How a Real Estate Brokerage Can Help You Sell Your Home After Getting Divorced
Getting divorced can be extremely stressful, time-consuming, challenging emotionally, and financially. However, selling your home after divorce does not have to be stressful, finding a great real estate agent or a great real estate broker, who has experience with handling divorce sales and working with couples who are selling their home because they are separating or getting divorced, make this much easier.
In this guide we will explore what real estate agents or brokers who the interests of the seller, in a real estate transaction do, how a great real estate agent or broker can make selling your home while you are getting divorced easier, and what to look for when you are looking for a real estate agent or broker to sell your home during or after your divorce.
What a real estate agent or broker representing you as the seller does and the qualities of a great real estate agent or broker
Gets your home ready to sell
A great real estate agent or broker will work with you to get your home ready to sell, they know what you can do to maximize your property’s value and help ensure that when you get to sell your home, you will get the highest price possible for your home.
For example, an experienced real estate agent or broker will be able to tour your home and identify which improvements you can make that will help increase the amount of money you will be able to get for your home. They will also be able to recommend people who can do high-quality work at a great price, such as painters, home inspectors, home stagers, handy people, landscapers, etc.
You might be surprised to learn that it is recommended that you hire a home inspector and have a home inspection completed before you even list your home. If you have a home and pest inspection is done before you list your home, you can learn about any key issues.
Your agent or broker will be able to advise you on what you should worry about repairing and what you should leave for the buyers to worry about. Depending on your home, it’s age, and the condition it is in, it may also be worth it for you to inspect your roof, sewer system, drainage, fireplace(s), chimneys, pool, and any other important features.
Your real estate agent or broker can also help you when getting your home ready to sell figure out what the return on your investment (ROI) will be for everything that you are repairing and/or fixing up. When you are getting your home ready to sell, ideally for every dollar you are spending, you will see two dollars in return when your home is sold.
It is recommended that you do repairs before listing your home to help ensure that you can get as much money as possible for your home. In many cases, buyers are probably willing to pay more to buy a home that does not need to have any work done, so they can move into a turn-key, move-in ready home. To learn more about getting your home ready to sell, you can check out our article, “How much does getting your home ready to sell cost in Toronto and Ontario?”
Works with you to stage your home to sell
A well-staged home can help your home sell more quickly and possibly even for more money than you might have anticipated. Staging your home can help make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.
Some of the most important aspects of staging involve decluttering your home, doing repairs to make it more appealing, and deep cleaning your home so it will show well for potential buyers. To learn more about staging, why it is important, how much you can expect to spend on staging your home in Toronto, and more, you can check out our article “How much will home staging cost in Toronto?”
Finds a professional photographer to photograph your home
These days, the majority of prospective buyers are beginning their search for a new home on the internet. Therefore, it is imperative that you have a professional photographer come to your home and take nice photos of your home so people will want to come and visit your home and fall in love with it from only seeing pictures of it.
Once you stage your real estate agent or broker will hire and have a professional photographer, photograph your home before listing it for sale. If you work with an agent from Justo and have them sell your home, Justo will provide you with free, in-house photography to list your home, as well as home/virtual staging, 3D virtual tours, home marketing, and advertising services.
Helps you set a list price that is appropriate for your neighbourhood and market
Once you have staged your home to sell, had it photographed, now it is time to figure out setting a price for your home before you list it. When determining an appropriate for your home, your real estate agent or broker will perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), reviewing the data from the recent listings and sales of comparable properties in your area.
This comparative market assessment is important because in doing this your real estate agent or broker will be reviewing comparable homes that are currently on the market, comparable homes that are currently under contract, and that have recently sold.
This analysis will provide you and the agent or broker representing you as the seller in this transaction with greater insight into what the going price is for similar homes and how long similar homes are taking to sell. Armed with this information, you, your spouse, and the real estate agent or broker representing you can list your home for a competitive price.
Be creative in their efforts to market your home to potential buyers
Once you have set a price for your home, your home will be ready to sell. Your agent will begin marketing your home in earnest, putting your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and other real estate sites, getting flyers and brochures printed to advertise your home. These efforts should complement their other strategies, online and offline which they will use to market your home.
A great agent will be there to plan and supervise open houses at your home, as well as schedule showings of your home with other agents and brokers representing prospective buyers. When you have a great real estate agent or broker, you can trust they will be creative in their marketing efforts, understand the importance of having videos and interactive images to show off your home to prospective buyers and be able to market your home in such a way that you will ideally have multiple offers to buy your homecoming in.
Negotiates the sale of your home
The best real estate agents and brokers representing you as the seller will be skilled negotiators who will be going above and beyond to ensure that their clients have the most favourable terms and conditions when their clients agree to sell their homes.
