Buyer Beware the Divorcing Couple
If you are unlucky enough to be currently involved in a divorce action and trying to sell your jointly-owned home at the same time, the job of finding a buyer probably just got a little more difficult thanks to a recent article published at CNNMoney.com.
The article “Beware buying a home from a divorcing couple” paints an unflattering portrait of any couple who is selling a home and in the process of a non-harmonious divorce due to the high probability of one spouse attempting to create problems for the other by blocking the sale. While it may be true that a fair percentage of divorcing couples battling over property settlements probably do throw up intentional roadblocks in an attempt to get even with their spouses, resulting in aggravation and breached contracts for the buyers, avoiding all such sales could also be a mistake. Divorcing couples are often very motivated sellers and such homes can and do result in great bargains if and when the sellers can finally get along and are willing to entertain offers below market value.
Despite the lure of bargains, the CNN article pretty much waives off any divorcing home sellers that are not in 100% agreement with quotes from real estate agents advising customers to find out if a seller’s divorce is acrimonious and if so, the buyers should back off. Unfortunately for many divorcing couples today, the advice in the article is probably accurate. Most divorcing couples do not usually stay very cozy on financial issues during a divorce dispute and the likelihood of encountering problems with one spouse or the other is high. On a brighter note, bargain hunting buyers who are a bit more fearless can always include additional time-bound protective clauses in their purchase offers, but the risk of at least some aggravation might still remain.