Divorce and Real Estate: Why Any Realtor Won’t Do

Getting a divorce is hard…emotionally, financially and even physically. Even if it’s amicable, it can have its stressful moments. I know. I’ve been through it twice.

One of the biggest stresses revolves around the (typically) largest asset – the matrimonial home. In most cases, it needs to be sold.

And this is where it can get very messy. Agreeing on a sale price; who will remain in the home while it’s on the market; agreeing on any needed improvements before putting it on the market; ensuring the mortgage and taxes are paid. The list goes on.

Then add in, agreeing on a Realtor® to sell the home. How can you trust someone to remain neutral? The right Realtor® – someone that is experienced in or specializes in divorce situations – will understand the importance of remaining neutral and treating both parties fairly and professionally.

Not only that, there are a number of added complications and complexities in divorce sales that are not a factor in a regular house sale, including financial and legal implications that must be addressed.

For example, if there is no separation agreement in place and the house is sold, the proceeds of sale will sit in trust until one is in place. This can have serious implications to one or both spouses if they were counting on those funds to purchase a new home or pay for rent. I’ve run into this situation many times and it is one of the first questions I ask as it is often missed by other, non-specialized agents.

Having a Realtor® experienced with divorce situations is also important when it comes to dealing with your lawyers, and sometimes even the courts. Time is money and an inexperienced real estate agent may end up involving your lawyers more than necessary as unfamiliar situations arise, causing extra billable hours for you.

A Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE™) is a specialist trained and experienced in the intricacies of a divorce sale and in dealing with difficult and emotional situations that require a neutral, professional and patient approach. They will also make sure you know all your options so that you can make informed decisions at every stage of the process.

Marketing your home is another area that requires expertise. You don’t want potential buyers knowing this is a divorce sale and risk getting lower offers. How the home is staged and presented to the market is critical and requires a specialist touch to make it look like you are still together.

A CDRE™ is trained and prepared for any situation. An uncooperative spouse who won’t agree on anything to one who tries to sabotage the sale – situations that can throw a regular real estate agent off – we are trained to look for and handle…to expect the unexpected.

I know many real estate agents that stay away from divorce sales due to the difficulties that can arise in emotionally-charged situations. You want someone that has patience, compassion and a tough skin; that can remain fair and neutral no matter what and get the house sold for the benefit of both parties.

As a Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE™) – the first in Canada to earn this designation – I am here to answer your questions and lead you in the right direction. Remember, you’re not alone. Contact me today!

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