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Hiring a real estate agent during your divorce

You're getting a divorce -- and that means selling the house because there's no way that either you or your spouse can afford it alone.

The good news is that it's pretty much a seller's market out there right now. The bad news is that you and your spouse have to work together at least long enough to pick a real estate agent.

Here are some tips that can help:

  1. Don't hire your best friend, relative or a neighbor. Sure, you'd definitely give them the business (and the commission from the sale) under normal circumstances, but this isn't a normal situation for you. Hiring anyone you know could be problematic -- especially if your spouse feels that they're biased against them because of the divorce. Look around for someone neutral with a great track record for sales in your area.
  2. Make sure that a potential agent is comfortable communicating with you both. You want an agent who is willing to copy you and your spouse on all emails and will keep you both up-to-date on whatever is happening with the house. Any lack of transparency can sour a relationship with that agent and cause you or your spouse to distrust the fairness of the process.
  3. Find an agent that will protect your privacy. You don't necessarily want potential buyers to know that you're selling the home because of a divorce. You also don't particularly need total strangers to learn about your personal life. Make sure that the agent you choose knows how to handle intrusive questions from potential buyers.

Sorting out the financial aspects of your divorce can be complicated and time-consuming, especially when there's real estate involved. Work closely with your attorney on every move you make for minimal problems.

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