When you own a house, it may feel like you have a bazillion dollars in equity locked safely inside a vault. And when it’s time to sell, all you want to do is grab the cash and move on to your next adventure. But it also may feel like that vault is trapped at the bottom of the ocean.
That’s how Tracy G. felt. In the aftermath of a divorce, she and her ex-husband still had a $215,000 house they couldn’t just walk away from. They had to sell it. But the house needed a lot of work and it was in a tough, rural market—not to mention that she and her ex-husband had already moved to different states before they sold it!
Tracy dug in her heels and found a way to quickly get the house into tip-top shape, sell it in one day, and secure every penny it was worth so she could move on toward healing. If you’ve found yourself in a similarly rough situation, Tracy’s story will show you that it can be done!
Selling a House After a Divorce
Tracy said she had always good with money. But after the painful circumstances that led to her divorce, she was forced to make some expensive decisions.
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When the divorce was finalized, she moved from Illinois to live with her brother and his family in Georgia. The problem was, she still had a house worth $215,000 sitting 600 miles away. She and her ex-husband were still paying $3,400 a year in property taxes alone! Plus, the house needed a lot of work. It had:
- An unfinished remodel
- A flooded basement
- Three sheds stuffed to the rafters with junk
Despite the complications of Tracy’s situation, she couldn’t leave that much money on the table. She had to get the house sold—and fast!
Finding an Agent Who Knew How to Help
Tracy knew they couldn’t afford to make any home-selling mistakes by doing this alone. “We had too much money riding on it not to have a professional,” she said. But she didn’t know of any agents in that area.
“I looked online and didn’t see anybody that stood out,” Tracy said. “I was telling my brother [Terry] about it, and he said, ‘You need to get a Dave Ramsey [Endorsed Local] Provider. They can really help you with this.’”
“I looked online and didn’t see anybody that stood out,” Tracy said. “I was telling my brother [Terry] about it, and he said, ‘You need to get a Dave Ramsey [Endorsed Local] Provider. They can really help you with this.’” — Tracy
Terry was a huge fan of The Dave Ramsey Show and had given everyone in his family a copy of Dave’s bestselling book, The Total Money Makeover. So, naturally, he was familiar with Dave’s Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program—a nationwide network of real estate agents who are vetted and coached to make sure they’re the top closers in their areas and give the same financial advice as Dave.
Tracy decided to give the ELP program a shot. “I didn’t really think they’d have anybody because [the house] was so remote. And that was part of the problem,” she said. “Getting people to come out there to work or to list the property was like, ‘Oh, you’re out there? Well, that’s too far.’”
But, to Tracy’s surprise, the ELP program immediately found her a real estate agent named Caron Y. who was up for the challenge of selling the house.
“I didn’t really think they’d have anybody because [the house] was so remote. And that was part of the problem,” she said. “Getting people to come out there to work or to list the property was like, ‘Oh, you’re out there? Well, that’s too far.’” — Tracy
Handling a Remodel, a Flooded Basement and Junk Removal
Tracy talked to Caron about all the work the house needed and even some random loose ends—like what to do with their two bird-hunting dogs.
“[The house] needed to be able to pass an appraisal,” Tracy said. “If your utilities aren’t working and your toilets aren’t set and your sinks aren’t attached, you don’t pass appraisal . . . [and] the buyer doesn’t get the loan. It was kind of important to finish it in a timely manner and get it ready to be sold.”
“[Caron] guided us through a difficult remodel and a flooded basement. She located a plumber who could come immediately, she found homes for our two dogs, and she was always available to help,” Tracy said. “She also arranged for junk removal and an auctioneer to help us with our excess household items.”
“[Caron] guided us through a difficult remodel and a flooded basement. She located a plumber who could come immediately, she found homes for our two dogs, and she was always available to help,” Tracy said. “She also arranged for junk removal and an auctioneer to help us with our excess household items.” — Tracy
With Caron’s wide network of professionals and great communication with Tracy, they were able to prepare the house for sale in Illinois while Tracy was still 600 miles away in Georgia!
“I cannot say enough about what a great person [Caron] is,” Tracy said. “Caron went above and beyond, and it has been a pleasure getting to know her.”
And that’s not the only miraculous part of this story. A town local spotted the house while all the work was being done and she liked what she saw. So she made an offer the same day it was listed. As Tracy puts it, “Our house was sold after one day on the market!”
Congratulations on selling your house, Tracy! Thanks for sharing your story.
Ready to Sell Your House?
If you’re planning to sell your house, get all your questions answered with our free Home Seller’s Guide. This simple guide walks you through every step you need to know to sell your home the smart way.
If you’re facing the types of challenges Tracy did, you can share in her success by working with a high-performing real estate agent. To find a great one like Caron, use our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program.
We can quickly refer you to the agents who close the most houses in your area and provide the same financial advice we teach—thanks to our ELP coaches. Our coaches are dedicated to interviewing and training agents from all over the country, so you only get the best.