Selling a home in which the clients are going through a divorce is one of the most stressful and difficult situations in the real estate business. For most families, the value of the matrimonial home is their greatest asset, and the emotions attached to the end of a marriage and selling a family home are extremely high.
As an agent who has handled many stressful situations that have arisen when selling a home during a divorce, I can tell you that keeping control of the situation is key.
The home was a happy place at one time and now emotions are divided. If kids are still living at home, it’s even more sensitive. Now the home is going for sale and lives feel displaced – the Realtor has quite a situation to handle.
It is extremely important to remain both empathetic and professional, as there is a job to be done while treading delicate waters. If one Realtor is involved for both spouses, one must be careful to represent both and not favour one. Often two salespeople, sometimes from different brokerages, are involved to assist and advise one spouse each. A professional Realtor remains objective and acts as a trusted advisor, with the main objective of preparing the house for a quick sale and maximizing the sale price.
One of the most challenging matrimonial sales I experienced had a court order for the sale of the property, that also prohibited the spouses from speaking to each other. I became the mediator, and it was not an easy situation to be in. Showing a home for sale is stressful to any seller – now imagine if one spouse doesn’t want to sell but is forced to. I was able to navigate this situation through empathy and my professional duties.
In situations like this, the stress can get so high that arguments often occur that involve the salesperson, even though the salesperson is just trying to do his or her job. An experienced agent would not take this personally and realizes the stress of the situation is causing the anger and understands how to delicately put out the fires.
In today’s world, divorce happens a lot and the sale of the family home is inevitable. Hiring a real estate professional who is trusted, experienced and knowledgeable is what makes all the difference in helping clients ensure a smooth and successful sale during this difficult time in their lives.