Divorce and selling a home are most likely two of the most stressful, trying events that you’ll ever encounter. Going through both at the same time just flat out sucks. It used to be who would get to keep the home, but now we have a new angle; Who gets stuck with the home? More than 1 in 7 homes I visit are worth less than what’s owed even with the improved economy!
1. Decide who, if anyone, can afford to keep the house
Selling your home during divorce creates some serious financial consequences for the person left with the home. The mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities on 1 income is a huge burden in most cases. It usually becomes too expensive for most people to handle.
2. Hire a Realtor who has experience dealing with divorce
Don’t underestimate the importance of picking the right Divorce Realtor who has experience in handling divorce situations. Your Divorce Realtor must have excellent communication skills and have a high level of patience with all parties. I have over 27+ years handling these situations and have experienced this on a personal level. You must be partial to both sides and understand the high level of emotions from all everyone involved. If I can stress one other point; please pick a Divorce Realtor together. If you don’t heed this advice, its my experience that someone feels cheated or that a Realtor would benefit one party more than another. I insist that both parties be available during my in person interviews and listing appointments. I make it clear to both that I will always be fair to both and communicate the same information to both. Selling your home for top dollar in a reasonable time is my top priority!
3. Determine the listing price of your home
One of the biggest challenges is determining the market price for your home. I handle this by going over the current actives and solds in your area along with other pertinent info such as location, square footage and improvements made to the home. It’s been my experience that one party typically just wants to get rid of it since they see a huge financial burden looming in the near future. The other party wants top dollar which is what I always strive for. The best advice given can be to go over the data and arrive on a fair price that both parties agree upon. I remind both parties that the longer the home sits the more you pay in mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, maintenance and more.
4. Prepare the home for sale during your divorce
Getting the home ready for sale can be daunting task considering the emotional roller coaster everyone is on. I typically will make recommendations to get carpets cleaned, maybe some painting and perhaps someone to help declutter and possibly move items to storage. Its best to make the home look as big and clean as possible. Remember, someone new is trying to envision how and where their personal items will look in their new home. I also advise the sellers not to be home during home showings as you don’t want the buyers to have in upper hand in negotiating if someone indicates the reason for moving!
5. Build a Contingency Plan
There are a million reasons why a home sale could possibly fall apart. One big factor is the buyer’s financing. If something does go sideways, Realtors typically know well in advance to let the sellers know whats going on with their home sale. Most of my sellers have moved out once they get a contract. I remind the sellers that the home isn’t sold until a clear to close is given which means the buyers bank is ready to close. This is usually given approximately 1 week before closing which can add a bit more stress to the situation. However, please have a backup plan such as moving in with friends or family members if something does happen if this situation occurs. The home would be put back on the market and marketed aggressively to get the home sold!
Perhaps more than any other time in your divorce, this is a time to remove emotions from the equation. While your home carries memories both good and bad, you’ve got to move past them. If you are selling your home specifically to split the proceeds in the divorce, try to remember that you are satisfying a legal requirement. There will be plenty of time to feel emotional about the process after it is done, but during the sale is not the proper time. Just remember that brighter days are ahead and a new chapter of your life is about to begin!
Looking for an Experienced Divorce Realtor? Feel free to contact me at (815)690-2843 or email [email protected]