When creating an inventory or net worth statement for a divorce, some couples prefer to factor in selling costs for the house. Selling costs are deducted from the estimated value of the house. Usually, the person who wants to deduct selling costs is the person who is intending to keep the house. The reduction in house value from the deduction of selling costs means that person has less on his/her column, leaving room for more assets or money to be placed in their column.
The discussion over whether selling costs should be deducted can be a lively one. Couples talk about the likelihood of actually selling the house soon. After all, where do you draw the line on timing? If he/she intends to sell the house within 6 months, then they get to deduct the selling costs now? What if he/she has a change of heart and decides not to sell the house after all? What if he/she plans to sell the house in 4 years after Johnny has gone off to college?
Then there is the discussion of how much are selling costs? Are they only the real estate agent’s commission? Are they all the costs to sell (whatever those are in your geographical area). Do they include fixing up the house, such as repairs and painting? Then there is the differing opinion about whether painting the living room will produce a higher selling price anyway.
I don’t have an answer here. Just issues to consider. Every couple deals with this in their own unique manner.