A few market forces have combined to make divorces a great source of listings:
First, the divorce rate has shot up with the economy. A lot of people wanted to get divorced during the recession. But, they couldn’t afford to do it. They didn’t have the money for a lawyer. Or, they didn’t have enough equity to sell their home. Millions of people chose to separate rather than divorce.
Second, the housing market has improved. People who didn’t have the equity to sell their home previously can sell it and even make a profit.
An area with a population of 50,000 people will have about 108 divorcees list their home each year. There is very little competition for this niche and you could list a lot of houses.
In my marketplace (Jacksonville, Florida), about 2,300 divorcees list their home each year. And none of the other agents in my market focus on this niche.
Here is what we say to them, “Hey NAME, my name is Ben. I am a Realtor here in Your City.
You: Let me confirm and make sure the information I have is correct.
Your home is 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and has 1,500 Square Feet. Is that correct?
Have you done any upgrades to the home?
Ok, based on what you have told me, I can give you a very basic estimate over the phone. I think your home is worth between $200,000 and $230,000, depending on the upgrades, etc. Obviously I would have to see your home to give you an exact value.
The purpose is to schedule an appointment to visit the home. Make sure the homeowner realizes the value in having a professional visit their home to prepare an accurate evaluation. Stress that each home is unique, and can only be truly valued in person. While touring the home, mention details that impact valuation to reinforce the benefit of the visit.
Take the time to be familiar with a solid listing presentation. Be prepared to share market trends with the owner.
Position yourself as the expert in your local real estate market. Suggest action steps they can take to improve their home’s appeal to buyers. It will earn trust and build confidence. Recap how visiting helped with evaluation, and let them know when to expect your report.
Always close by asking for the listing!!
It may not seem like the best thing to capitalize on, but these sellers usually have to sell and you can make their life a whole lot easier.
Naturally, it’s an emotional time for each side and it is something you need to navigate carefully. A lot of these families are going to be in some type of financial disarray. Doing your due diligence on the title of the property and the financial situation is the first thing agents working with a divorce situation need to do.
If it’s a messy divorce, have both parties meet with you early on in the process. If you’re an experienced agent dealing with issues is like second nature. But situations of this magnitude are still probably more than you are used to dealing with. Don’t ever forget that you are working with and for two parties, stay super neutral. It may seem elementary but give each partner equal attention, recognition, validation, and eye contact.
When you get the listing with a divorced couple and understand their situation, you know that chances are it won’t be the smoothest process.
Therefore, you need to understand several aspects connected with selling the divorced home, in order to move things towards the finish line. Everyone would like to profit the maximum amount from the deal and keep it civil. Through the right approach, you can make this happen.
Splitting the Profits with the Spouses
The most challenging aspect of a divorce is splitting the combined assets. It is important that the couple understand and has a solid agreement on what they will do with the profits.
One of the parties may consider staying in the house. Because of the unpleasant memories associated with the home, most times neither party would like to stay in the house. Under some conditions, the court might also decide who has to occupy the house.