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How to Sell Your House Fast after Divorce

Posted on February 25th, 2020

Getting divorced is typically a stressful and challenging time, but there are some steps you can take to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Once you’ve decided to separate, it’s better for everyone involved if things progress quickly and with as little hassle as possible.

One of the main areas of contention in divorce proceedings can be the division of assets, including your home. The best approach — financially and emotionally — is for both parties to agree to sell up and move on to pastures new.

A quarter of all sales fell through before completion

But how can you sell your house fast so you can both make a fresh start?

Doesn’t it take months or even years to sell property in the UK? Indeed it can do. The average time it takes to complete a house sale, from the first day the property goes on the market, is 42 months and in 2019, a quarter of all sales fell through before completion.

That’s a long time to continue sharing with your ex. Even if you’re living apart, shared ownership of the marital home will make it difficult to move on. Check out our top tips on speeding up the house sale process. 

Set a realistic asking price

The most common reason for a house sitting on the market for months is the asking price is too high.

Some estate agents may be inclined to inflate their valuation of a property in a bid to secure the homeowner’s business —  who wouldn’t go with the agent claiming they can get the most money for their property?

However, if the price is unrealistic and potential buyers can find similar properties in your location for less, your house won’t sell.

Properties that are initially priced too high and then reduced, typically take longer to sell than those valued realistically from the start.

Get at least three property valuations and don’t just rely on what the estate agents have to say.

Do some research into properties similar to yours and consider what has sold recently. How much did it go for? Which properties haven’t moved for months?

This information will give you an idea of how much it’s fair to ask for your house and how to price it if you want a quick sale. Properties that are initially priced too high and then reduced, typically take longer to sell than those valued realistically from the start.

Host an open house

If time is of the essence, an open house is a great way to conduct multiple viewings in one hit.

Rather than scheduling individual appointments for every potential buyer, set a date and a block of time when any interested party can book in to view. An open house can also create some healthy competition that could boost the final sale price. 

Repeatedly preparing your home for viewings is time-consuming, inconvenient and likely to add stress to an already tense environment. Instead, set one or two windows of time for open house events, hand the keys over to your estate agent and wait for the bidding war to begin. 

Rectify any minor issues

If you’re moving on and hoping to do so quickly, there’s little point in spending the time and money undertaking major renovation work.

The new homeowners are likely to have their own ideas about such projects anyway. However, if there are some minor repairs or cosmetic work that you could undertake to present your home in its best light, it’s well worth checking these off the to-do list.

For example, tidying up a scruffy garden and repainting peeling window frames could add some much-needed curb appeal. 

Engage the services of a cash buying service

If you really want to sell your house fast, a cash buying service may be your best option.

This is the only way to guarantee a sale — and one that could complete in as little as seven days from the time you receive a firm offer. 

Perhaps not getting top dollar for your home is an acceptable compromise

Some people are wary of using such services for fear of being paid well under the market value. However, when all the costs involved in selling on the open market are taken into consideration — estate agent fees, ongoing mortgage repayments, the cost of maintenance — there is surprisingly little difference between the amount you’ll walk away with.

And if the priority is to close one chapter and start another, perhaps not getting top dollar for your home is an acceptable compromise. 

Final thoughts

  • Handling the sale of a marital home quickly and efficiently could help to make a difficult time that little bit easier.
  • Do some research and set a realistic asking price, complete any minor repairs to make the property more attractive to potential buyers, hold an open house and consider what compromises you’re willing to make to secure a quick sale.
  • Until the shared home sells, neither party is free to move on financially or emotionally. It may well be worth accepting an offer slightly under the market value of the property if it means a fast and guaranteed sale.

Share any questions or suggestions you might have about selling the marital home after divorce?

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