Selling Your Home After Divorce: It’s Like Dating Again



By Jackie Pilossoph, Divorced Girl Smiling Editor-in-Chief

Selling your home after divorce? Add that to the many difficult, devastating and confusing elements to your divorce. Brutal. Think about it. You shared wonderful times in that home, you raised your kids there. You laughed, cried, loved and really lived. And now you have to sell it. I’m sure the selling process can be extremely emotional, especially when it comes to the things you really love about your house; little, intricate things that no future owner will ever appreciate like you do. In fact, they’ll want to change everything. 

Real estate broker, Marla Forbes knows firsthand how that feels. She went through it. In fact, it was so difficult that Forbes saw a market need for an empathetic realtor and decided to become a divorce specialist in the field of real estate, helping other men and women sell their homes while going through a divorce.

Here is a guest post by Forbes, comparing selling your home after divorce to dating after divorce. 


Why Selling Your Home is A Lot Like Dating After Divorce  by Marla Forbes


So, you’ve put on a few pounds and maybe that black dress or pair of jeans that you love so much just don’t really fit like they used to. And your hair that you have been doing the same way since you got married because your partner “loved the way you look” is about 10 years out of date. Now it’s time to take a real hard look at yourself and make some overlooked and overdue changes.

Your home is no different. If you are looking to sell your home, you must look at it with fresh eyes, the way the market will. That paint color that you love so much in your bedroom that matches your deep purple bedding? Time to go.The hand painted fish on the walls on your grown son’s room that you just can’t bring yourself to paint over? Paint over it. All those baby and kid toys that you spent hours building in the basement that are now on display? Time to purge.

As difficult and perhaps seemingly offensive as it may seem, some (most) of that memorabilia, and outdated decorating needs a redo – that is if you really want to sell your home. Some clients are stubborn and their attitude is “it’s been good enough for me for the past 15 years; it should be good enough for anyone else.” You can hold to that attitude, but just know that you will be looking at selling at a lower price than perhaps your next door neighbor who took the time to either keep his/her house updated or was willing to do the work prior to putting it on the market.

Making an investment to get your house updated might not be as costly as you think. You decide how much you are willing to spend, and then assess the best way to spend it. A coat of paint, new knobs on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, or some new accessories might make a huge difference in how your house looks when you show it. Not only can you increase the value of your home, but you will also attract more initial views and views turn into showings.

Here’s the thing. Market data do not capture the whole picture. Even though Zillow or Trulia will tell you what they think your house is worth, those sites cannot tell the difference between red and orange kitchens and ones that are white with stainless steel appliances. Those sites are helpful in giving you an overall market perspective, but they are mainly driven by tax calculations and recent sales in your neighborhood; they do not account for the unique characteristics good or bad, in your home.

So, just as you might seek out advice from a friend or a professional in “updating” your personal look (if you are separating or divorcing) do the same for your home. Getting a third party or multiple parties’ objective view will save you time, aggravation and disappointment down the road.


Marla Forbes is a Broker and Divorce Specialist with @properties. Forbes holds a Masters Degree in Business from Kellogg and has been through the divorce and the home sale process herself. She sits on the Board of Lake Forest Bank & Trust and is a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of Wintrust Mortgage. Contact Marla: marlaforbes@atproperties.com847 432 0700, or



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