Considering everything you’re thinking, feeling, and dealing with when getting a divorce, one of the last things you want to think about is selling your house. Selling a house is a stressful thing to do, even when you’re not getting divorced. But when you are, it can be even more stressful. First off, you’re not alone. While there are many reasons people sell a house, divorce is certainly a common one. And because of that, we agents see the most common issues time and time again.
More often than not, one person is more motivated to get the house sold than the other in a divorce. One wants to just get it sold as quickly as possible and move on, while oftentimes the other is in no rush to get the house sold. Neither of you is “right” or “wrong” to feel the way you feel. There’s surely a lot of history that led to how you feel and why you want what you want, when you want it. You have the right to feel how you feel.
But there is a “right” perspective to have when it comes to selling the house. Both of you need to work together to get this done. It doesn’t work if one is getting in the way. As you’ll see, it’s crucial to sell as quickly as possible, but at the same time, not “at all costs.”
Regardless of why you’re divorcing, your marriage probably had some good times and memories. Your house wasn’t just a house, it was a home. A home to the good memories. It’s natural to want to hold on to the memories.
And whether or not people do it knowingly, it’s pretty common to do things and make choices that get in the way of selling their house because of the memories and emotion tied to the house. It’s as simple as that.
While it’s pretty common for most homeowners to list their home for too high of a price, it can go either way when people are divorcing. Certainly many divorcing couples want to price their home for more than it’s worth. But there are others who actually want to price it too low.
What makes matters more difficult in a divorce is that you have two people with different motivations, who already don’t necessarily agree on things, who now have to agree on a list price for their home.
Out of all the problems and issues you may have to deal with, the value of your home is one of the only ones that is pretty much out of your control—for both of you. The market value is determined by the buyers in the market. By definition, it is “what a ready, willing, and able buyer is willing to pay for it.”
A home that’s properly priced within the market should sell as quickly as possible. “Quickly” is a relative term. In some price ranges and neighborhoods, that may be a few weeks. In others it may be months or even years. How quickly your well-priced home should sell in your price range and market is something a skilled real estate agent should be able to give you a pretty good handle on.
Your goal, no matter how you feel or what your motivations are, should be to sell your home as quickly as possible. And, of course, for as much as possible.
This post is an excerpt of my 13 page guide, Selling a House During a Divorce. If you would like a free copy of the guide sent to your email, please send a request by using the Contact Me button on my home page.
John Hamilton, Associate Broker of Windermere Real Estate, has nearly five decades of experience working with Buyers, Sellers, and other real estate professionals, and has sold more than 1,400 Utah properties. He has the experience to provide you an edge in negotiating your real estate transaction.