Buying a home is one of the largest investments most families will ever make. So what happens when that family splits up and the largest asset becomes only a fraction of what it once was?
Selling a home as part, or the result, of a divorce is an emotionally charged process. It often involves considerations such as downsizing into the same school district you are currently in; who moves where; and how do we split out the cost of repairs the new buyer is asking for?
Our team has found that it’s best when managed by a group of experts. 1 to handle the marketing and listing of the home and 1 or 2 buyer agents to handle each spouse as they determine where their next address will be. The team concept allows neutrality to the process, while making sure that communication is happening amongst both parties.
How does our team handle the process? We start with sitting down and making sure we have a complete picture of the situation before we can place the home on the market. It takes a village to go from start to finish!
The first step is for the listing expert to determine the potential equity in the home. Set a price to sell-and be prepared to stick close to that price. Establishing pre-determined guidelines for how much negotiating room there is will help when the time comes to keep it business like and simple. We feel that leaving the negotiating up to when an offer comes in will lead to arguments, mistrust, and hard feelings. Our team will ask each party up front what kind of room we have, and hold each party accountable to those guidelines, as well as help establish a realistic goal for the sale.
The next step is to determine (prior to listing) how repairs will be handled, and set financial expectations and guidelines as to who pays for what. We recommend a pre-listing inspection to see what the buyer may find and to go ahead and either get quotes, or handle any and all repairs ahead of time whenever possible. Oftentimes we will ask our clients to set aside money so that when repair requests come in our team can handle them without going back and forth between the parties involved. We try to make this as easy as possible. After all-you don’t want to lose the sale of the home because you can’t agree on which plumber to use to make repairs.
Once financial guidelines have been established, it’s time to start looking toward the future. Will one spouse rent? Will you both? Will you each be buying a home? Do childcare considerations mean that you need to stay in the same school districts? Or will one party be moving further away? What about moving dates? Does the home need to be sold before another can be purchased? Will both spouses be living in the home while its on the market or has one already moved out? Do we have time sensitive dates to be aware of?
Speaking with a trusted mortgage lender is crucial to deciding some of these things. All parties need to be aware of financial concerns when it comes to deciding where to live, and our team needs to be aware of them as well. We work with our preferred lenders to make sure that we’ve thought of the questions to ask before you even know you need to ask them. After all, that’s why we are here.
Finally, after all of these questions have been discussed and answered-it’s time to place the home on the market. Our goal is that being prepared ahead of the for sale sign installation, we have a plan in place and can facilitate a smooth process for the couple.