Working with a Divorcing Couple

Divorce Story

Going through a divorce affects every aspect of your life, and my latest clients Samantha* and Michael*, were definitely stressed out when we met. Sam and her husband were in the beginning stages of divorce and splitting their assets. This meant selling their family home.

After falling in love and getting married, Sam moved into Michael’s home in 2008. With three kids under the age of 10, a cat, and two turtles, we had to tread carefully to keep stress levels low.

They both wished to sell the family home and split the profit. The home was a single-family, two-storey in Cumberland (North Edmonton) that had 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a fully-finished basement, double detached garage, and a huge backyard.

Sam was my main contact for the selling of the home, as Michael was away working a lot. The first step before selling is to always do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to tell us what the home is worth in the current market.

To do this, I gather information and key points about the property during my comprehensive walk-through with the owners. I then search for similar homes in similar communities that have recently sold. It’s fair to say that if a very similar home sold for $345,000 last week then yours should be in the same price point.

I had to meet with Sam and Michael separately due to high emotions and different work schedules, which continued through the remainder of our transaction. This is quite common for these types of situations.

The home was listed for 44 days – average days on market for this time of year and in this specific area was 37. It took a bit longer due to coordinating the showings with a large family and two divorcing adults. I wanted to make sure showings only happened while the kids were in school and both parents were away.

We got an offer and I presented all of the details to both Sam and Michael. I explained to the buyer’s agent that we may need more time to negotiate as my clients have very different work schedules and I can’t always contact both at the same time. This is a fact.

It is not in my clients best interests to let the potential buyer know that we are selling the home because of a divorce! This may give the buyers the impression to avoid negotiating, as we may be desperate to sell quickly. This a common road block for divorce situations that is easily handled by asking the buyer’s agent for more time to negotiate.

We came to an agreement two days later, both Sam and Michael ran the paperwork by their divorce lawyers, and the home sold ten days after that.