During divorce, the marital home may be put up for sale with both parties splitting the proceeds.
A quick sale that takes place before the divorce is finalized is ideal.
Our house sold a few months after we got our divorce decree and I insisted upon having our solicitors distribute the money from the sale. We had at least one meeting with them after our divorce, until the sale of the house.
Here are some easy and quick ways to increase your chances and speed of selling your house after divorce during this transition.
- Select a realtor with a great track record for finding buyers for newly listed property. The average time in the UK for a house to sell is four months. In London and the South East of England, property tends to sell quicker, often under two months. It can take six months or longer in Wales, Scotland, and the Northern part of England. How fast the property sells depends upon the demand in your area. My solicitor chose our realtor due to speedy property sales with her previous family law clients. She was in a big realty company with a vast network.
- Buy faucets to update your house or flat and give it a newer appearance. My friend had to sell her house soon after her divorce decree to relocate and hired a plumber to replace the faucets. She felt that these shiny new ones got her house sold in days. Getting new toilet seats, shower curtain or other small items, aids in sprucing up the property for minimal cost.
- Get rid of clutter and many personal items. Have a home for incoming paper work, books, toys, and so forth so they are not scattered around. Take a large bin or laundry basket and thin out books from shelves and clothes from closets. Store boxes and bins at your parent’s house temporarily. The point is to make your home look spacious by removing a lot of your stuff. When eliminating personal photos and travel souvenirs from your place, it helps potential buyers to imagine how their own things will look in this new home.
- Some people in my area hire “stagers” who come in and give suggestions on making simple changes with décor to increase the potential for sales. In one case a navy bedspread was changed for a cream one, since the former one made the bedroom seem like it had a black hole. They have suggested removing extra paintings to give a room a focal point. Stagers look at what you already own and mainly work with these pieces to help your property look more enticing.
- How is the curb appeal? There is a house in my neighbourhood that has been on the market for over a year for one simple reason. The paint is peeling on the wood trim around the windows and porch area. For less than £200, it could be scraped and repainted. The yard looks unappealing with overgrown shrubs and high weeds. If a neighbour kid was paid £25 that problem could be fixed easily. Remove any dead shrubs and tidy up the flower beds for an instant transformation.
- Do not only rely on your realtor. Take photos of your home and put it up on social media with your realtor’s contact information. Consider placing an ad in your local paper if your realtor is not doing that. Let everyone you come in contact with know about your property, from co-workers to your favourite barista at Costa Coffee.
- Price your house realistically. Go in the medium range for a faster sale. Our realtor wanted way too low and I said “Let’s give it two weeks at this higher price” and it sold for above my suggested one. We had to have an almost immediate sale in my acrimonious divorce. My ex would only stay in collaborative if he could move back into this empty house with me paying half of the mortgage if it did not sell within three months. The realtor and I were afraid that my ex would sabotage the selling of the house once he moved back in. Even my ex’s own solicitor was giving me advice how to get a quick sale, including burying a statue of St. Joseph on the property. St. Paul’s Bookstore on Cookridge Street in Leeds, sells “St. Joseph Home Sellers Kit” with precise instructions on how to “evoke the help of St. Joseph” in quickly selling your house. Good luck!
These strategies also work well if you have to sell a parent’s house so that they can go into assisted living or when downsizing with an Empty Nest.
My friends and family were lighting candles in church for a quick sale. Remember to celebrate when your house sells and you divide the money.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.