Ever hear the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” Whoever wrote that was either just picking on women or it’s one of the old sayings that needs updated to fit modern times.
How about this update, “Hell hath no fury like a divorcing couple with more hate than reason and the money to lawyer-up for the express purpose of legally and emotionally pounding each other just for sport.” That whole “till death do us part” vow at the altar wasn’t a promise to eventually divorce and fight to death.
It’s no joke when they say the person you marry isn’t the same person you divorce. Usually, when a marriage or partnership is coming to an end, one of the last persons involved in wrapping up the sordid mess is the real estate agents.
Selling real estate is a stressful situation for a lot of people without the added twist of huge changes like death or divorce. Throw in a few attorneys, restraining orders or court appointed real estate agents, and little poison darts start flying out of everybody’s eyes and any use of reason or accountability goes right out the window.
There’s occasionally an attempt for civility between the separating spouses “just for the sake of getting the house sold” but it’s an emotional pressure cooker.
Just about any real estate agent has had to deal with the passive aggressive phone call from one spouse to the other to let them know what someone, usually the real estate agent, allegedly said about them. That’s the sneakiest kind of saboteur; the divorcing spouse that decides to finally look out for the other, out of the goodness of their candy coated heart, to gas light them … and they fall for it.
Periodically, the court appoints everyone involved a mediator. It seems that even sometimes, not only can the separating spouses not get along, but neither can their legal aid. Someone has to be put in charge or at least in charge of those in charge who can’t get along, right?
One of the first signs that there would be bloodshed should have been that every page of the listing contract was notarized. It wasn’t a fully executed contract signed by all parties, but since there were lawyers loafing around it seemed like a great day to whip out a notary stamp and get to authenticating nothing.
This is exactly how a $200 service of everyday silverware from the import store ends up eventually costing about $4,000 and the equity in a property gets eaten away with holding costs, taxes and condominium fees. Oh, yeah … sometimes these things drag on for years.
When you think about it, maybe him leaving the seat up or her not being the same size as on the wedding day isn’t so bad after all. Calculate the holding costs to fight over your real estate for a couple of years and maybe you’ll just start falling back in love that person in the recliner beside you, all over again.
At the very least it might inspire you to run to Walgreens and pick up a heart shaped box of candy or an underwear rose from the checkout counter. It’s the thought that counts.
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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.