If you’re in the process of getting a divorce and need to sell your home, you might be wondering how to start. Is it different to selling if you’re still in a relationship? As vendors you still have the same basic responsibilities as other homeowners including making sure that your home is marketable when it’s time to sell.
The main point of discussion between you and your spouse will be deciding how to divide your financial assets, and the family home itself can be a typical point of contention. Some couples find they can work together to sell their home with fewer issues than others. But someone almost always feels like they are losing out. Your first job will be to have an honest discussion with your ex, to decide how to split the equity. To determine how much money there may be to split, your local estate agents in Chelmsford can provide an accurate valuation figure for your property.
The challenge is to come up with a plan that makes both parties feel as though they are getting something out of the selling process. In some cases, one of the spouses will remain in the property and buy the other out. However, many couples don’t have enough spare cash for this to be feasible which is where selling is a better bet.
Selling together could also yield a better return on your original investment because the two of you can put your collective energy into staging and improving the property. This may feel like the last thing you want to do, but remember that even if your relationship is over, your long-term goals shouldn't be.
If your home is owned by your partner, and you’re concerned that they may try to sell your home without your permission or even your knowledge, then it’s possible to apply to the Land Registry for a Notice of Home Rights. This will notify you if there is any impending sale, at which point you can seek legal advice.
Decluttering should form part of any home sale, but if you’re splitting then you may need to decide how to divide your contents which means more discussions with your ex. If some of the belongings have already been removed before marketing your home, then you may need to stage your home to look habitable, for example making sure there are beds in each of the bedrooms and a sofa in the living room. This can help buyers understand how the space could be used.
Perhaps the biggest barrier to selling a home as a divorced couple is that buyers like short property chains. If each divorcee intends to go and buy a separate home, then this effectively doubles the chain which may be a turn-off for buyers looking for a less complex route to completion. If you’re able, then it would be simpler to move into rented accommodation or live with family and friends following your sale and then start afresh with a new purchase when you’re ready.