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Divorce and Selling Your Home

Getting a divorce is difficult enough let alone dealing with the stress of selling your home.   

If you are getting a divorce, you are undoubtedly going to experience extreme emotions and it’s compounded by having to sell your home.  Your brain and your heart are not communicating in tandem.  You need to make rational decisions and detach yourself from those emotions.   I know its hard to do but this now becomes a business venture, and you will need to be fair with each other.  You need to shift gears and start thinking logically and not let your emotions get in your way. 

Your home is most likely the biggest investment in both your portfolio’s.  Do not let it become a source of revenge, it will only hurt you in the long run.  There are many costs associated with a divorce that you may not see immediately.  Apart from the obvious lawyer’s fee’s each person now needs to separate one current expense into two.  Depending on your financial income situation this can be a burden on one more than the other or both of you at the same time.

Here are some tips I have learned dealing with clients who have gone thru a divorce:

1  Take care of YOU first, both physically and emotionally.

You will be experiencing a lot of emotions that can derail your physical well being.  You will need your strength to get though this.   Set up a daily physical exercise routine to help you with your emotional roller coaster ride.  You may feel anger, regret, even hatred, and it can consume you into depression and not being able to think straight.   You will most likely go thru a grieving process and even become lethargic.  Now is not the time to sit idle.  You will need your strength going forward keeping your mind and your body fit will set you up to handle the stress it will go thru. 

2 Change your mindset as to what your home has now become.  

Your home is no longer going to be the sanctuary you once thought it was.   It is now a house not a home and it needs to be taken care of right away.  It has now transformed from a personal asset to a business asset.  If you have a mortgage on the house, you need to get your name off that debt as soon as possible. 

Most likely you need to sell the property, unless you can afford and have agreed to refinance it in your name it is wise to make sure you are off the mortgage.   This is not the same as signing off on the title.   A title states who are the owners of the property.  A mortgage states who are the owners of the debt.  Two separate things that need to be addressed in the divorce settlement.  Some people think since they signed off on the title, they no longer own the property therefore they no longer need to pay for the mortgage.  Not true, they still own the mortgage debt if you are not legally taken off.   This can be done before you sell or at time of accepting an offer.

Adding to this situation, discuss with the spouse that is moving out of the house to sign off on their homestead rights to the home.  It is easier to sell a home without homestead rights instead of having the other still lingering around at offer time.  Too many sales have been held up because the spouse who needs to sign off sabotages the sale by being spiteful.   This is something to discuss prior to putting your home up for sale and with your lawyers to see what is best for your situation.

3 Do not sabotage the equity in your home.

I have seen many divorces where one spouse is so angry, they do not want to settle to satisfy their power to control.  Irrational behavior leads to using the house sale as a means to get even.  Remember a house is now an asset not your home in a divorce.  A house is probably the biggest asset for both parties and sabotaging a sale will hurt both of you.

Make sure you house always shows well during the sale process.   Buyer will get turned off if they enter a property that is left purposely dirty or even trashed with garbage lying around.  The net proceeds of the sale are usually 50/50 and having a house not show well hurts both of your bottom lines.   It will cost you time and money when it sits on the market, and you receive a low-ball offer.  Buyers are like vultures when they find out you are in a difficult situation, they will use it to their advantage to offer you less.  Don’t do it!

4. Taking everything that belongs to you out of the house.

If you have already agreed upon a settlement and what is yours and what belongs to your spouse, and you are the one moving out, take it out when you leave.   Especially if you no longer have access to the keys and have been taken off the title and relinquished your homestead rights.   Its easier to sell a home when there is only one person selling it.   There have been situations where a spouse leaves their stuff in the home for staging purposes and then finds out when they come to get their belongings that the locks have been changed and you no longer have access to them.  Move out and move on.

5. Copy and scan important papers that you will need once a house is sold.  

Important papers include tax returns, bank statements, homestead rights relinquish forms, property taxes, utility bills, and anything else associated with expense of running house.  Anything that shows you are no longer on the hook for any outstanding debts.  Make copies and take it with you.

