This three-minute read looks at the property-related issues that arise after a relationship breaks down.
A survey of 2,000 Brits found that there’s only one thing more stressful than getting divorced – and that’s moving home.*
Spare a thought then for people who sell their home when their long-term relationship ends. They find themselves dealing with two of life’s most challenging moments at the same time.
Here are some property-related tips to help people navigate such a scenario.
Get good advice
Seek good, independent legal advice. Many factors can influence how assets are divided, such as the length of the relationship, each party’s income and responsibilities, and if children are involved.
Consider your options carefully
Could you buy your ex’s share of the property (or vice versa)? Or would it be best to sell up altogether? If you and your former partner can’t agree, a court will decide for you (and you’ll have to abide by the decision).
Notify your lender
Discuss the situation with your lender; they’ll have seen this type of thing before and will be able to advise you. Remember, if you and your ex-partner have a joint mortgage, you’re both liable for any missed payments – even if one of you has moved into alternative accommodation.
Don’t short-change yourself
Beware of home-buying companies that swoop in and purchase properties at lightning speed from people in tricky situations. In return for a quick sale, these operators will hammer you on price. (You’ll kick yourself later for accepting a measly sum.) The more you make from the sale of your home, the more you’ll have to put towards starting the next chapter in your life.
Get an independent valuation
Whether you’re doing a deal with your ex or selling on the open market, always get an independent valuation from an experienced estate agent. Never rely on a figure given to you by a quick-buy company or your former partner.
Be realistic about future costs
If you plan to buy a new home post-divorce, you’ll need to budget for a removal firm, stamp duty, and legal fees (all good reasons to maximise the price you get for your home).
If possible (and we accept that in some circumstances, it’s just not), try to keep the lines of communication with your former partner open. If you can work together to present your home at its best, you can achieve the maximum price.
Work with an experienced agent
Choose an agent with a good track record. They’ll streamline the process as much as possible and minimise stress and disruption.
*Survey conducted by Yopa in 2019.