How to Evaluate an Offer on Your Home during a Divorce

///How to Evaluate an Offer on Your Home during a Divorce

How to Evaluate an Offer on Your Home during a Divorce

This may seem like something else that is the same weather you are getting a divorce or not, but again there are some additional challenges.

Almost every decision in a divorce is emotionally charged.  When it comes to reviewing offers a lot will depend on the strategy that you and Realtor agreed upon in the beginning of the process.

  • Did you set an unrealistic price and now the offers are coming in lower than desired?
  • Did you set a Fair Market Price?
  • Did you set a price that was slightly under Fair Market?

So, let’s take a look at the potential of each strategy and how they might affect the offers.

First, did you set an unrealistic price and now the offers are coming in lower than desired?  Well, you kinda had to expect this.  If the offer(s) that you are receiving are not meeting your desired price, but they are meeting the Fair Market Value that was suggested to you in the beginning, then you may want to reconsider your price.  That is, if it is really your intention to sell the home.

Second, did you set a Fair Market Price?  Usually there is no problem if you’ve set a FMV and the offer(s) are coming in higher, right?  Well take a closer look at the terms and compare them to your needs.  If you need a rent-back or a home of choice contingency, make sure those terms are in the contract.  Keep in mind that even though your Realtor put those terms in the MLS, they don’t count unless they are actually in the purchase agreement.  Work with your realtor to make sure all the terms are satisfactory.  The price isn’t everything.

If the offer(s) are coming in below FMV, then you need to work with your Realtor to figure out what the issue is.  It could be access to the property, if buyers can’t get into the property when they need to, then they will move on to another property.  It could be that the property is not clean when the buyer’s show up.  Not that you would do this, but I’ve shown property where there is warn underwear on the bedroom floor.  Rarely is it the marketing strategy, but it could be.  You may want to review the marketing activities, with the Realtor to determine if everything that could be done, is being done.

Finally, did you set a price that was slightly under Fair Market?  This should bring offers at asking or above, again you want to make sure that all the terms meet your needs.  

Ok you are getting offers at fair market value, but your spouse won’t sign the purchase agreement.  This is one of those situations where your Realtor’s super powers will be tested.  If the Realtor you both chose, is unbiased and is a good listener, your Realtor should:

  • First, communicate with and listen to your spouse.  Determine what the objects to the offer might be, from their perspective.  If they are reasonable objections, then a counter offer might be in order.  If they are not reasonable, then the Realtor should be able to, in a calm and businesslike manner, demonstrate to your spouse where a meeting of the minds might benefit them.
  • If a meeting of the minds is not possible, then your Realtor should be able to work with your attorney to present a package to the court that demonstrates clearly why the offer(s) are reasonable and solicit the court’s assistance to selling the property.  An divorce experienced Realtor should be very helpful in knowing how to create a package that would be undeniable in this case.