Manage the Challenges of Working with Divorcing Clients


When working with clients who are going through a divorce there are a lot of added challenges compared to a typical transaction. This checklist will help make the process go a little smoother.

1. Meet with Each Party

It's important that you meet in person with each of the owners of the home to assess the environment in which you'll be working. There can be collaboration or conflict in which you play the middleman. A real estate agent can contribute to lessen the stress involved with the sale by setting each of the parties at ease.

2. The Final Divorce Decree

You only need to read the part pertaining to disposition of the home. Frequently, parties are confused and can give you the wrong information. It's also helpful to understand the dynamics before you move forward.

3. Provide a List of Professional Referrals

Realtors can be the first call when a divorce is on the horizon. Families want to know the value of the home and their options as they move forward. It boosts your level of service to have a group of trusted advisers to offer, and establishes a referral network for your business.

4. Clarify the Lines of Communication

Many people are particular about their preference for communication. If you regularly use email and one of the parties never checks their email, that will present a problem. Be sensitive to a possible preference, and also that sometimes a phone call is needed. A person's voice can convey what a text or email cannot.

5. Financial Responsibilities

Who is going to pay for the repairs to get the house ready for sale? How are the proceeds divided? These items are also a good idea to mention in the Listing Agreement. That way there are no surprises or last-minute negotiations on these costs.

6. Document, Document, Document

For these transactions, it is especially important to document for your files. Sometimes emotions run high and people aren't listening as closely as we wish they would. It's crucial you keep a note of all communications, and it will come in handy in case you are called as an expert witness or as part of mediation.

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