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  • Writer's picturekarloflynn

O'Flynn Estate Agents Leicestershire - Separation and Selling Homes - 3 things to consider.

When I was growing up in the eighties and nineties, like most schoolchildren I noticed a trend going from it being quite rare to be a child from a divorce, to it becoming (when i was at University) something that was a lot more common.

oflynn estate agents in Leicestershire divorce selling homes

The introduction of 'no fault' as a reason for divorce was introduced in April 2022, which many commentators feel could increase the divorce rate significantly in the UK. Couples divorcing under the new legislation will no longer need to rely on adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years and 5 years separation.

As a local estate agent based in Leicestershire (specifically in Glenfield) and working in the industry for over 18 years, I have had to deal with many house sales that are being sold because of the breakdown of a relationship. As you get to know the couple, which you often do, you get to hear details as to why the relationship breakdown has occurred. For me it has always been important to remain as impartial as possible, remembering that my job is to advise and help both parties in their pursuit of a sale or purchase. Being sensitive to a customers situation is key. It is tough though, no one enters in to a marriage or relationship thinking that they will reach the point where they need to split, that's not how relationships work. You cannot help but feel for people going through this situation.

I wanted to share some of the things I have learnt working with customers facing this situation, outlining how I try to approach things and also to highlight the things for couples and families in this situation to consider. These things seem like common sense to the outsider, but when you are in the midst of a break up you would be surprised at to what goes amiss .

Speed of sale/purchase - Understandably, a divorce or a break up of a relationship can put people into tunnel mode. They often want to break the ties, get as far away from the other person (both emotionally and geographically) and to move on, and create a new life for themselves. What this means is that they are really keen to get things moving regarding the house sale or purchase. There can be a real sense of urgency in those initial meetings and our job here at O'Flynn Estate Agents is to manage those expectations and to help facilitate the customers wishes whenever possible. At the back of our minds we are paying particular attention to the customers circumstances. Often couples will continue to share a home until a sale has gone through, and that will always present its own challenges. Couples also need the monies from the sale of a house to buy their new homes or simply to move on with their lives. With all this being said we do our upmost to make sure that the transactions occur seamlessly, and that we keep to our core mission of doing the simple things well in regards to communicating, being transparent, and doing our best to understand the situation you are facing.

We can offer an in-house conveyancing service who again will work with both clients impartially and they will deal with the legal side of selling your property.

Get legal advice - This may seem obvious, and maybe too much in the early days but I have come across many people in this situation who are simply not aware of their legal rights, or they don't have an agreed plan, or way forward set out. As soon as you are able speak to a solicitor to find out what your rights are in terms of selling a home, and indeed staying in a home. Often with couples this can be amicably planned, but if communication has broken down, or if there is conflict you must get legal advice. Do not leave this to chance or bury this for another day, if you are both in agreement that separation is to occur, it is really best to understand where you stand from day one. This will stop any confusion or further conflict as you move through the process. Make sure the legal advice you get is from a trustworthy source. Being registered with the Law Society and the SRA is a good indication that the legal advice you are getting will be as expected.

Understand your financial position - This doesn't mean simply knowing how much money you have in your current account. You need to do some investigation and create a list of what your joint financial obligations are, as well as understanding your own. Joint financial obligations still stand (and you will be held accountable) even though you have separated, so you need to know where you stand. This financial sweep is as important as knowing your legal rights, as it will place you in the best position possible, when starting to investigate where your next move will be, or how you intend to finance staying in the house (if applicable). Who is named on the mortgage is a key one here as that person/people are still responsible for mortgage payments, and missing payments could effect you credit score.

Based on my experience all of these things can go out of the window during the initial stages of separation, so even if you cant deal with them immediately you will need to deal with them eventually, and knowing your position enables you to plan and move forward.

Every sale or purchase is important for us here at O'Flynn Estate Agents, but really understanding a customers circumstances and adapting to meet those needs is what we think sets us apart. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you are thinking of selling your property, let's have a chat and see how we can help.

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