I Don’t! What to Do When Clients Divorce
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
Written By: Victoria Reviel

According to government statistics, 1,200,000 couples get divorced each year and a whopping 61 percent of all divorcees end up having to list their home for sale.  This is an emotional and difficult time to need to sell a home.  Keep calm, stay professional and negotiate with both spouses so you can help them to get the home sold and each of them can go their separate ways and start anew.

Get Everything in Writing

Communicate to both parties via e-mail as much as possible, so there’s always a written record. For phone and in-person meetings, you will want to write down everything exactly as you are hearing it. This is a highly emotional situation, and you may be called to prove what you said or did not say.

Keep Calm and Be Patient

Realtors® are used to assessing the “best plan of action” to work with the couple.  This includes things such as getting the documents signed, preparing the home to be shown, getting the lockbox and sign in the yard. But in a divorce situation, getting approval on almost anything requires that you exercise extreme patience with two often-disagreeable people.

You Must Listen to Both Sides

Allow clients to talk for as long as they need to talk. Then, repeat what they said and add, “This is what I heard. Is that correct?” Quite often, when they hear their own words, the entire situation calms down, and you can then proceed.

Have a Plan for Sabotage

Many times, one spouse does not want to sell the house, but there may be a court order to do so. Anger may cause hard feelings to come out and ruin parts of the house – or they sabotage an open house by not keeping the house clean. Keep them focused on a new beginning.

Follow Up, Again and Again

You need to let the couple know about what's happening so they know the selling process and they can remain calm. For highly charged divorce situations, multiply this feeling by 10 or 11.

Don’t Become Emotionally Involved in their Divorce

You getting drawn into their relationship problems is a huge mistake. Make sure you focus solely on getting all the parties to the closing table and on to their new lives. If you feel like you can’t resist getting personally involved, consider referring the work to another sales associate.

Learning More

The Texas Association of REALTORS® has published two articles on how to tackle clients who are divorcing (Texas REALTORS® Magazine November 2012 and October 2017). The Texas Association of REALTORS® also has a wonderful Legal Hotline you can call with questions (800.873.9155). If you want to take your knowledge to the next level, there is even a designation/certification offered through Real Estate Divorce Specialists™ - more information about this course can be found at http://www.realestatedivorcespecialist.com.

No matter your involvement in the situation, make sure you are always following Article 11 of the NAR Code of Ethics – “REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client”.

Happy selling and I look forward to seeing each of you at the East Side Story Bus Tour on June 20th!

About the Author:
Victoria Reviel is the CEO and founder of 98th Meridian Real Estate Sales & Marketing Group™ a full-service residential brokerage. Victoria brings an impressive track record of success to her brokerage; her clients, agents and industry competitors have come to value her high-standards and disciplined approach to the business, thus she has won the trust and respect of clients, colleagues, and peers and has become a guiding principle at 98th Meridian. Originally from Dallas, Texas; Victoria has over 30 years of extensive executive management experience with high profile national and international corporations such as The Hard Rock Café Restaurants and Resorts, The Fairmont Hotel and Club Med Resorts. Changing careers in January 1997 to real estate, Victoria was a top producing agent in Dallas with Coldwell Banker Realtors®; and most notably from 2006 to 2010 Victoria was the Texas State Broker for Zip Realty Inc.; the 5th Largest Brokerage in the United States per the National Association of Realtors®. Victoria Reviel was responsible for over 400 Realtors® in Austin, Dallas, and Houston and closed over 7500 transactions during her 5-year tenure. In 2010, Victoria re-opened 98th Meridian and has enjoyed continued success serving the Central Texas Real Estate Market. Victoria was chosen in 2007 to attend the first class for the Texas Association of REALTORS® Leadership Program (TRLP) in Region 8. In 2014, Victoria served as President of the Women’s Council of Realtors® Austin Chapter and Texas Association of Realtors® Director in 2012.Victoria served as President of WCREALTORS® in 2011 and is serving again in 2018. Victoria serves to express her gratitude to the Association and its Membership. She stated, “Volunteering is a big commitment, quite a bit of work and not always fun, but for her, it has always been a very meaningful and gratifying experience.”


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