6 Hire a REALTOR® who has experience selling divorce properties and is impartial to both parties.

In some rare cases you will see two REALTORS® on a listing.  When buyers see two for sale signs on a property this is a sure indication that the property is being sold by two parties that do not trust each other and want independent representation when selling.   Interview more than one REALTOR® and choose one that both parties feel comfortable with.  It is far less complicated than having two REALTORS® doing the same work as one.  Two is not always better than one!

If a divorce is in your future and wish to discuss your situation with me, I would be more than happy to give you my advice on how to proceed.   I am here to help you! 

Tony Rinella (B.A. Urban Studies 1981)

Ethos Realty





There is a popular misconception that having your ducts cleaned are not necessary because it is a scam.   And there is some truth to that, but not what you think! 

Lets look at what duct cleaning does and why its important to you.  Your heating and cooling system relies on your ducts generating maximum air flow and that can only be accomplished by having clean air ducts to run more efficiently. Air ducts can not possibly stay clean by themselves with the amount of dust particles and allergen’s that occupy your home every day. 

This is even more true if you have pets.  The combination of dust, dander, pollen, and other pollutants that enter your home impact the air quality and can lead to allergies and respiratory issues.   Once you develop allergies they can be irreversible.

It is also important to note that an air duct cleaning will not remove ALL contaminants.  Keeping them clean significantly improves the air quality and left untreated your home will develop a musty smell or even mold, and mold loves to feed on itself as do allergens. Keep your home healthy and you will keep your lifestyle healthy.

How often should they be cleaned?

Depending on where you live and the environmental conditions, ducts should be cleaned every 2 – 3 years.   If you live where dust is constantly around you (like on a gravel road) you may consider cleaning them yearly.   This is more true if you have pets that contribute to the poor air quality in your home.

Cost to have your ducts cleaned is very reasonable and can be cleaned between $300 - $500, depending on the size, and any extra services you may wish to take advantage of.   Sometimes you can get the price cheaper if the services are on sale, but make sure the company is legitimate.

Now the scam part of having your ducts cleaned:

Cleaning your ducts is NOT a scam, but having them cleaned by unprofessional, unscrupulous people is.   If you are approached by someone that is soliciting a great deal on having your ducts cleaned, be cautious and find out who they are and how long they have been in business!   There was a time when this was a classic phone scam where they would call you to have your ducts cleaned claiming to provide professional services, while in reality, they deliver subpar work or no service at all.  Today, they have moved onto social media and offer their services thru online ads with Facebook and Instagram or Kijiji.    If you are approached, make sure you search them online and check to see that they are a legitimate Duct Cleaning service in your area and that they have references.  If they are calling from a foreign land or out of province area code, be careful and suspicious.

When selling your home, I always recommend having your air ducts cleaned before you list to sell.  Nothing turns off a home buyer more than walking into your home with a foul stale odor in the air.  Make sure your home smells fresh and is ready to make an impression.  I also recommend that the invoice be left on a table, so they can see you recently cleaned them.  Better yet, put all your recent invoices out to show you have kept your home clean over time.   It shows you care about your home and you care about having your home clean for the next person occupying it.

I am always here to help you with your Real Estate needs.   If you are planning on selling your home anytime soon, call me and I will give you my recommendations on who I trust to call to ensure the work is done properly and professionally. 


Tony Rinella – B.A. Urban Studies (1981)

Ethos Realty

204-771-3866  (Call or Text me)


The 4 Phases of Retirement – Are you prepared to retire?


I recently listened to a TEDx talk by Dr. Riley Moynes and it resonated with me.   My interest peaked because at my age and stage in life I get asked, (a lot) when I am going to retire.   My answer has always been when I am ready or feel I am not able to contribute to “my” state of well-being.   Which means when I am no longer capable of living on this earth.   To me, retirement is a state of mind and I do not conform to the norm because I choose at a young age to be different.  This does not mean the norm is right or wrong, it just means this was my choice and does not suit everyone.

You see, I have never worked a routine 9-5 job and rarely answered to a “boss” or had a routine. I am fortunate enough that I have been preparing for retirement since I started working as an independent self-employed person at the age of 20.   Not everyone has the mindset or wants to work independently and I know that.   However, when retirement comes into play it will affect all of us in different ways.

