What’s a Real Estate Divorce Specialist?
Real Estate Divorce Specialists are real estate professionals specializing in divorcing clients. They are trained in the legal and tax aspects of the divorce process as it relates to real estate. They learn obscure legal rulings, regulations, and tax implications. This specific training allows them to help their divorcing clients take advantage of tax laws that are specific to selling a house in divorce.
3 Main Reasons Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Divorce Expert
There are lot more reasons why you should hire a real estate divorce specialist and it is not only limited to having to sell your home. Here are reasons you should know about hiring a real estate divorce expert:
Neutral Third Party
Fuller Home Options is trained to deal with divorcing clients. In fact, Mark Fuller is a certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist and has been handling many clients regarding this topic. Fuller Home has the degree and skills to deal with these potentially contentious moments. They are neutral and can provide additional advice that will lead to logical and rational choices when it comes to your home or the process of finding a new one.
More Experience With Family Law Cases
The specialists, especially in Fuller Home, have a comprehensive understanding of family law with regard to real estate. Rest assured that you’ve got someone working with you who knows on a basic level what you are entitled to and how the proceedings are going to go. Having someone by your side with extra knowledge saves you time and money.
Avoid Financial Mistakes
Preparing and processing the legal papers or even getting the services of an agent who is not familiar with your situation can lead you to financial mistakes. Someone who is not a specialist in this field can slow you down because of their lack of knowledge surrounding property division laws, and also soft skills. A person specializing in divorce real estate can be diplomatic and neutral as with more emotion comes more room for mistakes. With this kind of specialist by your side, you can avoid these emotionally charged mishaps along the way.
9 Things To Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Divorce Specialist
Experience and Training in Divorce Listings
Does the realtor have the experience and training in divorce listings?
Experts suggest their clients consider this question first. The sale of divorced properties is unique in that there are two separate parties in the family home who may want very different results. In an ideal situation, your relationship with your ex-spouse should be friendly, but more than often, divorce causes two former spouses to clash with each other. This is why your realtor must act as a resilient and neutral third party. Have they had any specific training or certifications in divorce real estate? Do they work alone or have a team of professionals to help guide you through the process?
Having a team of professionals is another thing to consider as you should not have to go through this process alone. The team should be able to help you and be able to address all of your questions regarding taxes, insurance, finances, etc. They should also be well-connected to the family law community and understand the process in depth.
Skills in Dealing with High Conflict Situations
How does this realtor deal with high conflict situations?
The next thing to consider is the ability of the realtor to deal with a highly conflicted situation. Keep in mind that just because a realtor previously listed and sold a home in a similar situation as yours does not necessarily make him an expert. It is important to find someone who can listen to your needs and deal with potential conflicts, not just those who can sell your home in the most difficult situations.
Regardless of your situation, your realtor needs to be professional and ready-neutral third parties, “intermediaries”, and brokers. Tell them what your relationship with your previous partner was and ask how they dealt with those situations.
Communications and Coordination with the Family Law Professionals
Has the real estate specialist worked in collaboration with Family Law Professionals before?
In addition to being able to manage high conflict relationships and follow the terms of a divorce settlement precisely, your agent should have experience cooperating with family law professionals. There are many moving parts to a divorce case, real estate just being one of the many pieces of the picture.
It is important that your agent focuses on getting your house sold and not advising you in areas beyond their expertise. They should also only communicate with your family law attorney when necessary, making sure to respect their hourly fees.
Strong Negotiation Skills
Does the realtor have strong negotiation skills?
Your real estate divorce specialist should be able to expertly negotiate not only with a buyer’s agent but also with inspectors, contractors, and other involved parties. Their negotiating skills should be better than most and they should be able to negotiate without sharing unnecessary information about your circumstances. Ask what their track record is from list price to sell.
