For Sale: A House Where Love Failed

October 09, 1994|By Adriane B. Miller

Homeowners in the middle of divorce may be advised to sell their house. But potential buyers don't always like the idea that their possible castle was once a war zone.

Real estate agents like William Cassidy of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. in Baltimore say a house at the center of a divorce is hard to disguise.

"There's always an indication that someone has moved out," Mr. Cassidy said. "The living room is beautifully furnished and the dining room is completely empty." Closets are oddly just half full, and paintings are obviously missing from the walls.

"It's been my habit to advise sellers to do something that might avoid conveying an impression that there's been a split, because it can leave a bad first impression," Mr. Cassidy said. "It's always best to sit down and visualize how the house will present itself. Sometimes the owners don't care. They say they just want to move it fast.

"But as the listing agent, we are charged to get the best price for them. I've gone so far as suggest they rent furniture," or at least rearrange the pieces so the rooms don't look abandoned.

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