Avoid Selling Your House in a Divorce Fire Sale

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Equitable Distribution on Monday, May 6, 2013.

Divorce and dividing up your property go hand in hand. If you are going through a marriage breakup, you may need to sell your house in order to settle your case. If so, property owners beware!

Smart property investors know that lurking behind many “for sale” signs is a divorce. In fact many savvy house hunters check out court records precisely to find out if a property seller is going through divorce. Investors are keenly interested in this fact because when they hear the word divorce, everyone’s first thought is “Fire Sale!”

Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few tips you can follow to help reduce the risk of your house being sold for peanuts in an already tough market. As the New York Times recently reported, there are real estate brokers specializing in divorcing couples.

For most agents, this is an accidental expertise. For others, it is a niche. “We specialize in it,” said Vicki Stout, an agent at Keller Williams Suburban Realty in Livingston, N.J., who proclaims herself to be a “divorce specialist.”

“But it is hard to advertise,” added Bob Bailey-Lemansky, her business partner. “No one is going to go to our Facebook page and ‘like’ divorce.”

There are a few useful tips for divorcing couples:

  • Hire a real estate firm having at least one man and one woman on the sales team.
  • Keep the word “divorce” out of the sale’s process.
  • Make your closets look less bare on one side.

The interesting article can be read in this month’s New York Times.