Want to know what’s involved in selling a house during a divorce in Sheffield? We’ve put together a simple, step-by-step guide for you. Keep reading to get tips on property division, preparing your house to be sold, and much more.
Step one: Get consent, disclose finances, and value the house
First and foremost, there’s one thing you’ll need before you can begin negotiating your divorce settlement or putting your house up for sale in Sheffield. And that’s consent from both parties to sell the house. Without it, nothing else in this guide matters. Legally, you will need consent from both ex-spouses, even if the property is a non-matrimonial asset (and belongs to just one party). So, make sure you’re both on the same page and put it in writing via a consent form.
If one party will not consent, it’d be best to get legal advice from a divorce attorney so you can assess your options. Try to empathise with your ex-spouse’s reasons for not wanting to sell the house and consider alternatives to selling. If the issue is eventually taken to court, it may not be in either party’s best interest long term, especially if you have children.
In addition to gaining consent, at this early stage, it’s smart to get an initial valuation of your Sheffield property. That way you’ll know how much the asset is worth. To ease negotiations and avoid future disputes over the divorce settlement, each party should also disclose their financial situation.
Step two: Negotiate an equitable split of the proceeds from the sale
So, it’s all agreed that the house will be sold. Now you’ll need to negotiate how the proceeds will be divided. In all likelihood, it won’t be as easy as splitting the proceeds 50-50. A range of factors can determine fair and equitable property division. And it’s not always as simple as who paid what into the property.
This is where effective communication comes in. It’s not always easy, but it’s essential if you want to negotiate a divorce settlement without using third parties. That’s why counselling or divorce support groups can be valuable to both ex-spouses at this time. You will learn ways to work through the emotional challenges of divorce, as well as strategies for effective communication. If, from the outset, both parties are committed to handling the divorce settlement amicably, it will be much easier to negotiate an equitable split from selling your house.
What about if you’re finding it too difficult to communicate with your ex-spouse? Consider using a mediator. Any neutral third-party individual could take this role. Or you can hire a professional mediator. Generally, they’ll be cheaper than hiring solicitors or going to court. Plus, here in the UK, you may be eligible for the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme.
If none of these options is suitable for you, it will be your best bet to hire solicitors that specialise in family or divorce law to negotiate a divorce settlement on your behalf.
You could always hire one solicitor to work with you both, but it could create a conflict of interest. On the other hand, if each party hires their own solicitor, it will be more expensive and could further tensions between the ex-spouses. Weigh up the pros and cons. Ultimately, using a solicitor will ensure your agreement is legally binding. Plus, they will also help you to calculate how much money will be available for both parties to split after any tax, such as capital gains tax, joint debt, and paying off any outstanding mortgage balance.
Whether you negotiate yourselves or get help from third parties, try to consider all the things that can influence property division. Here’s just a brief list:
- Is the property a matrimonial or non-matrimonial asset?
- What financial contributions has each party made to the property? Think about mortgage payments, maintenance, and refurbishments.
- How might each party’s contribution to the family be represented in the split? For example, who was the primary caregiver?
- What are the financial needs of each party? Think about the future financial situation of the parent who will have primary custody of the children.
Step three: Decide how you want to sell the property
These days there are plenty of ways to sell a house. Each comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. But if you’re trying to sell a house during a divorce, a simple and stress-free sale is probably a priority for you. And there’s no better way to do that than by using a cash house buyer. You won’t have to pay any fees for solicitors or real estate agents. You won’t even have to host house viewings or stage and market your house. Best of all, you can get paid in as little as 7 days. If this sounds like the best way for you to sell your house during a divorce, learn more about our cash house buyers here.
Of course, the traditional way to sell a house can still work well during a divorce. If you have the time and are content to collaborate with your spouse during the process, find a Sheffield real estate agent experienced in divorce sales. They will be able to guide you along a sale on the open market.
Whether you’re working with your ex-spouse directly or with a mediator or through your solicitors, an experienced real estate agent will help you manage the emotional and logistical challenges of selling during a divorce. They will also share their expertise during the two following steps.
Step four: Prepare the house for sale
We all want to get the best possible price, no matter what we’re selling. So, don’t underestimate how much can be done to easily increase the value of your house. In many cases, it’ll only take a little bit of time or money to make a big difference. Here are some useful tips:
- Clean and tidy like never before!
- Those minor repairs you let slide? Now’s the time to take care of them.
- Spruce up the front of your house to give a great first impression to potential buyers. Arrange some potted plants, trim the lawn or hedges, repaint the front door, and power spray the front driveway.
- Learn the art of staging. Got a large living room with beautiful natural lighting? Show it off. Boost the appeal of the house by enhancing its best features.
- Repaint the walls, fit new carpets, and modernise the fixtures.
- It may be more costly than other staging tactics but consider replacing old appliances, mounting artwork to the walls, or buying new furniture.
Step five: Market and sell the house
After you’ve agreed on property division and prepared your house for sale, you’ll be at the final hurdle. From here it’s all about marketing your house and securing a sale on terms you’ll both be happy with.
Ultimately, it’s easiest to work with a real estate agent in Sheffield if you’re going down the open market route. Real estate agents have a wide variety of marketing channels and networks at their disposal and they’ll know your local market inside-out.
During this challenging time, a real estate agent will take a whole heap of responsibilities off your hands. For example, they’ll list your property in print, online, and on social media to attract potential buyers. They’ll possibly conduct open houses and viewings. When there’s interest from buyers, they’ll negotiate and eventually close the deal for you.
Keep in mind that real estate agents can take a hefty commission. It’ll leave you and your ex-spouse with fewer proceeds from the sale. To save money, you can consider using an online estate agent that charges less. What’s more, if you’re comfortable with trying to market and sell the house yourselves, there’s nothing stopping you. Just make sure to hire someone to handle the legal work once you’ve found a buyer.
Sometimes trying to market and sell a house can be a slow and anxious experience. If you’d rather the process was cut down so you can move on with your life, forget about selling on the open market. When you use a cash house buyer you won’t have to spend a small fortune on solicitor’s and estate agent’s fees. You won’t even need to negotiate property division directly with your ex-spouse. We Buy Any Home streamlines the process and gives you an outcome you’ll both be happy with. And you’ll get it fast. If you’re selling your house during a divorce in Sheffield, you can get a free quote from us today.
We hope our guide will be useful to you as you try to navigate the challenges of selling a house during a divorce. Please be aware that this is not intended as legal advice. It’s only a loose explanation of the steps involved in selling during a divorce.