Print Posted by Krystine Torella on 07/14/2017

Divorcing the House Without the Drama

Divorcing the House Without the Drama

“Divorce” has unfortunately been a common household word since the 1970’s, when then Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, signed the Nation’s first bill to make divorce no fault in 1969.  This eliminated the need for couples to come up with specific reasons to divorce.  He later claimed this was one of the worst political decisions he had ever made, as it caused a huge uptick in divorcing couples and single-parent households.

Many of our contemporaries and friends have been raised in a single parent household, and/or have raised children in this environment.  The pain and confusion of divorce on children and the abandoned spouse is real and tangible.  When the bills begin to pile up and in some cases or child support is not forthcoming, the stress level of the ones left behind can be debilitating.  When you begin missing mortgage payments, the downward spiral is imminent and quick, with foreclosure or a short sale in your line of vision.

When I get a call from a spouse that is going through a divorce, or has been recently divorced and is overwhelmed with the liability of a house to pay for on a single income, my natural instinct of protection of the future client kicks in.  In many cases, a client’s emotions can overshadow the procedure of selling the house, which makes keeping a cool head and calm demeanor as a Realtor essential.

There are many ways that I find myself being a unofficial counselor or therapist as I attempt to empathize with what my client is going through and reassure them that brighter days are ahead. The process of selling a divorced home is much different than a traditional sale because typically both spouses are on the mortgage and/or title, and communication between the two parties must happen one way or another.

Communication between people who have stopped talking to each other a long time before the Realtor comes into the picture, is a tightrope act for the agent. Being cautious about not revealing any type of confidential information between parties is a key component and concern for all involved.  The typical practice of verifying financial and personal information must be handled with security, treating each email as classified, being sure not to copy the other spouse on any communication and speaking directly with each person to avoid any misunderstandings.

Divorcing a home can be almost as dramatic and emotional as is going through the divorce itself, but it doesn’t have to be.  Hiring a Realtor who listens to your concerns is a large factor in the transaction being a success.  You need a cheerleader and protector in your corner who knows what to expect and can handle tense situations with ease.  The agent you hire is often going to be representing the former spouse as a co-client, so the Realtor must be personable, flexible, able to accommodate the privacy desires of both parties equally and oftentimes act as a neutral party.  One of the bright sides to the situation is that all parties usually have the same goal in mind, which is getting the house sold with as little drama as possible.

My personal real estate business with divorcing couples has a wide and varied history, ranging from me doing 100% of the communicating between former spouses to get all parties to the closing table together at the end of the transaction, to the former couples who remain friendly and it’s hugs all around the closing table with me representing both former spouses to buy future single homes.  Above all else, the goal of the Realtor should be to ethically and responsibly perform their duties to the best of their ability and represent all sides equally and fairly.


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If you have found this article helpful and would like to discuss divorcing your home with me, please contact me at any time! Krystine Torella, Associate Broker of Team Torella, Coldwell Banker, krystine.torella@coldwellbankeratlanta.com, 678-907-6266

I lead and mentor a team of Realtors with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Marietta/West Cobb. I have 15 years of full time dedication to my passion of real estate and love sharing it with those who work with me.
Home Buying is truly a human experience when you work with me, you call me - I answer, you text me, I text you back, you email me, I will return that email promptly! There is no such thing as cut rate service when you work with me, I hold your hand the entire process. Your happiness and satisfaction is of paramount importance to me as a Broker that represents many satisfied Clients that will supply good reviews at any given time.
I fully represent Sellers and Buyers of any type of property - residential of any type, commercial, empty lots, whatever you want to buy or sell, I can take care of you completely! 

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