How to sell your home quickly after a divorce

I  was just reading a nice piece by certified divorce financial analyst Lisa Decker about “Setting the Stage to Sell your home quickly.” I thought it would be helpful to our readers on this divorce blog. According to Lisa and Barbara Jennings, Director of the Academy of Staging and Redesign, Lisa’s guest on her website this month ( “there are 6 critical errors sellers can make that professional stager’s can help them avoid.”
Here’s the full article here:

Setting the Stage to Sell Your Home Quickly
By Lisa C. Decker, CDFA
In divorce there are many decisions to be made, including should we sell or keep the house?  If one of us keeps the home, who should it be and can that spouse afford it on one income? Lots of decisions need to be made that should not be taken lightly.
The attachment to the home can sometimes lead to decisions that are based on emotion rather than common sense and that’s when it’s my job to come in and give a gentle reminder of the reality of the situation.  There are countless cases where a spouse who kept the home lost it soon after divorce because it was never fully considered if this was a wise financial decision.
So, if selling is in your future there are some great ideas that you can do to get yourself prepared ahead of time to make the experience a bit smoother.
I suggest you start off by clearing the clutter.  Not only will this help you have less to move when the time comes, but it can be an emotional release as well.  The goal is for buyers to walk into your home and imagine their own things there.   To many of your personal items, such as photos, mementos, and even clean laundry can keep that from happening. So store away or start to pack up what you don’t need out and begin to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer.
Then hold a garage sale, donate items to charity, or giveaway those items you don’t want or need on I LOVE Freecycle!  This worthy organization is a place where people reach out by giving and receiving those things they no longer need or want.  It’s a great resource for single moms and dads. And it is earth friendly because it keeps items out of our landfills.  J
Look at what’s left and see if you can find a way to use those items to highlight the best features of your home.  This is where the help of a professional stager can be a great value in helping you to get the sale done quickly and many times with less price concessions in the process.  Stagers can work with pieces of furniture that you already have, bring in pieces temporarily that you may need, and even furnish the home if it is already vacant.
According to Barbara Jennings, Director of the Academy of Staging and Redesign, and my guest this month ( there are 6 critical errors sellers can make that professional stager’s can help them avoid.
Here are six ways staging your own home creates unintended consequences:
1)      Staging your home requires brutal honesty – Buyers will be cut-throat in their evaluation of your home. They don’t want to see any flaws. There is little to no room for mistakes. Agents usually shy away from being brutally honest with their clients and the owners think too highly of their decorating decisions.
2)      Staging your home requires total dedication – Home staging is not for the faint of heart. Very few homes need little attention. Most require some significant effort to make the home presentable to the public and for open house showings. Owners will be constantly tempted to avoid doing the things that cost money or will try to take short cuts. This can easily defeat their efforts altogether.
3)      Staging your home requires constant upkeep – When the owners continue to live in the home while it is on the market, it can be extremely difficult to keep it in “show room” condition after the initial staging is completed. It is particularly difficult if the owners have small children and the longer the home remains on the market, the more difficult it is to keep it looking perfect.
4)     Staging your home requires design skills – It’s not just a matter of removing excess furniture, boxing up personal items, cleaning and repairing. It is essential that the furnishings that remain be appropriately placed in the rooms. This takes solid interior design training to be done properly, something most agents and sellers don’t have.
5)     Staging your home requires patience – Good home staging techniques and concepts can take many days of labor to accomplish. It rarely happens in a single day. So the process often requires a level of patience and commitment that agents don’t have time to give and owners don’t want to commit to.
6)   Staging your home may cause you to want to help others stage theirs – Perhaps you need a career change, or just extra income. When sellers and agents learn about staging they often decide to start their own business staging for others. No experience is necessary and no degree is required and staging is one of the few industries growing by leaps and bounds in our difficult economy.
Looks like there can be some potential opportunities in this experience as well!  With a little work, and the help of a professional, you CAN sell your home faster and easier.
©2008-2010 Lisa C. Decker, CDFA(TM) All Rights Reserved.
Lisa C. Decker, CDFA, is an expert in divorce financial matters as she guides clients to “Divorce Your Spouse, Not Your Money(TM).” To learn industry insider secrets on “How to Avoid Losing Control of Your Mind, Money & Material Possessions in Divorce” so you keep more money in your own pocket when dealing with your spouse, your attorney and Uncle Sam go here:
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