My one clear message throughout everything I write is HIRE A TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS to help you through the divorce process.
For the purposes of this message, let’s talk about the Realtor on your team. You need a Realtor who understands your situation and is sensitive to it. You need someone who fits on your team. Your home is one of, if not the largest asset you have. Most people don’t spend time thinking about needing a divorce experienced Realtor and how to choose one. This is a very important decision and you need to spend some time choosing the right one.
Let’s first talk about some of the personality traits that might be helpful when looking for the right Realtor.
- Your divorce Realtor needs to be – like your divorce lawyer – cool, calm and collected – at ALL times.
- Your divorce Realtor needs to be able to stay unbiased. In a contentious divorce, this is especially critical. Even if your situation is amicable right now, and let’s hope it stays that way throughout the process, it can change as more difficult and intimate negotiations move forward. This is one reason why I recommend not using a family friend or relative.
- They need to communicate like it’s their super power. They should have experience with couples that may or may not be able to communicate with each other. You and your ex should feel confident that the exact information is being communicated clearly to each party.
- The other super power your Realtor needs is Listening! Are you and your ex confident that you are being heard and as many of your needs are being addressed as possible? When your needs and your ex’s needs are not in alignment, the Realtor should be able to negotiate an acceptable compromise.
- And the last super power that is a must have is problem solving ability. Most real estate transactions have challenges that most realtors know how to solve. With a divorce, these problems can take on an emotional element that presents another level of required skills. When one spouse wants to sell quickly and the other wants to stay as long as possible, or one spouse makes themselves unavailable throughout the process, etc. The Realtor should have experience over coming sabotage or clients that have been though the ringer and are just emotionally not up to the task of participating.
Now let’s talk a little bit about the experience you’re looking for. Your Realtor can help you before, during, and after selling your home
Your Divorce Experienced Realtor can help you with:
- Understanding your equity position.
- If needed, help prepare a package for the court to support your position on whether you should sell or keep your home.
- If needed, help you demonstrate the value history of your home from the time you purchased the home through present day.
- Review the homes condition with you and make suggestions that will garner the highest possible sale price. This could be as simple as decluttering or as extensive as major repairs. Of course, you don’t have implement any of the suggestions, but at least you will have them and know how they might affect the final sales price.
- Create a marketing and timing strategy that will work for both your needs.
- Help you find a replacement property whether you are going to buy another home, or rent, your Realtor needs to support your future.
- Your Realtor should have a proven record of successfully selling homes. Not all Realtors are created equal. Closing the transaction with the terms that work best for you is a critical need in this situation. If you need time to move or find a replacement home after your home is sold. Can your Realtor negotiate a longer escrow, or a contingency for you to find a replacement home, or can you close the transaction, receive your funds, and rent your home until you find a replacement home? If you chose a Realtor that is a good listener than they will be able to present options based on knowing your needs.
- Creating and implementing the strategies – marketing, pricing, showing, escrow, inspections, choosing vendors, assuring clear title, reviewing offers, choosing the best offer, buyer challenges, request for repairs, lender required repairs, disclosures, and getting to closing should all be planned and communicated. This may reduce or even eliminate arguments or sabotage later. Most experienced Realtors will follow a familiar sales strategy throughout the process. It’s the experienced Divorce Realtor that will want to get most of this planned and agreed to up front.
If you hit most of these points you will find yourself with a Realtor who understands what you are going through and can effectively get your home sold quickly. You will have found yourself a Realtor who will be an essential and successful member of your team.