An interview with David Perry, Certified Divorce Real Estate Broker

David PerryHow is your role different when working with couples going through divorce rather than working with other individuals who are not experiencing a separation?

Like the profession of a mediator, I am employed by both spouses. In some cases, both are in agreement that the marital home should be sold. Occasionally one spouse does not want the marriage to be dissolved and therefore is less than enthusiastic on selling the house.  Typically when couples who not separating are selling their home in order to either find a larger space, downsizing, or because of a relocation and are looking forward to selling their home to start that new chapter. This is a happy time for both of them. When working with a couple that is separating it is important to communicate to both parties and make sure that both parties are involved in every decision and every time there is communication regarding the sale.  In other transactions, one spouse may take the lead on communication, while this may also be true in separating couples the other spouse should also be given notice of all points of the transaction, including the day to day reporting and status.   I try to be sensitive to both parties as this will be one of the largest assets they have owned as a couple, seeing their home sold is often an emotional event.  This can be exacerbated when the couple is separating.

How do you work with both spouses if they have disagreements regarding the sale of their home? On pricing, on staging, and eventually on accepting an offer?

The agreement that they both sign lists the price that they have agreed to sell the home. I try and get agreements via email on each step of the process or follow up with an email to both stating what was agreed to on a phone conversation. Whenever there is a disagreement during the process I first try to understand each parties point and make sure I can explain it to the other party. I then can offer my opinion as to what I would do if it were my home. I do have over 25 years of experience selling real estate and sometimes my clients actually take my advice.  I will sometimes then get both parties to sleep on it overnight or over the weekend with a future scheduled time to talk so that we can revisit the issue in the light of a new day.

How can couples going through divorce come better prepared so that you can help them? As they work through the divorce or separation agreement it is important to work with a mediator or that wants to include the listing agreement with the broker, a contingency for if the apartment does not sell at the listing price after an allotment of time, an allowance for staging the apartment as well as other contingencies. By having these important negotiation points in the separation agreement the couple that is separating can have an easier transaction.

David Perry
Licensed Real Estate Broker at Brown Harris Stevens, New York City
(917) 496 5081