Divorce. It's not an easy subject to talk about, and I would never wish it upon anyone. Unfortunately, the realilty is that half of all married couples will experience divorce.
As someone who has been through a divorce myself, I understand that it can get pretty messy. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel (or I wouldn't be writing this!)
After you and your partner have exhausted all avenues to save your marriage and divorce is still inevitable, you may find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to sell your home, and other assets, and divide the proceeds with your ex-partner.
Tip: Always remember that selling your property is strictly a business transaction
As with any sale (but especially in a divorce situation), emotions can run high during this stressful time. However, when you have someone who understands what you and your ex-partner are going through during your sale, the process can be more tolerable.
Try not to get caught up in the emotions (easier said than done, I know). In this case, it's helpful to keep in mind that selling your property is strictly a business transaction in which both parties have the potential to benefit financially.
Tips for handling a divorce sale
- Hire a professional who you both trust, and who can empathize with your situation. Look for an agent who can take control of the situation and act as a neutral party to facilitate the sale of your home and keep emotions in check as much as possible.
- Let your agent know the best way to communicate with you. As an experienced real estate agent, I usually meet clients separately to understand each of their individual goals and expectations. In turn, I am also clear about my role. This can alleviate some stress, especially if when you prefer to limit contact with your ex.
- I prefer to give my clients a list of responsibilities to prepare their house for sale. After reviewing each task, assign responsibilities, such as home repairs, packing, cleaning, etc. If challenges crop up in tackling your to-do list, your REALTOR® should be able to provide you with recommendations for a handyman, cleaners, movers, etc. In some cases, that to-do list may not be feasible, and you'll need to be prepared to adjust your listing price accordingly.
- Your REALTOR® should also create a master calendar to accommodate each person's schedule. This step is especially important if relations between the two parties are not amicable. A master calendar lets both parties know when certain events occur, such as open houses, showings, inspections, etc., and helps to minimize conflict.
- Finally, determine how you and your ex-partner would like to handle sale proceeds. Escrow will need to be informed how each should be handled (usually parties opt for a 50-50 split). If an agreement is not reached, escrow will hold all proceeds from the sale until further instructed.
Divorce is never easy, but choosing an experienced REALTOR® who is well equipped to represent you in a divorce sale will help to ease some stress as you navigate your way toward the next chapter of your life.