• Michelle Hernandez, CDRE

The long term consequences of sale sabotage.

You've met divorcing clients who held their spouses hostage by doing all in their power to sabotage the sale of their homes.

You might even understand why they're doing it.

They're afraid of the future, trying to punish their spouse, or perhaps even hoping that the divorce will go away. As a result, they ignore phone calls, refuse showings, fail to keep the house show-ready and refuse to negotiate offers. What they don't realize is that they're hurting themselves, even worse, their children.

A house is usually a couple's largest asset. It's often the one thing that can be sold to give both parties the cash to move into a new home, whether to buy or rent.

Delay in selling often leads to diminished proceeds of sales, plus an inability to maintain payments and subsequent damage to both parties credit rating.

That in turn can mean moving into sub-standard housing. This combined with the trauma of a divided family, can have devastating long-term effects on the children. Studies show that the neighborhoods children grow up in the schools they attend directly affects their chance of success in life.

As an attorney, you are in a position to recognize the urgency of a couples need to sell, and to take action when one of the parties attempts to hold the other hostage through sabotaging that sale.

Your first step can be recommending a real estate agent who is trained in handling divorce issues and is well versed in family law.

Then, should it become necessary for a court order to order cooperation or the acceptance of an offer to purchase, you're also in a position to make a judge aware of the immediate need for such action.

Working together attorneys and Certified Divorce Real Estate professionals can bring about positive results.

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