Selling and buying a home can be an emotional roller coaster. Especially if you are thinking about divorce, in the middle of divorce or in the aftermath of a divorce. Real estate often becomes a hot issue when the topic of divorce rears its ugly head. Who gets to stay, who has to go and how much is the home worth?
It’s important to get a value on the home in the current market using a Realtor who is knowledgeable about your area. It’s best to do this as soon as possible, as the value of the home could determine where you will be living in the future. You don’t need to pay for an appraisal if you can both agree on the value that is presented to you and you may want to get a couple of opinions. Many times the wife has a favorite Realtor and the husband has another, and each of them doesn’t trust that they are getting a fair unbiased value. Once a value is established, this will help in the decision to buy one side out or sell the property all together and split the proceeds.
If you choose to sell the property, select a Realtor that will not get caught up in any emotional drama between the two parties. It can be a very volatile and emotional time and the Realtor’s job is to sell your house in a timely manner at a fair price. No taking sides, no arguing, just doing their job. And as clients, you need to recognize that they truly are just trying to do their job. You will need to be responsive and communicate, sometimes with your ex!
When the house sells, where will you be moving to? Will you be purchasing another home? Will you be renting? Will you be staying with family or friends? Your Realtor can help you find a replacement home to purchase and can often refer you to property managers for rentals. Will you both be using the same Realtor to find your replacement homes? That is something you will want to think about. Realtors have a duty of confidentiality and should not be disclosing any information about the other person’s real estate interests. If it is too tempting to ask questions about what houses your ex is looking to buy, then you may want to have different Realtors to find your replacement homes.
It can be tricky to sell one home and buy another simultaneously, so speaking with a Realtor ahead of time to discuss your plans and goals for the future is key to coming out the end of the tunnel where you need to be.
Divorce is never easy, but if you find yourself there, contact a Realtor to discover the value of your home and discuss your ideas and vision for where you see yourself living in a better future.
Sue Bonzell is a second generation Realtor and lifelong resident of Sonoma County. She was raised on her family’s small apple farm in Sebastopol where she developed a solid work ethic and a down-to-earth personality. She maintains a local radio show and enjoys being a single mother of her teen son and daughter. Her expertise in concierge-level service is what Sue strives to provide her clients to ensure their absolute satisfaction. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.481.9102.