One of the most stressful life events you can experience is the process of buying or selling a home. From the disruption that it causes to your working day to endless phone calls and the risk of a deal falling through, there are several aspects of selling a property that can cause a great deal of stress.
Add to that the break-up of a relationship and you can imagine why tensions would run high. The whole process can seem overwhelming as you’re trying to make tough decisions about how you will divide your hard earned assets.
However difficult things may get, there are some common, and often costly, property mistakes you should try to avoid.
Making hasty decisions when selling your home
Trying to sell the property you once lived in with your ex is not going to be easy, so you can’t be blamed for wanting to move quickly and put the whole thing behind you.
The thing is, if you’re in a rush to sell your old home, you may not end up making the best decisions or getting the best financial results. Try to take your time in every aspect of the decision-making process, from agreeing on how the proceeds of the sale will be divided to agreeing on a selling price.
The best thing to do is to seek legal advice when it comes to the division of assets and to use an agent to help guide you when trying to settle on how to respond to offers. With professionals guiding the way, you’re more likely to come to areasonable arrangement, rather than making hasty decisions that could hurt you down the line.
Advertising a divorce sale
When you put your property up on the market, the last thing you want to do is let buyers know that you’re going through a breakup. All it will do is make you appear desperate, meaning potential buyers are more likely to haggle harder, particularly if the market is a bit sluggish.
Even if you don’t advertise the property as a divorce sale, there are other dead-giveaways you should steer clear from. This includes wardrobes with half the clothes removed or even framed photos with half the picture cut out. In this instance, you’ll want to pay particular attention to staging.
Rushing to buy a new property
You shouldn’t be in a rush to sell your old house, and the same applies when it comes to buying a new property. As desperate as you may be to settle into a new home, the last thing you want is to rush into buying something that turns out to be entirely unsuitable for your needs.
If you’re considering moving to a new area, then you’ll want to take the time to thoroughly research potential locations to ensure you’re going to be happy living there in the long-term. Everything from transport links to schooling and proximity to employment hubs should be taken into account before putting down an offer.
You may want to consider renting a property until everything is finalised and you know exactly how much money you have at your disposal once all your assets are divided.
Missing mortgage payments
If your divorce isn’t exactly amicable, then the constant arguments may tempt you to stop paying the mortgage and bills. Or maybe the stress of the whole situation means you simply forget.
Whatever the reason, this is one mistake that could end up costing you down the line, so do what you can to avoid missing mortgage payments. Not only can this blemish on your credit record make it difficult for you to buy a new home, but it could also cause the banks to become involved in the sale of your old property.
As stressful as it can be to sell a home because of a breakup, a mortgagee sale is far worse and tends to attract bargain hunters who are unlikely to pay the original sale price.
Going through a divorce is not easy, but you only get one shot at it. During the process, it’s important that you think financially, and not emotionally. Remember to plan ahead to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome for a secure financial future.
LENDI is an Australia-wide community of Home Loan Specialists, committed to helping you navigate the home loan process and providing the best advice.