These real estate agents and brokers will be honest and act with integrity, they will be looking out for their clients’ best interests, doing what is best for their client(s) instead of what is best for their bottom line.
These real estate agents and brokers know that everything in a real estate contract and the transaction is negotiable. They will be advocating on your behalf and will not hesitate to present the broker or real estate agent representing the buyer(s) with a counteroffer with a price and/or terms that will be more favourable for you. Their negotiation skills will ensure that they are able to make this happen and will help to ensure that you can sit back and relax will not be feeling worried when it comes to time to negotiate with potential buyers.
Additionally, they will work with you if you want to modify contingency dates with a potential buyer or closing dates. A great real estate or broker will understand the importance of each aspect of a contract for their client and will negotiate each aspect of the contract appropriately. They will do everything in their power to get each client they are working with what they want and ensure that they have an excellent experience working with them as they sell their home.
Helps you to find the right buyer for your home
A great real estate broker or agent will also work to ensure that you find the right person or people to buy your home. Theoretically, almost anyone could visit an open house and express an interest in buying your home. Just because a person expresses an interest in buying your home does not mean they
A great real estate agent or broker will also work to find the right buyer for your home, someone who is already pre-approved for a mortgage and has the money ready and available to make an offer on your home. A great agent or broker representing you as the seller’s agent will ideally find you a buyer who is pre-approved for a mortgage.
Pre-approved and pre-qualified for a mortgage might sound like synonyms for the same thing but being pre-approved for a home loan is much different from being pre-qualified for a home loan. Pre-qualification for a loan will not include an analysis of an individual’s credit report, income verification, or employment verification, which are important factors in determining whether or not an individual will be able to qualify for a mortgage. For this reason, being pre-qualified for a loan is not worth much of anything.
You will want to be working with potential buyers who have already been approved for a mortgage, loan, or financing for a home. When you are pre-approved for a loan or financing, you will have submitted your credit report, had your employment and income verified, and a financial institution has decided that you are worth giving a loan to. Assuming there are no changes with an individual’s financial, employment, or credit situation, they should be approved to receive a mortgage or financing to buy a home.
Attend your buyer’s home inspection to represent you as the seller
As the seller, you might not expect for the real estate agent or broker representing you to attend the buyer’s home inspection, but the real estate agent or broker representing you should absolutely be there. When an agent or broker is present for a buyer’s home inspection, they will be able to hear the inspector’s feedback first-hand.
When your real estate agent or broker attends your home inspection, they will be able to take notes on everything the inspector said and ensure that everything is in perspective if a buyer asks for concessions or requests based on the results from the home inspection. It is important to note that some requests from buyers will be reasonable and other requests from buyers might not be reasonable.
When the agent or broker representing you as the seller is present at the home inspection, observing what is happening first-hand they can help protect a seller from a buyer’s unreasonable requests. This important because having someone there on your behalf to be your eyes and ears can help protect you from buyers who might exaggerate things to ensure that you make concessions with closing costs or make repairs that might not be urgent, that a buyer could take care of themselves.
Home inspections are important for many reasons in real estate transactions since they frequently become a second place for negotiating with buyers. Having your agent or broker there on your behalf observing the home inspection can prepare you for negotiating with potential buyers and ensure that the terms and conditions of this transaction will be as favourable for you as possible.
Attending your buyer’s home appraisal and representing your interests as the seller
A great real estate agent or broker will attend the buyer’s appraisal of your home, this way someone will be there to answer any questions the appraiser might have about the home and can ensure that the appraiser understands the facts and features of your home. Appraisers might have questions about the home that a real estate agent or broker may be best qualified to answer.
There might be an instance when an appraiser might be checking to see if any recent updates had been added to a home. Major updates or renovations can impact a home’s value. Your broker or agent would be able to tell an appraiser about these updates, which can have a significant impact on the end result of your appraisal.
To learn more about home appraisals, why they are important, when you would have your home appraised, what an appraiser is looking for, and how much you can expect to pay to have your home professionally appraised, you can read our guide to appraisals. You can learn more about the difference between a market assessment and appraisal here [Differences Between a Home Appraisal and a Current Market Assessment in Ontario].
Closes the deal and ties up loose ends for you
Selling a home can be exhausting and time-consuming, with a thousand little details that are related to ensuring that a sale goes through. A great agent or broker will take their time to tie all the loose ends before you close on your home making your life easier, taking things off your plate so you will be free to do other things and easing your stress levels.
To learn more about real estate brokerages and real estate agents in Toronto, what they both do, their similarities and differences, you can read our guide on this here. If you want to learn more about what to look for when you are trying to find a real estate brokerage in Toronto when you are buying or selling a home, check out our guide, What to look for in a real estate brokerage in Toronto.
What you should be looking for an agent when you are looking for a real estate agent or broker to sell your home during or after your divorce?
