Selling a home can strain the happiest of marriages. When divorcing spouses decide to sell their home and divide the proceeds, the conflicts over things large and small can threaten the quick and profitable sale they both want and need.
There’s a specialist for that – specifically a real estate divorce specialist. These are real estate agents who have gone through training that helps them deal with the legal and financial issues unique to divorcing couples and to help manage a sale with sellers who may barely be speaking to each other.
Whether you choose a real estate divorce specialist or not, you can work to avoid common mistakes that can derail a home sale during a divorce.
Don’t make these mistakes
Just what kind of mistakes do divorcing couples make that can jeopardize a potential deal – or more than one? Let’s look at how you can avoid some of the most common issues:
- Leaving the home empty: It’s best if one spouse stays in the home until it’s sold. Agents and prospective buyers can sense when people have moved out and assume that means they’re more anxious to make a deal and willing to lower the asking price.
- Neglecting maintenance issues: If the spouse who handled these things (or knew whom to call) moved out, this can be a problem. It can also lower the value of your home and cause serious repair issues. Most real estate agents will call in handymen, housekeepers and other pros to get (and keep) things in shape.
- Telling prospective buyers about your divorce: There’s typically no good reason to let prospective buyers know too much about your personal life. Real estate agents typically recommend not leaving photos and other personal items out so that buyers can more easily envision themselves in a home. If they know the sellers are divorcing, they’ll likely assume you’re in a hurry to sell and make a low bid. Under no circumstances should you be there with prospective buyers if you’re not getting along.
It’s always best when couples can handle the sale of their home amicably and keep the focus on getting a good price without unnecessary delay rather than making every decision a battle. If you can do this, you can focus on the other aspects of property division as well as your custody, support and other agreements.