Red Flag: Slow Responses

As I’ve written previously, buyers of homes are always looking for an advantage in their negotiating position. Some things, like the condition of the home or a public record filing, we cannot control. But there are things within our control that should be attended to so that the wrong signal isn’t sent to the buyers or prospective buyers.

New Yorkers don’t go at a slow pace- as a matter of fact, I can say as a native of Westchester County that punctuality and timely responses to communications are expected. When the two sellers are not on the same page and cannot get their consensus delivered, the buyers get frustrated, and, worse, curious. They start to speculate that there is a communications problem with the sellers, and they start to suspect that something is afoot. If they begin to look for more information, if they suspect or figure out that this is a divorce sale, that doesn’t bode well for the sellers.

This is, in many cases, easier said than done. Divorcing home sellers are going through a difficult period, and are obviously not in harmony. Getting into sync with the person you are divorcing can be among the most difficult parts of the process, but doing it can save you from a deleterious outcome. Even if the buyers don’t know of the marital estrangement, slow responses can do damage to the process.

We strongly coach our clients to find their common ground on the transaction. Equitable distribution of marital assets, custody of children, and many other matters can be a source of disharmony and stress, but common ground on selling the house should be a workable arrangement.

The marital home is typically the largest asset most people have. Compromising the process with slow communication is not only preventable, but it can be a tremendously expensive pitfall. Whatever you can do to get on the same page, especially with respect to coming to consensus and delivering prompt responses to the other principals, I strongly encourage that be a top priority.

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