I think one of the hardest things to hear when I speak to someone concerning real estate is that a couple has to sell due to divorce. Being married myself, I can’t imagine getting to that point, but I have lived through it with my parents, and understand how much divorce upsets a family. It changes everything in your life, and as a child of a divorce, it shapes who you will become in the future.
Today I had a very nice lady visit me at an open house and as she was leaving she mentioned that she might be selling due to divorce. She said the kids didn’t know yet so they were keeping quiet about it, but seeing as her kids were with her, her admission tugged at my heart, as I know what the kids are in for. My parents divorced as I was finishing up high school and entering college, but it didn’t make it any easier. I can’t imagine how it would feel to be in middle school and have to go through the emotional roller coaster of divorce.
Granted I am in the business to sell homes, more often I find that I am also a shoulder to cry on, a good listener, a counsler, or even a venting bag. Real Estate Agents have to be Switzerland, the neutral third party, and trust me, it is not an easy thing to do. Entering into a divorce situation sometimes means that one party lives somewhere else, or that signatures might be hard to get. It takes two people to sell a home, so both spouses must sign all listing and selling paperwork, and getting them together is sometimes impossible. If lawyers and courts get involved because one party is unwilling or difficult, it makes the job of the agent even more trying.
If there was one word of advice I would give to anyone having to sell their home because of a divorce, it would be to NOT tell any potential buyers why you are selling. Buyers, and their agents, immediately will discount the price of your home because they know you have to sell. They hope that your plight means you are desperate, and that they will get an even better deal on the home. Also, as hard as it might be, be civil to each other when it comes to selling your home, not forgetting to treat your real estate agent well too. We are all working hard to a common goal, so fighting along the way won’t help matters.
Lastly, talk to your children and be honest about the selling of your home. Understand that they might be leaving the only home they have ever known behind, and it will most likley hurt them more than you will know. But if they know that you love them, in the long run, they will get through it all just fine. I know I did, even if it did hurt at the time.