Real Estate

Top tips for couples who are separating and selling up

Wedding cake split
Written by The ReReport
As seen in the Source link, written by on 2019-06-28 00:30:00

A bride and groom separated on their wedding cake. Divorce and separation account for a high percentage of property sales in Adelaide. Picture: iStock.

They deal with people at their highest and lowest points in life, not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of couples going through divorce.

So what do some of SA’s leading real estate agents wish they could say to couples who are selling up due to separation?

Real Estate Institute of SA (REISA) President Brett Roenfeldt estimates at least 20 per cent of the houses that hit the market in Adelaide are the result of breakups.


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“I’ve no doubt it would be quite a high percentage,” Mr Roenfeldt says.

“I’ve been involved in auctions and real estate over a 40 year period (and) I’ve been involved in a lot of transactions where couples are going through divorce or separating.

“Inevitably in the relationship, one partner wants to get out of the property as fast as possible, come hell or high water, and the other proves themself extremely difficult.

“You find the one who still resides in the property tends to be the difficult one.”

Mr Roenfeldt says he wishes he could explain to couples that the longer they continue arguing and putting off accepting offers on their home, the more both parties end up losing out.

“The longer it stays on the marketplace the less (money) it will bring,” Mr Roenfeldt says.

“If they continue to argue, they are both being penalised by the final result.”

He adds lawyers can also be an expensive proposition.

“The moment you have solicitors involved, the only person who ends up winning is the solicitor.”

Sad couple having a conflict

Calling in lawyers can take the expense of a separation to a whole new level. PICTURE: ISTOCK

Ouwens Casserly Direct Alex Ouwens says emotions are generally “heightened” at a time of separation, and both parties should appoint independent advisers to help keep them grounded.

“We recommend to appoint an independent experienced party or parties, in addition to the agent, to assist the vendors to make rational decisions within this important transaction,” Mr Ouwens says.

“The independent person could be an accountant, lawyer, valuer or other professional with experience in real estate transactions.”


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Klemich Real Real Estate Director Steve Alexander acknowledges separation can be an expensive process and agrees it is best to seek additional advice from impartial professionals.

“If you decide that it is the best course of action, take a balanced and fair approach through the process and seek out good advice from professionals,” Mr Alexander says.

“Family and friends, while important in the process, can be biased with their opinion and comments in their attempt to protect you.

Another more lighthearted real estate agent who did not want to be named said agents were kept in business by “the three Ds: death, divorce and debt”.

With their tongue firmly planted in their cheek, the agent said some of the things they often wished they could say to divorcing couples included “mid life crisis, hey?”, “Why didn’t you leave earlier” and “I’m sure it is all them and not you”.