Tips for Selling During a Divorce
I’m not going to lie, selling your home during a divorce will be a challenge. It will require a dedication to open communication and a commitment to achieving the goal. This guide is meant to provide some insights and tips that can help smooth the path a bit and relieve some of the stress associated with selling your home during a divorce.
Before we begin it is worth noting that in order for any of these tips to yield a successful sale, it is absolutely imperative that all parties involved come to the mutual agreement that the home will be sold. If one party is holding out or looking to sabotage profits for short term satisfaction, then the best advice I can offer is to work through those issues first and then return back to this guide.
In addition, this guide is not meant to be a legal resource for dividing proceeds or allocating ownership, or any other legal element, but rather, it is a guide to help all parties successfully navigate through the process of selling your house with as little friction and stress as possible.
1. Clearly Define Communication Channels
Communication is the most critical element in successfully and quickly navigating your home sale during a divorce. Determining up front to whom, when, and how your REALTOR should communicate will save time and headaches down the road and create a smoother path for all and keep everybody feeling confident that their REALTOR is acting equally and fairly on the behalf of all parties involved.
2. Get the story straight for buyers
A house being sold under duress is like a wounded zebra limping through the African grasslands…PREY! Now is not the time to show weakness. A simple truth of “The owners are moving on” will suffice.
3. Set price limits and timing up front
Setting the list price alone won’t be enough. To keep the transaction smooth throughout the process you will want to define settlement timing, the minimum offer price that will be accepted and set pre-determined, date-based price reductions. Let your REALTOR help define the schedule of price reductions and build that into the listing agreement for all parties.
4. Make a plan to prepare, maintain and show the home
This is the tactical part of the plan, and a part that needs to be clearly defined up front. From staging to open houses, the more detail that can be defined up front the smoother for all.
- Identify which minor repairs need to be done prior to listing and how those repairs will be funded.
- Create a staging plan by defining which items will be removed or stay during the sale process.
- Build a fixed schedule for showings and open houses and have all parties agree in advance. Your REALTOR will then limit buyer access strictly to these times.
- Determine how the home and property will be maintained during the sale process. Will a cleaner be employed? How will landscaping be maintained? Who will pay? Remember, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep the home in an optimal showing state during the sale process.
5. Reviewing offers
With a predefined pricing strategy this will be easier. Rely and trust in your REALTOR to help qualify the strength of the offers and execute within your pre-defined offer range. This could be a stressful time and will require open and honest communication. Keep your dedication to the goal and continue to move forward with your plan.
6. My goals as a REALTOR
Fairly and equally represent all parties involved in the sale
Facilitate proper and timely communication to all
Serve as the liaison between the owners and any third parties to the transaction
Sell your home for the best price in the shortest amount of time.
One Last Thing
One thing you should know about me is that I love my job. I bring to it the absolute belief that my role is not simply about buying or selling a house, it’s about simplifying and helping people with their “NEXT”, their next town, their next job, upgrading, downsizing, whatever that “Next” may be… It just so happens I’m a REALTOR! Give me a call and let me help you get to your “Next”!
If you would like to setup time to have a confidential discussion about how I can best help or to answer any questions you may have, feel free to contact me directly at 215-431-8412
I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Matt Kapusta, Licensed PA & NJ REALTOR