There is nothing more stressful than a marriage that it struggling and the devastation that follows when a couple decide to divorce.
Thankfully there are amicable divorces, but more often than not, they are an emotionally charged situation. From my own experience as a Realtor® having sold the marital home for couples who have decided to call it a day, I actually find it’s a time where I turn from Realtor® to Robot (I’m normally a more ‘lets hug it out’ kind of Realtor®).
Generally there is often one person who doesn’t want this. There are very often many people involved (most who shouldn’t be involved). There are lawyers acting for each party and trying to settle the separation of belongings, investments and money. There are often children involved, and more often that not we are dealing with comments or questions from one of both of the parties from a seed that has been planted by someone (or people) who have an opinion or, quite frankly, have too much to say.
No one benefits from Divorce, NO ONE!. But, if I can make life easier in any way during this time, I’m hoping my blog can smooth some of the bumps in a very rocky road.
Get your story straight to protect your bottom dollar
You will both need a new home for your future so its imperative that we get as much as we can for your marital home.
I have often visited homes when one of the parties has already moved out and the house looks half filled. This screams divorce. Where possible, try and keep your home neat and in order and create the look of a content family life.
I have had colleagues in the real estate industry approach neighbours to get “the story” on why a particular house is on the market. Buyers and their agents will always be looking for a reason why you’re selling in the hopes of securing the property at a cheaper price.
Your private business is just that, it’s private. You don’t need to tell the school bus driver or Beryl from number 42 that your marriage is on the fritz.
In any situation, regardless of your motivation for the move, it’s no one’s business why you’re moving. Buyers are buying your house not your life. So, instead of ignoring the obvious question/s everyone asks, and obviously not tell lies – the best thing to say when you’re asked “why are you moving” is agree to answer, “We are down-sizing” or my personal favourite…”We are navigating a lifetstyle change”.
Don’t get Emotional
I know, it’s a pathetic title! But seriously, the quicker you both realize a change is ahead and you have to deal with the consequences of that change the better off you will be, both emotionally and financially.
Consider a separation agreement, executed by you independent legal representation – I have seen first hand from clients who have used this method to great affect. By agreeing terms in writing between the two of them they were able to conduct their split very amicably for the sake of themselves and their children. They are such a great example of how, by coming to terms with the situation logically, helped the process immensely. That ex-husband just helped that ex-wife move into her first house post separation!
Consult your legal advisor for contingencies that are specific to your particular situation for advice on how to sell your home during divorce. Everyone’s situation is different.
This agreement should specify a timetable for the sale of the family home, but remember to be reactive to those time-frames. No one knows how long your house will take to sell.
Although the family home is often the greatest asset in a marriage it is also the biggest liability. Any separation agreement should detail who is financially responsible for any mortgage, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and/or any additional expenses.
The task of preparing the home for sale, listings and navigating showings may fall on the spouse who is residing in the house. This can stir lots of emotions and frustrations because often a separation is instigated by one of the couple which can causes some reservations about selling the family home from the other party.
When emotions take over, obstacles in the sale process may occur. These obstacles may include refusing showings, not keeping the house is show ready condition or good order or delaying necessary repairs. This is where the settlement agreement can come is useful.
The property may require repairs and maintenance, typical with the responsibilities of home ownership. The settlement agreement should cover some who is responsible for payments and upkeep. Knowing who is responsible will help speed up the process and get the maximum value out of the home and for you both to move forward with clarity and knowing the situation was dealt with fairly.
The agreement should also outline the steps to be taken if the house cannot be sold within a desired time frame, or if one spouse fails to meet any obligations as co-owner.
Remember, when people feel hurt they can do things that seem to be reasonable to them at the time, but ultimately these actions could affect your bottom line when selling.
Divorce is the most financially traumatic things you can go through. Money spent on getting mad or getting even is money wasted.
– Richard Wagner
Your focus should always be to deal with the situation at hand as quickly as possible, be reactive to the market and to get out as much of your equity as possible to help you start your new life. This will help you and your ex-spouse move on faster.
If you have any questions about the process of selling your home during this difficult time and want to discuss your options, without obligation, don’t hesitate to reach out. I can be contacted though email or phone or through the blue CONTACT button at the bottom of your screen.
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This article is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently in contract with other members of the PEIREA. Using this article in full or part without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2019 Melanie Press Real Estate