Mistakes Divorcing Couples Make When Selling the Family Home

///Mistakes Divorcing Couples Make When Selling the Family Home

Mistakes Divorcing Couples Make When Selling the Family Home

Again, let’s just apply this information to the sale of your home.

  • Unable or unwilling to compromise.  Divorce is hard and during a divorce compromise is even harder.  Sometimes a person feels like they have already lost too much and they refuse to lose anything more!  Compromise is not about loss, it’s about moving forward.
  • Communication Breakdown.  Even in the most amicable divorces there can come a time when communication is just not possible.  In a contentious divorce communication is all but impossible.   Here is where your Realtor can really help you avoid arguments.  Use them to move the process forward and relieve you from direct contact, at least until what is causing the communication break gets resolved.  This is also another reason why choosing the right Realtor is so important.  We will talk more about that later.
  • Emotional Turmoil.  Sometimes your emotions will demand you take a position that you think will make you feel better, but is not in your best interest in the long run.  If you feel powerless, your emotions may demand that you hurt your ex in any way possible, to regain a feeling of control, but the question becomes are you hurting yourself more?  On the other-hand if you feel guilty, your emotions may demand you just surrender, and that too would not be in your best interest in the long run.  The list of emotions that affect decision making during a divorce is long.  The bottom line is make sure you are making good business decisions and not giving into temporary emotions, even if those emotions are strong and overwhelming.
  • Pricing the home to sell.  This can be an argument starter for sure!  One spouse wants to sell quickly and really doesn’t care what it sells for just as long it’s done and over with as quickly as possible.  One spouse wants to stay in the house as long as possible and does everything they can to sabotage the sale, starting with the list price.  The hard truth is a buyer is not going to pay more for your home than fair market value dictates, no matter how much you need, or want for it.  Your Realtor will suggest a sales price, based on market conditions, property condition, size, location, and amenities.  If you and your spouse can, agree to follow your Realtor’s advice, even before they make the pricing suggestion you might avoid an argument later.  If you still can’t agree, you might want to consider getting your home appraised.  If then both your Realtor and Appraiser are close in Market Value Price, that would be a firm confirmation of what the sales price should be.
  • Letting the house go.  There are 3 pitfalls to address:
    • Literally letting the house go.  If you stop making the payments and let the house go back to the bank in a foreclosure.  I hope I don’t have to tell you that this is a bad idea.  What I will say, is that again, don’t let your temporary emotions talk you into doing something today that will have long term consequences tomorrow.  You may be angry and frustrated right now, or you may be emotionally exhausted and just don’t want to deal with the stress and strain of it all.  I can tell you from experience that what you are going through today will get better.  
    • Emotionally letting the house go.  For some of you this is not a problem, it may hold some bad memories of recent times.  For others however, only good memories prevail.  For some others selling the house is a permanent real-world acknowledgement that it is over.  You may not be ready to let go.  I say this with all gentle compassion, let go so that you can move forward.  
    • Letting the maintenance of the house go.  If you stop caring for the house it will not bring you the highest possible return.  You may or may not care right now how much the house brings, but you will shortly as you do move on and start over.  Getting as much as possible to begin again will easy the path to the future.
    • Picking a Realtor.  This can be another argument starter.  It doesn’t have to be.  It would be in your best interest to pick a Realtor that is completely independent of your circumstances.  You may think that picking a Realtor that you know, that will be on your side, makes sense and that would be great, right?  Not at all!  There are times when one spouse or the other begins to sabotage the transaction (I talk about this more in another blog).  If either of you thinks that the Realtor is on the opposing side, then the Realtor is not trusted and their advice will be ignored.  I’m sure you can see how this can be a problem in a Real Estate transaction.  Sometimes when you insist on your Realtor and your spouse insists on their Realtor you end up listing with both Realtors.  Another mistake!  You have just added two more people into your uncomfortable situation and again if you can’t agree on an independent Realtor it is not likely that you are going to agree on list price, offers, repairs, etc.  Pick a Realtor that has experience working with divorcing couple, that neither of you know, and that you both feel will stay professional and objective and focus solely on the business of selling your home as quickly and for the most money possible.

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