be a matter of holding on to those memories.
- It can feel like the final admittance of failure.
- There may still be hope that they will resolve the issues.
On purpose or not, it makes it challenging for the one who wants to move on.
Sometimes It’s Not Obvious
Most people don’t get divorced all that often. For most people, it’s a pretty new experience—hopefully, a one-time thing.
And most people don’t sell houses all that often either.
So when their house isn’t selling, it can be tough to pinpoint what’s getting in the way of the house not selling.
But real estate agents see things from a more objective perspective.
If an agent handles enough divorce sales experience, it becomes apparent that people do certain things to get in the way of their house selling (whether they’re aware they’re doing them or not).
It Costs More Than Time
It wouldn’t be as terrible if it were just a matter of dragging things out and taking longer. But it also can cost both spouses in more ways than expected.
It’s crucial to understand how you and your spouse may react when divorcing.
Ultimately, it makes a lot of sense to hire a real estate agent who truly understands and has the skills to handle the sale of a home due to divorce. It’s not a typical sale.
It also helps to know and understand as much as you can on your own before and during the process so your agent can be as effective as possible and help you avoid losing more than just time.