If you’re going through a divorce and neither spouse wants to stay in the marital home, or neither can afford to buy the other out, selling it is the best, and sometimes the only option. But where do you begin?
The first step to consider is obtaining a Broker’s Market Analysis and Strategy Report. While these reports are not the same as an official appraisal, it is usually free and provides detailed pricing information as well as how to best position your house in light of the current market conditions. The report is designed to enable your real estate broker to conduct a thorough analysis of your home’s condition, competition, and future marketability, thus giving the Realtor the basis to estimate the range of the property’s most likely sales price. Utilizing a Broker’s Market Analysis to arrive at an initial asking price can eliminate one potential conflict between you and your spouse.
Another potential conflict between you and your spouse could revolve around selecting a Real Estate agent. While in general, it’s fine to sell a house without an agent, it’s really not recommended when you’re in the middle of a divorce—the added stress is not necessary for either you or your spouse. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on the agent that you will use or other aspects regarding the sale of the home, the court can appoint a Real Estate Special Commissioner to sell your home. Keep in mind, however, that the Court may often allow a higher commission (ranging from 7 to 10% compared to 5 to 6%) than a normal realtor as compensation for services rendered by the Special Commissioner. The Family Court Department maintains a roster of real estate professionals who are eligible to be appointed by the court. It may be in both parties’ best interest to agree to using one of these individuals before the court has to appoint one. As then the parties may be in a better position to negotiate a commission rate, listing price, listing term and other items directly with the realtor rather than have the court set these terms without your input. For a list of real estate professionals on the court’s roster, visit the Maricopa County Superior Court website at: https://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/SuperiorCourt/FamilyCourt/Rosters/RealEstate/realEstateQuery.asp?locationf=all&media=screen.If you would like to discuss your options concerning your real estate in an impending divorce with one of our experienced family law attorneys, contact Owens & Perkins at 480.994.8824 for a complimentary ½ hour consultation.