Divorce is never easy, but splitting up the real estate can make things downright nasty fast. Real estate professionals often find themselves in the middle of sticky divorce situations when couples decide to split and need to sell off their joint property. Here are three things that you should avoid doing if you are caught in the middle of a couple sorting out housing in a divorce:
First, don’t give divorce advice. You can tell your sellers anything you want about the home-selling process, including what they might get for their home and how quickly they can expect to sell. However, steer clear of anecdotes or personal advice no matter how tempting it may be. If you appear to be judging or taking sides, they’ll opt out of working with you fast.
Second, steer clear of buyouts. Some real estate professionals think they’re being brought in to sell a home, then find themselves tangled up in the legal process as one spouse buys out the other. This is something for the couple and their lawyers to work out, since buyouts are often quite subjective and generally do not result in a profit for the real estate professionals involved.
Third, don’t make the divorce a home feature. Real estate professionals who specialize in moving homes for divorcing couples actually stage the homes to appear as if a happy couple lives there, right down to stocking the empty side of the closet. One agent explained, “When buyers hear the word ‘divorce,’ they think ‘fire sale.’ You don’t want that for your sellers.’”
Working with a divorcing couple to sell a home can be perilous, but it can also be worth it since a good result will often net you two new clients.
Point to Ponder:
What is your worst divorce-sale story?
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Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.