As a real estate team with decades of combined experience, we’ve supported clients of all circumstances and backgrounds – providing personal, hands-on guidance to help them reach their real estate goals. In this post, we’ll look at the specialized process of downsizing after a divorce, covering your initial steps, options for selling, and discovering your next home. 

Your Initial Steps

In Ontario, formally married couples have a distinct set of rights related to their shared home. With this in mind, the process of selling the home following separation will be notably different for couples who are common-law or unmarried. 

Regardless of which of these categories you fall into, it is always a good idea to speak with your real estate lawyer before making any concrete arrangements. If you don’t have one, reach out to our team.

Following a divorce, your real estate processes will entail a few major decisions. The first of which will revolve around what you would like to do with your current property. Ideally, you and your former spouse will have an idea of how you wish to proceed. If you’re not yet sure, that’s ok. We’ll look at your primary options next. 

Optimizing a Joint Sale

If neither you nor your former spouse wishes to keep the home, your preferred route will likely be a joint sale. In this pathway, your property will enter the public market and be prepared, listed, and marketed like any traditional home sale. Once sold, proceeds are divided between both parties.

Like any sale, the most optimal approach to selling jointly is with a local real estate agent. Using their professional selling strategies and services, an agent can help you accomplish a great result on the market, providing an optimal return for your next chapter. 

Looking for strategic insights that can help you improve your home’s market performance? Explore our blog on value-adding home staging here

Low-Stress Buyouts 

In the event that either you or your former spouse would like to stay in the home, one person will buy out the other’s share of the mortgage. This process can be relatively straightforward. However, there are a few special considerations to be mindful of, such as ensuring that the selling partner’s earned equity is fairly accounted for. 

In an active real estate market like Toronto, there is a high likelihood that your current home has appreciated in value since your initial purchase. As a result, determining the present market value of the property will be a critical step in the buyout process. 

One of the simplest ways to determine your home’s up-to-date value is by partnering with a real estate agent. Using active market data, industry insights, and their experience, your agent can help you and your former spouse arrive at a number that works for both parties.  In some cases, for a second opinion of value we will bring in a third party professional appriser who is member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

Discovering Your Future Home

After determining the right pathway for your sale, you’ll want to decide where you wish to live next. In most instances, moving out of a shared home after a divorce involves downsizing to a smaller or more compact living space. 

That said, going through a divorce can be incredibly challenging. Not only are there many logistics to navigate, but it can also be a highly stressful period in your life. Given the heightened emotions of this stage and process, unpacking what you may need from your next home could be the last thing on your mind. Therefore, mastering the buying process is best accomplished with the help of a real estate professional. 

An agent who specializes in working with downsizers (or has direct experience working with divorced clients) can help you source the right home by exploring suitable neighbourhoods, identifying properties that meet your requirements, and guiding you through the negotiation and purchase process.

In need of market-informed buying advice? Explore these other blog posts for helpful tips. 

Compassionate End-to-End Service

Divorce is a complex process, and given the emotional and often sensitive nature of the subject, finding the right help can sometimes be a challenge.

As a widely experienced and dedicated team, Ramsay Real Estate Group can provide you with end-to-end support for your downsize. Beyond our strategic high-result strategies, we’ll guide you through the process with ease – reducing stress wherever possible. 

From the initial stages of your sale, all the way to settling into your new home, we’re here for you every step of the way. As our client, your comfort is always our top priority. We understand just how difficult the process of divorce can be, that’s why our approach is empathetic and compassionate, keeping you in the driver’s seat of your own journey.  

Whatever your current circumstances may be, feel free to reach out to our team for personalized advice on your downsize. 

Searching for a dedicated real estate team who can guide you through your downsize? Ramsay Real Estate Group can help. To get in touch, click here to contact us by email or call 416.906.8366.

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