Humility Over Hubris in Divorce
The other day my friend Theresa used the word “hubris” to describe a real estate transaction. Basically, I’ve been eye-ing this one little house for 6 months. It was first listed at $650,000. Then, every 1-2 weeks, it would drop 7-10%, all the way down to $580,000. Finally, it went on the MLS as a rental. Sensing some seller desperation, I emailed the contact on the MLS listing. I saw it. It’s a tiny little house – in a wonderful area. But the work was done wrong, there was no parking or driveway, and in a phrase, “It’s just not worth what the seller thinks it’s worth.”
Seller was nice, and actually practically begged me to make an offer. So, I made an offer. I was nice about it, and didn’t lowball. I came within 3% of the asking price. HE IGNORED ME!!!!
Then, I saw that he dropped it from $580,000 to $570,000 (another 10%) on the MLS. Although all signs prove otherwise, Seller obviously thought he could get more on the market. Well, it’s been another month, and it’s still sitting there, on market for 126 days.
Hubris is defined as “excessive pride or self-confidence”. It’s good to exude confidence and to value yourself. Any expert negotiator will tell you that. However, you cross over into “hubris” when you have a false sense of superiority.
Many a divorce client is plagued by hubris. They think they are worth more; and can get more. The truth is, divorce is a lose-lose game. Unlike deep pockets of corporations and insurance companies, the parties are limited to their estate. Everything that was acquired during the marriage- built by 2 people, is now up for division. Go go any divorce conference – you’ll find not only attorneys, but financial advisors, custody evaluators, forensics, software to lessen conflict, realtors, title specialists, even babysitters and monitored visitation specialists, all waiting to dig into your estate.
Humble yourself. Learn the law. Seek out wise counsel. Humility over hubris. This too shall pass.