Why Divorcees Need an Experienced Realtor

Posted by Steph Kaye on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 at 9:56am.

The divorce process is always stressful regardless of the circumstances.  Handling the real estate settlement portion of the divorce can be even trickier.  Perhaps the need to sell your home to avoid past reminders is driving you to make hasty decisions on which you would otherwise expend more time and thought.  Divorces are not cheap and maybe you need to sell fast because you can no longer afford to live in your current home.  Fear of winding up in a poor house situation only heightens an already stressful situation.  While the prospect of setting aside your emotions seems impossible, it is necessary in order to proceed with this process. 



If you are going through a divorce, hire a realtor.


Selling your home during this difficult, trialsome time doesn't have to be messy.  In recruiting a professional realtor, you gain an advocate who stands in neutral territory, working expediently to sell your home in a timely fashion.  If you have a realtor friend who is offering to sell your home for you, think again.  Friends are not usually neutral parties.  While they have your best interests at heart, it would be difficult for a friend not to choose sides between you and your soon-to-be former spouse.  A realtor friend could unintentionally side with you due to a long-standing friendship, resulting in costly mistakes when advising on decisions related to the sale of your home.  A neutral party can be found in the selection of a professional real estate agent with whom there has not been a pre-existing friendship.  Remember, your realtor is your advocate first and foremost and will do everything within his or her power to protect you from buyers' prodding questions about the circumstances of your listed property, thus resulting in low-ball offers.  Unfortunately, divorce seldom brings out the best in people and if buyers know the circumstances behind the listing, they can easily use the information to their advantage by offering much less than they would under other circumstances.  Buyers who are unaware of the circumstances are more likely to present reasonable, unbiased offers based on the home's actual value.  In hiring a seasoned realtor, you are protecting yourself against questions that should be directed to your realtor.  This will afford you the time to work on more important matters demanding your attention. 

Stage the rage.

As previously stated, emotions and anger can often override smart steps that should be taken in this process.  Set aside the rage and consider staging your home.  In order to get the best price possible, your home needs to look as though you have worked for the list price.  Minimal efforts, lack of proper attention to cleaning and organizing, and clutter will result in low-ball offers.  Don't walk away from extra cash for the sake of puting the past behind you as quickly as possible.  Invest yourself in this process for a greater financial return.  Make efforts to prepare your home prior to listing and consider hiring a professional home staging company if the process is too overwhelming to go it alone.  Perhaps your budget does not allow for hiring a professional stager.  Simply take small steps: depersonalize by puting away photographs and framed pictures, clear away clutter, and remove and various collections.  Follow this process with a good cleaning.  A prepared, presentable home will attract many more buyers than that of a cluttered, dirty abode.  If your home looks desparate, you can expect to get desparate offers.

Handling the uncooperative soon-to-be ex.

If at all possible, try to maintain an attitude of cooperation with your future-ex throughout the home selling process.  Ideally, you and your spouse should agree on how to proceed with the home.  Unfortunately, most divorce processes wind up in arguements regarding who will live in the house verses who will leave the home, whether or not to put the home on the market, and how to get someone's name off the mortgage. The best way to proceed in removing a name from the mortgage is to sell the property and payoff any outstanding loans.  While it is possible to transfer the mortgage entirely into one name via refinance or otherwise, certain lending and credit requirements of a given mortgage company must still be met by the single party.  

It would benefit you to have the divorce attorneys collaborate in selling your home as they should be direct, guiding lights to the realtor by ensuring both spouses are separated from the selling process in order that the process is not sabotaged by either party.  Sometimes, one side is of the illusion that preventing or stopping the home sale will win them the divorce battle.  Regardless of the situation or intentions, it is likely that both parties are listed on the mortgage and the lender can require payment from either side.  

In the event that one party is totally uncooperative and the attorney is not of much help, than the opposite party will need to request the divorce court order the other side to cooperate.  This is not a quick process, however the deal of selling your home can easily die if buyers notice signs of a bitter divorce and suspect the sale of the home will fall through.  If you sense uncooperation from the beginning, it would be wise to request the divorce court rule on the sale of your home before listing it in order to prevent fewer chances of delaying a successful, expedient sale.  

Divorces are time consuming and stressful events, changing the course of more than one life.  Selling a home during this process can be costly and adds great complexity to an already complicated situation.  In working with your divorce attorney and professional, neutral real estate agent, emotions can be separated from the process and the prospect of a smooth sales transaction will be more likely to come to fruition.  

If you'd like to learn more about how to sell a home while going through a divorce or separation process, please don't hesitate to message Lang Premier Properties online or call us at 1-855-526-4466.

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