When a home is being sold by sellers who are going through a divorce, navigating through this
rocky terrain can often be challenging. Even if a prenup is involved, real estate transactions
with divorcing couples can take longer due to legal complexities. Often times the only option in
a divorce is to sell the home and divide the proceeds. A divorce is quite possibly the most
devastating and emotional point in their life, so handling these emotions while ensuring the
home selling process moves along is a balancing act for both the seller and their agent. There
are a few points to consider when moving this type of listing along in the most smooth and
efficient way possible.
Most agents express that the person who initiates the home being put up for sale, is the one
who wants to move the divorce along the fastest. When listing a home for a divorcing couple,
its in best practice to align yourself with both of their divorce attorneys. This not only informs the
attorneys that they’ve reached out to sell their home, but it keeps both parties in the loop.
Unless a quick claim deed has been executed, a home can only be listed if both sellers can sign
off on the listing agreement. It saves both time and money to be educated on the situation, and
helps you keep the facts in alignment without a court order.
As in any real estate negotiation, keeping emotion out of it, ensures you get the best deal.
Listing a home with a divorcing couple will often times have a lot of emotion tied into it. Emotion
easily clouds someones better judgement, so often times it is the agent who helps keep their
clients to the facts of the transaction. Be sure emotion is out of most of the decision making
process when listing a home. From contract details, to listing price, to home preparation, the
littlest details can easily be blown up when they don’t need to be. Remaining neutral to both
parties is also the job of the agent. Staying professional to offer education, guidance, and
support to both people allows you to do your job and keep everything else in the hands of the
Getting both parties to agree on little details ahead of time will help keep emotions out once the
ball is moving. Have them agree on things like the lowest offer their willing to accept, who will
remain in the home and who will leave, who will pay for what listing costs such as staging and
cleaning, and how much notice do you need for showings or a closing date are the little details
that can drag out the selling process if emotion gets tied into it.
According to research, divorce is the second-most stressful life event someone can go through,
and moving is in the top 30. So throw those two things together at once, there are a lot of
emotions involved, and you will want an agent who can maneuver through those emotions to
stick to the details and get the home sold for you easy. Little details to remember like keeping
the home furnished can greatly reduce costs you spend later on. In a divorce, both parties or
even one party move out of the home and take all of the furniture. Staging the home can cost
thousands of dollars, so encourage the parties to keep the home furnished during the selling
In the end of it all, selling a home with a divorcing couple boils down to a lot of communication to
both parties that ties to facts, not emotions. Even in the best case scenarios where the divorce
is completely amicable, you need to understand the potential communication challenges of the
situation. Typically every single communication needs to be doubled. Every email, every text,
every call has to replicated so one spouse doesn’t feel like they are being left in the dark. The
agents job is to keep the process easy for you, so you can focus on your life and moving
forward. Selling your home during this time in your life, doesn’t have to be stressful too.