Selling your property following separation or divorce

POSTED BY Aubrey & Finn

It’s a sad reality that your “forever” home or what you thought was going to be your forever home, may sadly turn out not to be, if things don’t work out in your relationship with your partner.

Statistically, almost half of all marriages in the UK end in divorce, and divorce and separation can be made all the more complicated when there is a property involved.

Deciding what to do with your home when you separate can be very emotive, especially if you cannot agree with your partner on the best course of action.

One (or both) of you may prefer to stay in the property and buy the other person out. However, this could prove difficult, having to transfer mortgages and buy the other person out, whilst working out whether you are able to afford the costs of the house on your own.

If you don’t want to sell your home, then you may decide that renting your property out could be a good option for you. In some situations, making an income from your property may prove to be more fruitful financially in the long run than putting it up for sale, especially if you are wanting to pass the family home down to your children, or you love the property and don’t want to lose it.

In many cases, however, it often makes more sense financially and emotionally to sell your property and split the proceeds, giving each party that fresh start that they are looking for.

So, if you have decided to sell your property following separation or divorce, here are some considerations that may help.

Do the figures together

After having your property valued, come to an agreement with your partner about what figure you would be willing to accept from the sale of your home, for you to both be financially comfortable, or what the best and worst possible case scenario offers would be for you to both be able to move on from the property.

Ensure that this figure also takes into account legal and moving fees when working out how much you would be walking away with. If you can’t come to an agreement about this, then working with a mediator or your solicitor may be a good way to liaise on this.

Showcase your property in the best light

Prospective buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your property and so you are more likely to sell quickly if the property still looks like it’s being lived in.

A property is less likely to sell if half the furniture is missing, it’s clear someone is living in an altered state following separation, or the home isn’t being looked after.

If one, or both of you have moved out already, then you may like to consider having the property professionally “staged” to help sell it quicker. It could also help to place your furniture in storage and enable prospective buyers to view the property once it is empty so that they can imagine their own furniture in the property. Properties which look attractive and “homely” sell faster than properties where the buyer’s stuff puts buyers off making an offer.

Don’t mention the “D” Word.

It may surprise you to hear, but sometimes knowing that a couple is divorcing can put prospective buyers off. They may be concerned about the sale being more complicated due to divorce or separation, especially if they are hoping for a quick and easy sale.

Knowing this information may also mean that buyers try to take advantage by offering a lower offer, or employing tactics as the sale reaches completion.

To make the sale easier and break the chain, you could consider moving into rented accommodation or in with family and friends.

Try to keep the peace

Tricky as it can be, it’s important to try and keep the peace, and focus on the end goal during your sale. If you haven’t yet split your belongings, try and amicably go through the property and decide who will get what once the property is sold. It may help to “sticker” things or pack boxes separately and colour code – especially if you are having two sets of movers.

Look forward to the next stage

The sooner your property sells, the sooner you can move on to the next stage of your life. Choosing a new home, a property that works for you, and your lifestyle can be an exciting time and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

For help and advice in selling or renting your home following separation or divorce please do give us a call on 01727 221290 to speak to one of the team.


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