Patience and empathy
A great real estate or broker who is representing you and your spouse as the sellers during your separation, divorce or after your divorce, should be patient and empathetic given your situation. Whenever a marriage ends this tends to be stressful, challenging, and emotional. A great agent or broker will be aware of this and have the interpersonal skills to be able to handle the challenges that working with a couple who are separating, getting divorced or are already divorced.
Yes, you will want to work with an agent who is experienced and excels in the technical aspects with selling real estate, but you also need someone possesses excellent interpersonal skills. You will need someone who will not shy away from conflict, in case you and your spouse have tension or will have disagreements about selling your family home.
You want to work with a real estate agent or broker who has experience handling divorce sales
Your main goal is to find a real estate agent or broker who can help you sell your home and who has experience working with couples who are getting separated, in the midst of a divorce or have already divorced to sell their family home.
This agent or broker ideally have an in-depth understanding of how the division of property works in your province or area when you are getting divorced and be comfortable working with lawyers, and others to make this happen.
Work with a real estate agent or broker who can be diplomatic, can handle conflict, remain neutral, and will not show favouritism towards either spouse
Divorce can be contentious and ugly, not everyone’s marriages end amicably. There are some instances where a couple might be aggressive with one another. In these instances, you need to find a real estate agent or broker who can handle this, who is skilled at handling conflict and remaining neutral and can handle the business aspects of this transaction.
There are instances when the sale of the family home, might involve a couple who is not speaking terms with each other. Selling a home to a happy couple and a couple that is in the midst of a contentious divorce are two different things. You need to find a real estate agent or broker who is strong and is up to handling the challenge than selling the home of a couple that is getting divorced might present.
Find a real estate agent or broker who has in-depth knowledge of the market and the neighbourhood where your home is located
This should go without saying but you need to find an agent who knows your specific neighbourhood like the back of your hand and has an in-depth understanding of the real estate market in your neighbourhood. Having in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market will help your broker or agent when advising on how much to list your home for, what improvements you should make, setting their marketing strategy, etc.
Find a real estate agent or broker who you like, trust, and who both of you will feel comfortable working with
This should also go without saying, but your real estate agent or broker will be someone who you will be spending a lot of time with. You will have to be honest with them about your financial situation, and they will be getting a glimpse into the intimate details of your private life.
You should work with someone who understands you, your needs, and who you can trust. While the following guide might be written for people looking to find a real estate agent to represent them as a buyer, the advice provided in this article about finding the best real estate agent or broker and what you should look for and why it is important to work with someone you trust, also applies to this situation as well. [How to Pick an Agent When Flipping a House in Toronto].
Find a real estate agent or broker who is compassionate, a good listener, and who also has a good sense of humour
Selling your beloved family home because you are getting divorced can be extremely difficult emotionally. Even if you do not imagine yourself opening up to someone about your situation, be prepared for the possibility that there might come a time when you might open to your broker.
If and when this moment when you need to open up to your agent or broker happens, chances are that you will want to have someone who will listen to you, be compassionate and can provide you with the appropriate guidance, while looking out for your best interests. Chances are that you will want to work with someone who you like, can relate to and who has a good sense of humour, so you feel comfortable sharing a laugh with them when the time is right. Things to consider when selling your home after your divorce
While selling your home can be emotional, stressful, and challenging no matter the circumstances, selling your home is a business transaction.
Yes, selling your home no matter the circumstances has the potential to be emotional and stressful. However, in order for you to increase the potential for your success, you need to do your best and put your emotions aside. Selling property is a business transaction.
You might have gotten attached to your family home and will be sad to part with it but if you are not careful with managing your feelings and emotions related to selling it, the past, your memories there, etc. you could make poor decisions about your home that could negatively impact your finances and your future. Make good choices, be smart and strategic when selling your home.
For more information on how to sell your home after a divorce, check out our article on selling your home after a divorce, and to learn more about managing the real estate after divorce, you can read our guide to managing the real estate after divorce [How to Manage Real Estate After Divorce?]. If you are looking to get a new mortgage after divorce, you can read about how to get a new mortgage after divorce here [How To: Getting a New Mortgage After Divorce].
If you will be selling your home and want to learn about how to choose a great real estate agent or broker to represent you as a buyer you can read our guide to this here [How to Pick an Agent When Flipping a House in Toronto]. To learn more about the division of property after divorce you can read Things You Should Know About the Division of Property After Divorce in Ontario.
Hopefully, now, after reading this article, you have developed a clearer understanding of what real estate agents and brokers representing sellers do, what a great real estate agent or broker representing you as the seller will do, and what to look for when looking for someone to sell your home during or after your divorce.
Selling your home can be difficult no matter the circumstances but working with a great real estate agent or broker can make this much easier, if your real estate agent or broker is a skilled negotiator, they can help you get more for your home, and save you from stress and headaches.
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