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A guide to selling due to divorce or separation

Since 1998, we’ve been serving the people of Leicester and in that time we’ve helped hundreds of clients who are selling due to a divorce or separation. Our experience means we know just how emotional, stressful and draining this can be for people.

Divorce or separation, especially when it involves selling a home, is a difficult thing to go through. However, there are specific steps you can take to help you embark on this fresh chapter of your life.

We aim to help and guide you during a difficult time and to become your support partner for the property’s sale. We’re here to help you get through what can be a very challenging period. In this guide, we cover many aspects of selling due to divorce or separation. We’re extremely experienced in giving people sensitive and expert support when they are moving for this reason.

In This Guide

Preparing Properly for a New Start

There are many things to consider during a divorce. Whether it’s family finances, property or even pets, it pays to prepare properly. Addressing the points below will make the experience easier to navigate.

First Steps

When getting a divorce, it’s wise to contact a solicitor to seek legal advice. They should be able to advise you on any legal implications you need to consider. A good solicitor will also give you guidance on the financial aspect of any settlements.

If you have a mortgage, it’s worth making your provider aware of the situation to see if they can offer help and advice. For example, if you need to reduce the mortgage payments for a short period while the property is being sold.

Agreement

Once you have instructed a solicitor, it’s time to contact an estate agent. Every agency is different and even though legally we only need one signatory on our sales agreement, we always insist on having two. This helps to ensure a successful sale and is far less stressful for both parties.

A good estate agent understands there needs to be a high level of agreement and transparency in this process.

 

Communication

The easiest way to pour fuel on an already highly emotional situation is to allow a breakdown in communication to happen. It’s so important to involve both parties once a property is up for sale, even if that is through mediators. By keeping both sides fully updated on viewings, feedback, offers and progress, we reduce the risk of a sale falling through and making a sometimes stressful situation even more fraught.

We will often set up a WhatsApp group to ensure updates are shared with everyone involved in the sale. Having these foundations in place will help enormously when it comes to selling and moving on.

Six Tips on Moving on due to a Divorce

Finalise your divorce before moving out
The general advice given by most divorce solicitors is not to move out before your divorce is finalised. It can be a natural reaction to want to leave as soon as you can. It’s worth checking this out with your legal expert.
Take stock, not things
Once your divorce is agreed, list which items are yours and what you want to take with you. If you are unsure who owns what, discuss it with your ex-partner if possible and come to an agreement. Try not to take sentimental things that will remind you of the relationship. The cleaner the break, the fresher the new start.
Book your removal company
Good removal companies get booked up quickly, sometimes months in advance. So, plan and get quotes as early as possible. Usually, it’s a good idea to get recommendations or to get quotes from three different removal firms.
Packing starts now
Once your divorce is agreed, list which items are yours and what you want to take with you. If you are unsure who owns what, discuss it with your ex-partner if possible and come to an agreement. Try not to take sentimental things that will remind you of the relationship. The cleaner the break, the fresher the new start.
Moving day
Remember you’ll probably be very emotional, so be kind to yourself and try to have a friend or family member with you. Make sure your mobile phone is charged up and give the number to the removal people so they can contact you if necessary.
Home sweet home
You’ve got the keys to your new place, and everything has been moved in. Treat yourself to a takeaway on the first evening in your new home because you deserve a break and a chance to relax. The unpacking (cutlery, plates and kettle excluded) can start tomorrow, when your new chapter really begins.

The 5 Dos & Donts To Move On Successfully

1. Do seek advice and help

We often see people who are dealing with selling a home for the first time. This may be because their ex-partner had dealt with it all in the past. The paperwork, processes and preparations can seem daunting to the uninitiated, so don’t try to do it on your own We’re always happy to sit down, go through and help with any issues or questions you have. Moving home is an emotional experience at the best of times, and we understand and empathise with what you’re going through.

2. Don’t sell to quick home buying companies

Many companies offer a quick buy service, where they will under offer on your property but do the deal quickly. This is the last resort rather than a first choice.

You’ll get considerably less than if a good estate agency properly markets your property.

3. Do your research

When putting your home up for sale, invite three estate agents to value it. You’ll be able to gauge who you have a rapport with and who you feel you can trust.

The last thing you want when selling due to a divorce is an agent you don’t trust implicitly. Check out their reviews, their standard of marketing, and ask for testimonials.

4. Don’t be swayed by high numbers or cheap fees

Something we often see is people who are going through a divorce ending up instructing an agency which has overvalued their home to win their instruction. Usually, this leads to the property sticking on the market at a time when people want/need a swifter sale.

It’s worth considering why some agencies’ fees are a lot cheaper than others. Often, personal service and care, the very things you’ll need most during this chapter of your life, are sacrificed with the cheap agent.

5. Do relationships

Look for an agent who values the relationship with you over the transaction your property offers.

We’ve built our business on establishing long-term relationships with our clients. This is because of our focus on service, listening, empathising, and simply being there for our clients.

Things To Think About

If this is the case, it would be worth exploring your financial options. We can put you in contact with an independent mortgage broker.

This is often necessary, as there needs to be mutual agreement around the price and marketing strategy applied to the property’s sale.

If the answer is yes, your estate agent would need to discuss the presentation of your property when it comes to viewings (who will do the tidying up?). We undertake accompanied viewings as standard, meaning no one needs to be home when a potential buyer views.

Again, this is to do with viewings. It’s often a good idea to take them out whilst a viewing is taking place.

We are always happy to use the method of communication preferred by our clients, be that by phone, text messaging, emails, in-person or WhatsApp.

You may not feel comfortable meeting at your current property, so we can meet you and discuss anything regarding the sale away from it, if that suits you better.

Our advice and recommendation is to be honest and open with any potential buyer should that question be asked. It is not likely to affect someone’s buying decision about your home and there will be plenty of other positive points to highlight about the home.

Usually the solicitor handling the divorce is skilled in that area of law and wouldn’t be as experienced handling the conveyancing. Our advice is to appoint a conveyancing solicitor who has experience in handling property sales, as they are likely to be able to get the sale through quicker and with less stress. Compare prices, but also question how long on average it is taking solicitors to handle a property sale from start to finish – you should be looking for an answer of between 60–90 days.

As with all the tips and pointers in this guide, the above doesn’t constitute legal advice. If you have any questions or things you’d like to discuss with us, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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