The majority of people I know have worked all their lives at a job that required them to be on the clock.   Be it the corporate environment answering to superiors or working eight-hour shifts, day in and day out.   When working independently as a salesperson, you are never off the clock, you create your clock and answer to yourself or your clients.   The beauty of this is that you determine when to work, who to work with, and when not to work.  Depending on how hard you work you get to enjoy plenty of free time to do other things in between.  I do understand that not everyone is capable of living in this environment and I get that.  However, when you do decide to retire from whatever career you are in, Dr, Moynes explains there are 4 stages of retirement you must be made aware of.

Here is what I learned and took away from Dr. Riley Moynes's talk: 

He explains there are 4 phases of retirement and if we are lucky enough to get to the 4th stage we will finally enjoy retirement and “squeeze all the juice out of retirement.”

Phase 1  is called the Vacation Phase:

Before you retire you need to be aware of the 2 things.  First and foremost, you need to be financially ready to retire before you make the big announcement.  And you also need to be aware of the physiological impact it will have on you. 

We are amid a retirement tidal wave and there are going to be a lot of people playing PICKLEBALL and going on VACATIONS in the years to come.  Like a lineup at a Disney World Ride the amount of people retiring is going to be enormous and the baby boom is in full retirement mode right now.  Phase 1 is also called the honeymoon phase and is all about doing what you want when you want, sleeping in, going for a walk, and taking a vacation.  No one is there to tell you what to do, and you have no routine.  FREEDOM!  Or so it seems, this lasts for about a year or two, and then it becomes boring.  

Phase 2 begins when feelings emerge of no routine or purpose.  We begin to feel lost and need to do something to be fulfilled. Dr. Moynes says we lose 5 things in this phase:

  1. Routine
  2. Identity
  3. Relationships
  4. Purpose
  5. And for some the loss of Power

He says we won't see them coming and we also might see the 3 D’s:

  1. Divorce
  2. Depression
  3. And Decline in physical and mental health

This phase is inevitable and we must recognize that we will experience some or all of these symptoms.  This is where we need to take control of our senses and get ready to move into phase 3.

Phase 3 we begin to ask ourselves:

“How can I make my life meaningful again?”

“How can I contribute to my life to regain my purpose?”

The answer is to start doing things that we love to do and enjoy doing.  However, be prepared for failure.  This is a trial and error phase and some of the things we love to do, you may not be able to do anymore.   This is especially true if health issues come up.   Recognize the limitations and try and do something else that you are capable of doing and love.  Keep experimenting with things till you find what works and gives you a purpose.   If you don’t, you will fall back into phase 2 and that’s not a good thing.  Don’t give up trying!   

Unfortunately, not everyone breaks into phase 4, but if you do it will bring you joy and happiness!

Phase 4 is the phase to “squeeze all the juice out of retirement.”    In this phase, you will discover your sense of purpose and accomplishment.   You will begin to feel satisfied and you will find who you are and give you the energy to get up in the morning and just be happy.   In almost all cases this is accomplished by being of “service to others.” 

You may enjoy volunteering at a charity, or maybe you might like getting together with friends at a social club, helping family, or learning something new by taking a class about something you are interested in.  Whatever it is make it something you love and give you satisfaction in doing it. 

This should not be a job, (although it can be) it is an activity that you love to do and brings you a feeling of accomplishment after doing it.  It does not have to be physical, but more importantly, it could also be mental.  Exercise your brain by joining an organization where you can share your knowledge.  Join your local Chamber of Commerce, or Rotary, and meet new people in your community.  Share your ideas, in your field of expertise and voice your opinions with like-minded people.  It is amazing how different we all are and the knowledge we possess and express is so valuable to others. 

Phase 4 eliminates the losses of Phase 2, which are:

  1. Loss of Routine
  2. Loss of Identity
  3. Loss of Relationships
  4. Loss of Purpose
  5. And loss of Power

In summary, Dr. Moynes says to enjoy the Vacation in Phase 1, prepare for the losses of Phase 2, experiment with the trials and tribulations of Phase 3, and if you make it to Phase 4, squeeze all the juice out of retirement.

I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of the Retirement Phases by Dr. Riley Moynes.

To view the full TEDx talk on YouTube,  here is the link:

If you are retiring and selling your home is part of your retirement plan, call me for a FREE Market Evaluation.   I am always here to help you.   My advice is FREE and the information is invaluable.

Tony Rinella - B.A. Urban Studies (1981)

Ethos Realty