AZ asks: How do you sell your house in a divorce?

sell house in divorceMitzie Weatherly holds the designations of Realtor®, Broker, ABR, GRI and CSP. She has over 15 years of listing and selling experience in existing properties as well as new construction. She is a Multi-million dollar top producer and a Member of the Presidents Club, Masters Circle and Winners Circle.

Since 1996, she has been an active member with the National Association of REALTORS®, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and the Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association. Mitzie is a longtime resident and active volunteer in the Greensboro community where her major focuses include the Junior League of Greensboro, Greensboro Day School, Elmwood Garden Club and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Prior to her career in real estate, she practiced as a Certified Public Accountant for over 15 years before retiring. Mitzie can be contacted directly at www.mitzie.weatherly@allentate.com.

AZ asks:  Do potential buyers really need to know why you are selling a home?

Divorce can add many additional stresses to your life, but needing to sell a house during a difficult housing market, may seem like the whole world is piling up on you. But there are some things to remember that can help make this process better. First, remember that every seller has a unique story of “why we’re selling.” Some are being relocated (hopefully by choice), others are downsizing, move up buyers are looking for their “dream” home to raise a family and are selling their first home, etc. The bottom line is it doesn’t really matter the reason the house is on the market.

AZ asks:  How can you help elevate some of the stress associated with selling home?

All sellers need to approach the sales process with as little emotion as possible and this is especially important to remember when divorce is involved. I realize that is much easier said than done. Emotions are frequently very high and selling the house seems like the final straw. Some divorcing couples will be more motivated to sell than others—this should be discussed with the listing agent particularly during the pricing process so that the seller’s needs are taken into account. This advice however is for ALL sellers—not just divorcing sellers. Make sure your listing agent understands your particular situation and just how motivated you are to sell.

The process sometimes seems that sellers have very little control over anything. The divorce has occurred and the property needs to be sold regardless of the current real estate market conditions. But the one thing sellers CAN control is the condition of the property. This is true for all sellers. The property needs to show its best when compared to other houses of similar size and location. Buyers will preview many homes before they choose—this is in part due to the fact that the buyers have so many choices in today’s market. So make sure you focus on the condition of the house.

AZ asks:  What can you do to improve your home prior to putting it on the market without spending a lot of money?

Fresh paint is very inexpensive and can make a world of difference. Clean carpets, fresh smells, uncluttered rooms, etc. are not new concepts, but you would be surprised at the condition of some properties currently on the market. Don’t let that house be yours. Think back to the reasons you were originally attracted to the property—identify its outstanding features and try to highlight those in some way. Finally, get input from your listing agent—they see hundreds of houses for sell and know how your home compares. And always remember three things….Condition…Condition…Condition. You want your house to stand out in the memory of the buyer as light, bright, open, clean, fresh, updated, desirable and priced well.

Remember…

1.      It doesn’t really matter why your home is on the market.

2.      Try to remove the emotions—treat it like you would a business decision.

3.      Let your listing agent know just how motivated (or not) you are.

4.      Freshen-up your home with some new paint and some other quick fixes so it will

“show” better.

5.      Seek advice from your realtor about how to help your home compare more

favorably with others on the market.

Good luck with upcoming real estate transaction!

Mitzie Weatherly is not affiliated with LPL Financial

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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