Case Study: Stony Point Divorce Sale

This involved a family member and client who had bought the house through me a few years earlier. When their marriage became estranged it led to a cascade of events that compounded the difficulty, and that of course is why not just any licensee should be listing property in these circumstances. A specialist makes the difference.

I was well familiar with the house. They bought it through me as buyer agent years before, started their new life there, had a baby, and then sadly things didn’t work out. None of the improvements they sought to make when they first bought ever got completed, and the condition of the house wasn’t going to get them much equity out after closing.

While they both remained in the house, they lived separately. This is one of those arrangements that can make or break a sale; confidentiality is paramount in a matrimonial sale, and anything that telegraphs that the sellers are divorcing is dangerous to their bargaining position. There’s nothing that could be done outside of encouraging them to keep the downstairs as “downstairs-ish” as possible, and not like a separate living quarters.

They ended up selling for a bit more than they paid, 4 years after the original purchase, and I think they would have gotten more in a shorter period of time had the home showed a bit better. Of course I’m being a a Monday morning quarterback, but that was our biggest obstacle.

On the positive side, they did cooperate well and one party spearheaded matters while the other stepped back and was available and communicative when decisions were needed. This is not an uncommon setup, and as long as there is some trust, it’s a very workable arrangement. It didn’t hurt that they both trusted me also.

Once we had a meeting of the minds with the buyer we were able to execute contracts expeditiously and close within 2 months, which is a normal timeframe for New York. One seller moved back in with family, the other rented and later bought a new home with us with a new partner. If that tells you anything, and I can’t stress this enough, there is life after divorce. They are certainly an end, but when completed they should be a new beginning.

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