Potential Pitfalls of Buying a Home from a Divorced Couple

buying a home

When property owners cannot pay their debts, they put the property back on the market, no questions asked. When someone in a family dies and those who are left behind can’t pay the mortgage, they sell the property and divide what profit they can get. Debts and deaths are the two most common reasons why we find properties back in the market. However, it is the third reason—divorce—that’s becoming prevalent in today’s society.

According to research, more than half of marriages end up in divorce after a decade of being together. Yes, your car lasts longer than most marriages. Imagine that. But when couples get married and start a family together, their initial plan is to apply for a home mortgage and pour all their efforts and resources into repaying that loan. Who can blame them? No one wants to rent an apartment forever.

But when they finally decide to separate and divorce, that’s when things get awry. They usually have to divide the property in a divorce. When they couldn’t, that’s when they decide to sell the property and divide among themselves the profit they can get from it.

If you’re buying a property from a divorced couple, there are some things you should consider. Remember that relationship problems like these tend to extend over a period. You have to make sure you won’t get caught up in all the drama.

Establish the True Situation

Did both of them agree to sell the property? Ask the agent straight out if there are problems in selling the property. If one partner doesn’t want to let go of the property, that might be a problem for you later on. No matter how perfect the location is or how much you’re crushing on the modern kitchen, forget about it. No property is worth that kind of headache.

If you can’t get anything from the agent, then ask if you can talk to the vendors directly. The female partner is mostly the one who can offer you clues since women tend to be more talkative than men. If you pick up clues that there are problems in selling the property, don’t go through with it.

buying a home

Deal with Both of Them

Remember that when you buy a property from a divorced (or divorcing) couple, you are essentially buying from two different persons. Don’t assume that the message you’re getting from one partner is the same as with the other one. If you have to talk to the vendors directly, talk to them separately. It’s better to have an agent mediate between you and the other party, though.

Go for a Quick Negotiation

If there’s a point in your negotiation where both parties see eye-to-eye, then go for it. Always try to end the negotiations when the terms suit you already. Remember that because you are dealing with two different people undergoing an extremely challenging situation in their personal lives, they might have a change of heart in a day or two after “closing” the deal with you. So, make sure to draw up an iron-clad contract that you can sign on the spot when the other party agrees.

Be Sensitive

A little sensitivity on your part will not hurt. The couple is undergoing such an emotional time in their lives. All you need to do is be sensitive to what they are going through. Isn’t it enough that their personal lives have been shaken by their divorce? Now, they are also selling a property they’ve worked hard for—a property where they made all those dreams to become a family? There’s a certain trauma that comes with seeing the house they once shared, so always remind yourself to be kind if you’re buying from a divorced or divorcing couple.

Assume a Complicated Transaction

It won’t be easy to transact with a divorced or divorcing couple. There’s always a semblance of difficulty in dealing with people who are going through an emotional time in their lives. Sure, some couples remain friendly despite going through a divorce, but for the most part, couples who argue over properties and assets are those who will be hard to negotiate with. Don’t expect this to be a walk in the park.

Buying from a divorced couple may sound complicated, but it won’t be if you hire someone who knows how to handle such things. A professional and experienced real estate agent is the person you need for this kind of transaction. A good agent will eliminate all the complexities of buying from divorcees.

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