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Pennsylvania divorce may affect sale of real estate holdings

Divorce often leads to the sale of some marital property, particularly if the couple own real estate together. However, the divorce process may create some problems when it comes to successfully selling real estate holdings, particularly if the split is acrimonious. Each spouse may want to work with a different agent or have different ideas about how to sell. Pennsylvania couples who are ending their marriage may wish to be proactive and learn about the process of selling real estate when a divorce is in progress.

The largest snafus can occur in a real estate sale if only one spouse decides to list the property. By law, only one signature is required to list a property for sale. However, the signatures of both spouses are necessary for the property to be marketed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), per the Realtors Ethical Code of Conduct.

Even if there is only one name on the title, there may be issues if the other spouse will not sign a quitclaim deed. If that occurs, the spouse attempting to sell the property may not be able to transfer the title over to the buyer. Another issue can occur if one spouse and his or her agent find a buyer and opens escrow. If the other spouse refuses to go along with the process and the sale falls through, it may result in the buyer pursuing litigation against the agent and the spouse who attempted to sell.

A couple may have a much easier time of selling real estate if their names are both on the title and they list the property together. Typically, a divorce decree is required for any escrow process that arises from a divorce sale, so couples in Pennsylvania may need legal assistance in addition to a real estate agent in order to complete the sale of property. Selling real estate holdings during a divorce may be challenging, but couples who seek guidance may find the process smoother and less stressful.

Source: sgvtribune.com, "Divorce can complicate the sale of a home," Chris Vigil, Jan. 16, 2013

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