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Should you buy a New York City apartment from a divorcing couple?

With all the complexities involved with buying an apartment here in New York City, if you learn that the sellers are divorcing, should you give the property a hard pass? Not necessarily, as they may be doubly motivated to unload the property.

However, it's prudent to also consider how the couple's divorce could affect the sale and the apartment's availability.

A good real estate broker is often able to ferret out nuggets of pertinent information that you can use when closing the deal. Sometimes, that includes the knowledge of the sellers' pending divorce. Here's how you can leverage that information to your benefit.

Determine whether the property settlement is being contested

A contested property settlement can tie up a piece of property for months, or in some sad cases, even years. Adversarial sellers can create delays and disrupt the process.

You might also expect that the communication process to take a bit longer since the seller's broker is dealing with two people with differing agendas instead of a united front who are on the same page.

The sellers may resent you

Instead of being happy to pass on their loft or walk-up to a buyer who will cherish it, sellers who are divorcing may bristle with resentment that you will be stepping into what was once their happy home. Try not to take it personally, as they would react that way towards any buyer. It just happens to be you.

Prepare for it to be messy

Divorce can be quite chaotic, and this can be reflected in the way that the apartment appears. You may need to just envision how it will look once you have moved in and begun adding your own touches and flair to the property.

Don't let their dysfunction become your problem

While you may understandably sympathize with the seller's divorce predicament, keep in mind this is not your problem. Should the sale start to go south due to the divorce situation, you may need to take legal action to get the desired results.

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