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How to Choose A Realtor When Divorcing

February 18th, 2020

Choosing the right real estate agent to sell your house during a divorce is critical in gathering information for making decisions, protecting your interests and maximizing your equity. However, it’s something most people probably don’t think about.

With divorce it’s important to choose an agent who can efficiently sell your house quickly – no matter what the market looks like and at the same time be sensitive to your unique circumstances. 

Here are some questions to consider before choosing an agent to sell the marital house…

Does your agent Understand Divorce Home Sales?

Selling your home and moving is stressful in the best situations but add the emotions and pressures of divorce and it can rapidly become overwhelming.

An agent who is familiar with divorce home sales and is sensitive to your needs can be a great asset in dealing with the complications that can arise during the sale of the marital house during a divorce.

Look for a Realtor in your area with additional training for divorce. You may also consider someone who has been divorced themselves and has experienced the emotions, challenges and pitfalls firsthand.

 Can your agent be Impartial and Neutral?

Don’t use a friend or relative who is a real estate agent… this is not the time for loyalty or favors. Think about it…do you want your friend to become familiar with the financial details of your divorce? Would you feel comfortable with someone that was close to your ex-spouse representing you in the sale of the marital home?

One of the best ways to reduce stress and contention is to choose a Realtor that is not biased toward or aligned with either party. To foster cooperation and create the best outcome for both parties the agent you choose must be a neutral third party.

Does your agent have Good Communication Skills?

Open communication and sharing all information is critical in selling any house but especially a divorce house. In addition to knowing how to communicate with both parties the agent must guide conversations rationally and without bias. A good standard of practice is to select an agent who is willing to always communicate everything in writing to both parties.

Does your agent have Good Negotiation Skills?

Most experienced successful agents have developed good negotiation skills. However, negotiating a real estate transaction during a divorce requires the agent to handle the complexity of two people who are likely at odds with one another and concurrently dealing with contract negotiations with home buyers. 

Additionally, in looking out for your best interests, an agent should be able to negotiate in your behalf while always keeping your divorce situation confidential.

Is your agent Experienced?

As with the sale of any house, choose an agent that understands the market, is familiar with the area and has a proven track record of sales. 

Experienced agents have a written marketing plan, qualified referral partners and an established network to promote your house to potential buyers. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for references. Competent experienced agents will always be happy to share references and testimonials from satisfied clients.

Diana Holbrook McKee is the Broker/Owner of Holbrook Realty and the Divorce Referral Network. She was the first person in Utah and the Intermountain West to earn the Real Estate Collaboration Specialist – Divorce designation. She lives in Bountiful, Utah and has been a licensed real estate agent since 1977.

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