Di­vorce and prop­erty sales

Whitsunday Times - - REAL ESTATE - By REIQ

SOME­TIMES, for a range of rea­sons, a prop­erty bought jointly needs to be sold, ei­ther through a dis­solv­ing mar­riage, or busi­ness part­ners go­ing their sep­a­rate ways, or friends who have run into fi­nan­cial hard­ship.

A com­mon prob­lem arises when the sep­a­rat­ing par­ties are un­able to agree on an agent to sell the jointly owned prop­erty. What hap­pens then?

It may be that the par­ties need to en­gage solic­i­tors and get a court or­der that will in­struct the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land to ap­point an agent.

In some cir­cum­stances, the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land will nom­i­nate a real es­tate pro­fes­sional to ad­vise, con­sult or act in a range of roles, in­clud­ing pro­vid­ing val­u­a­tions, con­duct­ing auc­tions and pro­vid­ing ser­vices as a sales agent.

There is no one-size court or­der and there can be a great deal of vari­a­tion be­tween them.

When the par­ties are par­tic­u­larly ac­ri­mo­nious and ev­ery de­ci­sion has been a strug­gle, a court or­der can be­come very spe­cific and set out de­tails such as the method of sale, who sets the re­serve or the sale price, what hap­pens if it doesn’t sell in the first cam­paign, what ac­tion is taken next, and so on.

Other times, it can be as sim­ple as ap­point­ing an agent and the rest pro­ceeds as it nor­mally would.

If you are in the sit­u­a­tion of hav­ing to sell, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber a few things.

Firstly, it’s in your best in­ter­est to co­op­er­ate where you can and help the process move forward.

No­body wins if you need to con­tin­u­ally re­turn to court to have dis­putes re­solved.

The costs will es­ca­late and the sale of prop­erty won’t, so you’re los­ing money ev­ery time you do it.

Sec­ondly, as with any prop­erty sale, try to make sure the prop­erty is at its best.

Make any re­pairs that you can your­self, keep the lawns mowed and gar­dens ti­died.

Thirdly, your mar­ket re­search will help you when an of­fer comes in.

Your agent will be able to ad­vise you, but noth­ing beats do­ing your home­work your­self.

The mar­ket is hold­ing steady at the mo­ment, but you’ll be able to find out what sim­i­lar homes have sold for re­cently in your area when you do your re­search on­line. This will help you un­der­stand whether an of­fer is low, high or on the money.

Fi­nally, trust your agent and recog­nise that this per­son is ex­pe­ri­enced at ne­go­ti­at­ing buy­ers up. Try not to mi­cro­man­age the sit­u­a­tion!

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