Own a Home & Getting Divorced?
If you own a home and are getting a divorce, here is why you need a certified real estate divorce specialist.
When working with divorcing couples one should understand the underlying complexities, both emotionally and financially. The key is COMMUNICATION!
Communication is the KEY!
One of the most important skills that comes with being comfortable around divorcing couples is open communication. When working with married couples, I deal with a single entity. Divorce changes that. Working with a couple during separation and the divorce process changes that dynamic.
I always share the same information with both husband and wife. For example, if your soon to be ex-spouse asks a question by phone, then your realtor should also send an email to both of you. I never assume that one party is going to tell the other. My rule is to communicate in writing with both parties.
Since the real estate holdings could be the divorcing couple’s largest asset, how this asset is divided can impact the rest of their lives. The options are:
• Sell outright
• One spouse buys the other out
• Co-Own the home one spouse continues to live in the property until, for example, children go off to college.
Each of these options can have a serious legal and financial consequences.
It takes a village! My team include a range of experts trusted advisors: Family law mediators and attorneys, mortgage professionals, insurance agents and financial advisors—who can talk about real estate issues that arise during a divorce.
Both you and your soon to be ex-spouse will have to sign the listing agreement with the agent and that means that one way or another, you’re both going to have to agree on the agent. You may not want your friend to become familiar with the financial details of your divorce or you might not want to work with them at this difficult and challenging time. Your soon to be ex-spouse will want to be assured of the agent’s neutrality and if they sense that your agent-friend is aligned with you or may be biased, then insisting on using them may make the whole house-selling process difficult and volatile. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse are not able to agree on the choice of an agent, the Judge will have to choose for you.
Now is NOT the time to hire your realtor friend. Divorce is a minefield of emotions and legal issues that present unique challenges for realtor and divorcing clients. Understanding your options and their potential consequences (good or bad) will help a great deal when deciding what to do with your home and who you choose to represent you through this difficult time.
Written by Liza Czopp, Real Estate Investment Specialist for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Arizona Properties