Selling house during divorce – Your options

Divorce is an emotionally taxing and stressful process; and that’s before you throw sorting out your biggest asset into the mix – your marital home. 

So, what are your options when selling a house during divorce? 

  1. You can both agree to move out and sell your home. The money made from the sale will be divided between you both.
  2. You can buy each other out, so that one of you takes full ownership of the property.
  3. You can transfer part of the property’s value from one partner to another. When the house is sold in the future, you’ll both receive your agreed share of the profits based on how much of the property you each own.
  4. If you can’t agree, then a court order could determine what you do; sadly, not exactly a choice. Specifically, a Mesher order, which defers the sale of your property until a specific event like the youngest child turning 18, or a Martin order, that allows one partner to live in the home for life or until they remarry.

For most couples, selling is the most popular option. It offers a clean break, and provides both parties with money for whatever they want to do next.

But where do you start? 

Traditional and Online Estate Agents 

You need to agree on an estate agent to list your property with before the sales process can begin. 

Whether you choose to go with the online or offline version, it can be difficult to get off the starting block with this option, if communication between partners has already broken down. 

The biggest drawback for divorcing couples is speed. Selling timescales are unpredictable with estate agents having no control over a buyer having an 11th hour change or heart. To put into perspective 38% of agreed sales fell through in 2018

Property Cash Buying Companies

For most divorcing couples a quick, hassle free sale is top of their list, meaning that property cash buying companies are often the best choice. 

They are the buyer so there is no middleman estate agent, meaning that there are no other third parties involved reducing the risk of any potential complications during the sale. With direct access to funds, they can usually exchange within 7 days meaning that you can pocket the money and go your separate ways without months of a selling headache to contend with. They also don’t charge selling fees and will often cover your legal costs if you use their chosen solicitor, to ensure things move smoothly. You might get a little less than you would on the open market, but with a guaranteed sale rather than months of uncertainty and financial worries, it’s an increasingly popular choice. 

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