The end of a relationship is always hard, even if it was your decision or you know that it will be for the best. Finding a new life alone can feel overwhelming, but things become even more difficult when you’ve got shared assets, such as your home.
If you were married and are now getting divorced, we recommend you go on to read our resources here:
- Selling Your House While Divorcing in Massachusetts
- Is it better to sell your house before or after a divorce in Massachusetts?
- Can courts order the sale of a house in a divorce in Massachusetts?
Couples getting divorced have more legal protections and proceedings to follow – unmarried couples may have a harder time navigating what they should and shouldn’t do. Read on to find out how to sell a home quickly after a breakup.
In Massachusetts, the main legal procedure that protects unmarried couples is the Petition to Partition, which protects you from being forced to continue owning a home you no longer want or live in, which we’ll touch on more below. There are no other “common law marriage” or couples’ laws pertaining to the division of assets.
If your breakup is amicable or if the two of you are still speaking and can work things out without excessive or frequent hostility, the best thing to do is to work together (doesn’t have to be side-by-side, just to make key decisions) to sell the house and split the cash (and the expenses involved).
Splitting the cash 50/50 is best unless you have an agreed reason not to. If you’re not going for a direct 50/50 split, make sure you’re both clear on exactly what each person can expect.
For example, if you put in more at the start but you’ve both paid the mortgage and household bills equally, you may decide that you get that additional equity back, and then split everything else 50/50. What you decide to do is up to you, and coming to a decision that feels fair to both parties can be a difficult path to tread.
If you have any doubts about coming to an amicable agreement, make sure you get attorneys involved to mediate as you move forward. The extra expense will be well worth it.
Here are your options for how to sell fast:
If your ex is in a financial position to do so, you can offer them the chance to buy you out. If you’re happy to do this, make sure you have a real estate attorney to ensure everything is strong legally for both parties. This can be a fast option, especially if your ex doesn’t need to remortgage.
If you’re looking for a fast sale, selling to a cash buyer is going to be the fastest way to sell your home. Cash buyers aren’t caught up in a chain like normal buyers, so you won’t be forced to wait for your buyer’s house sale to go through before you can complete yours. In the meantime, you’ll both be stuck continuing to pay the house’s expenses.
A cash buyer can move much faster, allowing you to complete the sale in a matter of weeks rather than months. For example, as a cash home buying company, we can complete in just 2-3 weeks in most circumstances, leaving you both free to move on and start new lives.
If your breakup is not amicable and you can’t find someone to mediate for you (this can be attorneys or friends if it won’t be a burden) to reach an amicable way to sell the house, you may have to take legal action against your partner to force the sale.
In Massachusetts, this is called a Petition to Partition and is used when one person refuses to sell the property. Provided both of your names are on the deed, (if your name is not on the deed and you’re not married, you have no legal right to the house, even if you’ve paid for its upkeep or mortgage payments) you can file a Complaint in Equity and the court will order the sale of the property.
This forced sale can be through a traditional market listing, through your ex buying you out, or through a public auction. A court-appointed commissioner will be in charge of overseeing the sale so that no one prevents the sale from progressing.
The court is required to seek the highest possible value for the property and the proceeds will be divided equally unless either party can prove that they made a greater contribution to the property.
In rare circumstances, if the property can be split into two residences, the court can divide the property into two and grant ownership to each party.
If you want to be free to start a new life as soon as possible or if you’re worried the relationship will deteriorate to the point where legal action is necessary, it’s best to sell as soon as possible and a cash buyer is by far the fastest way to sell.
We buy homes for cash in Massachusetts and can help you sell as soon as possible. All you need to do is send us the details of your property and we’ll assess its value with no in-depth inspections. We’ll then give you our best cash offer with no conditions for repairs and no additional fees. If you accept our offer (which you’re under no obligation to do so), we’ll start the process and the entire sale can be completed in just a matter of weeks. To find out more about the process (or for an easy link to send to your ex to explain the process), click here.