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October 3, 2020

Divorce Happens

Unfortunately, there are periods of time in one’s life that are more challenging than others. Being in the Real Estate Business, I have seen quite a bit of unique situations when selling a house. Divorce has been “a constant” one of those unique situations.

If you own a home in North Carolina and you are going through a divorce, it is imperative to have a REALTOR® that has experience with this type of transaction. Though your REALTOR® cannot give legal advice, there is definitely the need for good Real Estate advice only your Agent can provide. Your REALTOR® and your Divorce Attorney will likely have several conversations throughout the process….so choosing an experienced Agent is abundantly important.

Holding Title

Title, is the for the lack of a better phrase, “the way you hold ownership” of real property. In North Carolina there are several ways to hold Title, but if you are married, you will hold Title in the form of “Tenants by the Entirety”. If you bought the property when single, but are now married, you should consult a Licensed NC Attorney to explain the law and the process of distributions from the sale. In Real Estate Pre-Licensing we learned it takes one to buy, two to sell.

Again, as a REALTOR®, though I may ‘know’ certain terms and likely outcomes, I cannot give legal advice on these matters. With that said, you are much more likely, in my opinion, to have a smoother transaction if you choose a Real Estate Agent that has experience with divorce transactions.

The Challenges and the Bottom Line

As far as the transaction itself, there are no special forms REALTORS® use in a divorce, that is done by your Attorney. The biggest challenge I have seen is negotiating. Unlike a divorce, where most spouses have a separate Attorney, in Real Estate, since you own the property together as a married couple, you only have one REALTOR®. This means, that not only am I negotiating with the other Agent in the transaction, I am sometimes negotiating with separating spouses, who are technically “one” client to me.

Not all divorces are ugly, by a long shot. More times than not, both spouses are really trying to work together to get through the process. However, there are times where we must be patient and understanding of the situation at hand. It is easy to look from the outside and say “let’s just get this done”, but a good Agent has to understand that this is an emotional time for all and our job is to make as easy as possible while getting to the finish line.

As the old saying goes…..”You don’t pay me for what I do, you pay me for what I know”.

Call me. Stu 919-819-3956

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