Four tips for working with divorcing clients

By Polinchock, F. Todd | Aug. 4, 2014 | 2 min. read

Most real estate professionals have worked with at least one client that was experiencing a divorce. Realtors® working with divorcing clients find the real estate transaction isn’t always a smooth one.

Believe it or not, some real estate professionals specialize in divorce. If you are tasked with selling a home for a divorcing couple, it is important to tread carefully. Clients are looking for a professional who not only sympathizes with what they are going through, but who also understand the legal and tax implications of dividing real estate in a divorce.

Realtors® who find themselves an agent in a divorce situation know its not an easy thing to navigate, particularly if they are representing two people who aren’t even speaking to one another.

Here are a few tips for how to handle what can often be a difficult sale:

Be patient

Your clients are likely going through a frustrating and emotional period, made all the more difficult due to the large financial stakes that come along with real estate. In a divorce situation, getting approval on almost anything requires you to exercise extreme patience.

Listen carefully

Allow clients to talk for as long as they need to talk. Your clients are likely to vent about the divorce. They should see you as a supporter and on their side. Let them vent, and move on.

Work with lawyers

Some divorce lawyers may refer their clients to real estate professionals who specialize in divorce. If the client is working with a Realtor® who has some understanding of what people are going through in divorce, they may have a better chance at reaching an agreement on the sales price and on the sales terms.

Get it in writing

Communicate with both parties through e-mail as much as possible, so there’s always a written record. For verbal and face-to-face meetings, keep a log and write down everything as you remember it. In this often times emotional situation, you may be called to prove what you said or did not say.

Do you have experience working with divorcing clients? What did you find particularly difficult, and what worked best in dealing with the situation?

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