Good real estate agents keep things confidential. Not everyone needs to know that you and your spouse are divorcing or that the home is being sold as a marital home. These details should be left out of negotiations as they are not pertinent to inspections, showings, or even the final sale. You and your former partner alone are entitled to share this information at your discretion.
Protocols for Listing a Home
What is the realtor’s protocol for listing a home? What is the real estate specialist’s protocol for taking a divorce-related listing?
These questions are a few of the very common questions a client will have in mind.
Listing a home in a divorce situation isn’t as cut and dry as it is in a partnership sale. It’s important to ask how your specialist plans to meet and communicate with all parties involved and what their specific protocol is for communication.
As mentioned above, you need a team player, not someone who’s going to make decisions without consulting everyone. A real estate divorce specialist needs to understand all details of the sale such as who holds the title, loan details, how net proceeds will be distributed as well as the age of the children, if applicable.
It is also important that your realtor asks to review your divorce decree and, more importantly, they understand what is written. The last thing you want is to move forward with the sale of your home only to find out this is not what the judge had ordered. You can ask what their timeline is for every detail of the transaction and note what kind of research they have done on the home during their listing presentation. They should be well-versed in the area and have a solid sales and marketing plan for you.
And lastly, you should hire an agent that can price your home accurately.
Expertise and Knowledge in the Client’s Area
Is the person an expert in your area?
You should be looking for someone who can sell your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time. This, of course, is easier said than done, but a knowledgeable Realtor is a start.
Your agent should know everything there is to know about your neighborhood, They need to understand the nuances of the area and be able to translate their expertise to potential buyers. They should be well-versed in the area’s real estate market, schools, transportation options, and other neighborhood amenities.
Strategies in Assessing a Property
How does the specialist assess a property?
Expect an expert in divorce real estate to ask a lot of questions in order to get the whole picture. The last thing you want is a surprise down the road. Ask them their view regarding a possible pre-inspection to see if there are any issues to address before listing.
How would they handle empty rooms, missing furniture, deferred maintenance, and other details that will affect a home’s showing and selling potential? And if these issues do come up, who is going to be held responsible for resolving them? Divorce decrees usually outline how much money is to be spent on home repairs and where this money should come from, and your real estate agent should understand and abide by the decree in place and also have a plan in place for managing problems that aren’t explicitly laid out in the decree.
Ability to Provide the Client with References
Can the person provide you with several references?
If the agent you’re considering checks all of these boxes so far, go ahead and ask them for references or past clients you can call to ask about their experiences. Ideally, divorce clients. These references can tell you whether the agent in question really was qualified to take on their sale—whether their home was accurately priced, how the real estate divorce specialist navigated the complexities of the divorce, their ability to mediate, etc. The more references they can give you, the more comfortable you can feel making an informed decision.
Ability to Guide the Client to the Next Chapter in Their Lives
Can the person expertly guide you to the next chapter in your life?
Maybe you just want to get the home’s fair market value but don’t want to move. It is critical that your agent is a team player who understands when to bring in a lender who is also experienced in divorce transactions. You will be able to identify all of your options moving forward if you work together.
Once the numbers are identified, the process becomes more streamlined. Because your realtor should be acting as a neutral third party, they should never work as a dual agent because it will impede the process. How would you feel if he or she was out showing properties to your ex while also attempting to sell the family home? This is almost never a good idea.
Choose a Real Estate Divorce Expert Who Understands Your Situation
Hiring a real estate divorce specialist is not an easy task. Not only can this make or break your deal, but it can also help you with aspects that relate to your problems such as marriage counselling, etc.
There might be the pressure of using a close friend or local neighborhood expert, or you might rush the real estate transaction for financial purposes.
There are a lot of differences between a General Realtor and a Real Estate Divorce Specialist. The latter must undergo extensive training to become an expert in handling real estate issues, which the former couple is having a hard time doing by themselves. More about their differences in another article.
When hiring a real estate agent, consider hiring a Divorce Real Estate Specialist. There are no additional costs, just benefits.