Mary Pinelli

Selling your home during a divorce or separation can prove to be a highly stressful experience. If you have decided to sell your matrimonial home or condo, here are 5 mistakes you should avoid:

Mistake #1

ALLOWING YOUR EMOTIONS TO AFFECT DECISIONS. When emotions run high, your decisions can be clouded by anger or sadness. One common example is that parties will disagree about the value of the house. The value of your property is dictated by the market rather than what the home has meant to your family. Your real estate agent can provide an objective assessment of the value of your property based on a comparative market analysis.

Mistake #2

HIRING THE WRONG REAL ESTATE AGENT. Hire a competent real estate agent with experience working with divorcing couples. Not all agents are comfortable dealing with divorce sales so ask first. It's a mistake to hire a friend or family member in this situation. Make sure your listing agent does not have any personal ties to either party so that communication with all individuals is unbiased. All correspondence should be shared equally with both parties. If you and your spouse prefer not to be in the same room when signing documents, ask your agent about preparing paperwork digitally so that documents may be executed online instead of in person. I use an electronic signature program, Docusign, which allows sellers to review and sign documents easily from a smartphone without the need to print and scan. This alleviates the stress associated with seeing the other party throughout the transaction.

Mistake #3

DISREGARDING THE CONDITION OF THE HOME. When a marriage breaks down, it's common for couples to neglect the home and not bother making repairs. This is the time to make any necessary repairs and ensure that the lawns are maintained to create a positive first impression for potential buyers. Your agent should tell you what is necessary and may be able to arrange for the right experts to assist you before you list your property.

Mistake #4

UNDER ESTIMATING YOUR SELLING COSTS. At closing, there are various costs that will be deducted from the sale price of the home. Aside from real estate and legal fees, you may incur a mortgage discharge fee and fees to close out any lines of credit secured against the property. Your real estate agent should take the extra time to review these amounts with you so that you each know what to expect to have in your pocket once the closing is complete. Knowing the amount of your proceeds before you sell is important so that you each can plan your next move, whether it is to rent or buy.

Mistake #5

TRYING TO SELL ON YOUR OWN. It's hard enough to sell privately, even in the best of circumstances. Some buyers perceive a private sale as an opportunity to take advantage of an unexperienced seller and the sale price is usually not as high as it would be if you hired a professional. Other buyers disregard the private sale entirely because they would rather complete a sale transaction with experts involved. During a divorce, it's well worth it to hire an unbiased real estate professional.

If you are thinking of selling your home or condo during a separation or divorce, contact me today for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. I have the experience needed to make the process stress free.