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Divorce Settlements

I had an interesting question today. Someone was asking if a REALTOR should be hired to negotiate the sale of a home from 1 spouse to the other in a divorce settlement.

The short answer is “no”.

The long answer…

Usually a REALTOR is only brought into a sale and/or negotiation when it’s an “Arms length” transaction. Meaning the 2 parties aren’t related to each other. Obviously this isn’t the case in a divorce.

Secondly, a divorce settlement is a complicated and often muddied situation. It’s rarely just the home being negotiated, but rather pensions, savings, and other financial interests are being leveraged against the equity in the home. So having the lawyers negotiate it, while considering all of the other factors in the divorce, is the best course of action.

When you DO want to bring a REALTOR into the sale is when neither spouse wants to keep the home and it needs to be sold on the open market. This is when an impartial 3rd party, like a professional real estate agent, is a valuable advisor. The agent’s loyalty is to the sale of the property, not to either of the spouses, and the agent can very effectively manage the sale of the home on your behalf.

So there you have it.

– John

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