Selling a house during a divorce can seem daunting. But the reality is that by becoming informed about what it takes to sell smoothly during a divorce, you can increase your chances of a successful sale that leaves both parties happy.
In our guide for divorcing couples who need to sell their house in Nottingham, we’ll help you do just that. Keep reading to learn about what’s involved in the process and discover tips for communicating with your ex-spouse and working with real estate agents.
What you need to do before you can sell your house as a divorcing couple
The first major hurdle to cross when selling a house during a divorce is getting consent from both parties. This is a necessary condition for selling both matrimonial and non-matrimonial properties.
If one party wishes to sell while the other does not, you could be facing a serious roadblock. You may need to seek advice from a legal professional or hire a mediator to help you. If worse things come to worst, you may have to take the dispute to court. But this can be an expensive and time-consuming route to go down, so it’s probably in your best interests to reach an agreement together instead.
That said, if you have children together, it may benefit the children for one party to get a Mesher Order. This is a court order that will allow the primary caregiver to continue living in the house until a specific future event. At that stage, the house will be sold and proceeds will be divided.
But from here on out, we’ll assume both you and your ex-spouse have consented to a sale and have signed a consent form. Before you begin to negotiate the division of the proceeds from selling the house, there are a few other legal considerations to take.
For one, both parties must be honest and transparent about their finances. Financial disclosure will not only build trust before negotiations begin, but it will also help to prevent an unfair agreement. It’s also a good idea to disclose all the assets at this stage to reduce the chances of a dispute further down the line.
Be sure to get a valuation of the property. You can then subtract any outstanding mortgage balance and liens to know roughly how much will be available to split between you. Don’t worry if it isn’t the exact price the property will go to the market at. A real estate agent will confirm this with you later.
Also, do not forget that you’ll need to keep up with mortgage payments during the sale process, even if the party on the mortgage contract has moved out of the house. You’d be surprised how many people overlook this.
How to divide the proceeds equitably
Once you’ve both signed a consent form to sell your house in Nottingham, you’ll need to agree on how you’ll divide the proceeds equitably. The house is more than likely the most valuable asset you’ve shared. That’s why it can potentially be quite complicated to reach an agreement. It isn’t going to be as straightforward as a 50-50 split. Here are just some of the factors that will need to be considered:
- Ownership: Is the property a matrimonial asset? If so, confirm whether the house is owned jointly or in one spouse’s name. For matrimonial assets, the split will usually be closer to even than for non-matrimonial assets. In the case of the latter, the spouse without ownership may have little to no claim to the property, but this will depend on many of the following factors.
- Financial contributions each party has made to the house: You’ll have to look at who has paid what towards the purchase, mortgage, taxes, repairs, maintenance, refurbishments, and any other costs of living in the house.
- Contributions to the family: Although this may be hard to quantify, you’ll need to weigh up the value of the family contributions, such as those made by the primary caregiver.
- Emotional attachment to the property: Discuss the possibility of compensating for one party’s emotional attachment to the house. For instance, if the property was an inherited family home.
- Other assets: The division of other marital assets may affect how the proceeds of the house sale are divided up.
- Tax implications: Capital gains could affect how much you both pocket after the sale. Make sure you both understand this and don’t hesitate to work with a tax professional.
- Marital agreements: if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it will need to be followed when dividing proceeds.
- Child welfare: This is probably the most important thing to consider. If you have children together, how will selling the house impact them? What financial split will be in the children’s best interest? Consider the financial needs of the parent that will have primary custody.
The perk of working out property division together is that you’ll save money that might have otherwise been spent on hiring third parties. However, it requires clear and effective communication, and that’s often easier said than done. Just know that without it, it may be hard to overcome roadblocks and reach a resolution.
How to communicate effectively with your ex-spouse
To communicate better with your ex-spouse, it could help to set ground rules for discussions. For example, identify specific times to talk and choose a method that suits you both, whether that be face-to-face or on the telephone. It can also be a good idea to keep a record of communications for later reference. You can also attend counselling and divorce support groups that will help you overcome roadblocks by working through emotions and enhancing your communication.
Divorces can be difficult emotionally and logistically but it’s important to see the big picture. Think about how an agreement can benefit everyone, including your children and other relatives. Try to actively listen to your ex-spouse and be respectful of their view.
What can you do if you haven’t been able to communicate effectively with your ex-spouse and negotiations have hit a deadlock? You may benefit from working with a mediator.
If you’re trying to sell a house during a divorce in Nottingham and you can’t reach an agreement with your partner, you have several options for mediation.
Divorce mediators are particularly useful. They are specialists in overseeing divorce negotiations, including financial settlements to child custody. Real estate mediators can also help negotiate the division of proceeds from the house sale and other matters like house pricing and marketing the house. Another option worth considering is a therapist mediator who can help you manage emotions and steer effective communication.
Keep in mind that not all mediators can provide legal advice or make an agreement legally binding. You will need to consult a qualified legal mediator or divorce attorney for that.
If you can’t negotiate a deal with a mediator, you can hire solicitors to hash out a divorce settlement on your behalf, or even a third-party arbitrator. But your legal dispute may eventually end up in court. And this often doesn’t end the way anyone likes and can be costly. That’s why it’s important to be willing to compromise and to have realistic expectations from the get-go when trying to sell a house during a divorce.
How to increase your chances of a quick and easy sale
So, you’ve completed negotiations over the division of proceeds. The rest is easy, right? Not always, but it can be. Regardless of whether you communicated as a pair to get to this point or you used a mediator, now will be a good time to seek a real estate agent with experience in selling properties for divorcees. They will understand the delicacy of the situation and the desire to reach a beneficial outcome for all parties involved.
You might find a suitable real estate agent by asking friends, family, or a divorce attorney for recommendations. You could also contact estate agents in your area to see if they are experienced with selling a house during a divorce. Don’t hesitate to interview different agents to find someone who’s a good fit for you both.
During a difficult situation like a divorce, you may not want the added responsibilities that come with trying to market and sell a house. That’s why a real estate agent can be of real benefit. Although you will have to pay fees for their services, you’ll get their expertise on home staging and marketing your house, competitive pricing, the local housing market, negotiating the sale, and much more.
In Nottingham, the average property took just 99 days to sell (between January and April 2023). This could spell good news if you just want to get the house sold and move on. Demand for housing in Nottingham is high due to the city’s affordability, versatility and strong local economy. Prices have also been steadily rising for years, and Nottingham saw some of the fastest growth in house prices last year.
Alternatives to selling your house on the open market
There are lots of benefits to selling on the open market and working with real estate agents. But maybe you don’t want to go through the hassle of doing things like home staging and waiting for potential buyers. What are the alternative ways to sell?
You can sell your house at an auction. It can secure a fast sale, although it may not get you the best price. You might want to look at using a cash house buyer instead. With a reputed company like We Buy Any Home, you’ll get a hassle-free sale with no additional fees.
Our experienced team will support you throughout and ensure you’re left with an equitable split. You can even keep communication with your ex-spouse to a minimum during the process. Curious about how it works? Learn more about using a cash house buyer to sell your house fast during a divorce.
What if you both begin to have second thoughts about selling a house during a divorce in Nottingham? You can always consider other options like a buyout, refinancing in one party’s name, a deferred sale agreement, or co-ownership whereby one party lives in the house and pays rent for the other party’s share. Try to do what is most practical and in the best interests of both parties and their dependents.