Going through a divorce? Who ya gonna call… to sell your
home? I just made everyone sing
“Ghosbusters!” in their head didn’t I?
Well, in real
estate, divorce can create quite the scenario for agents and
not all agents are up for the task.
Unfortunately, the situation can provide additional hurdles
to jump over like additional locks to have access to, awkward conversations
with couples on the outs, or no inter-communication at all. There is always that chance of opposing sides
making things difficult for the other party.
So, should you get 2 agents?
No need for that, actually, there are brokers and agents
that have made this a specialty of theirs, and their businesses have come to thrive
on it. One such partnership is Vicki
Stout and Bob Bailey-Lemanski, brokering partners of New Jersey Real Estate Divorce
Vicki is a widowed, single mother, and Bob is a
divorcee. They find that a bi-gender
team has worked to their advantage and has allowed them to defuse many
situations that are uncomfortable. In
fact, the dynamic duo says that it accounts for nearly 50% of their annual
Stout and Bailey-Lemanski have found some creative ways to
benefit these “at odds” homeowners through tax breaks on capital gains from the
sale, but at the heart of their business is simply being able to handle a
little bit more, sometimes a lot more, drama than the rest of the industry.
The fun part was figuring out how to get the word out, they said. Bob commented, “But it is hard to advertise.
No one is going to go to our Facebook page and ‘LIKE’ divorce.” Nor would business cards screaming the same
thing be a hit either so they decided to rebrand themselves as the Family Focus Realty.
industry professionals in the same niche market agree that the D-word
communicates a very different sale to a buyer, thus another challenge is
keeping that “cat IN the bag.” It would
definitely give off the impression of desperation and reduce the possibility of
fair offers. However, sometimes it is
unavoidable. When buyers are asked to
schedule separate viewing for different sides of the residence, it becomes obvious.
Ms. Katzen of Douglas Elliman currently has divorcing clients who have
agreed to buy apartments in same building just on opposite sides, hoping their
child will cope with the sudden separation easier.
Katzen added, “It’s quite selfless, really. Some people would say, ‘Forget you! If I’m
going out on a date, I do not want to run into you in the lobby.’ Talk about
putting the child first.”
I’m sure a little easier on the parents too.