Divorce wranglings can make selling difficult
H O U S E s a l e s c a n b e c o me complicated when there is a divorce involved, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank (APKF).
“APKF agents have learned to tread warily, particularly when one of the parties in the divorce decides to buy a new home before the divorce has gone through. This is not a wise move because the new house will form part of the estate and will, in fact, be jointly owned by both parties until the divorce is finalised.
“Then there is the problem that the divorcing couple often refuse to co-operate in selling the home. Signatures of both parties are required when a couple is married in commu- nity of property, but for a whole range of reasons, one of the couple may decide to hold back – very often using this refusal as a lever to get a settlement.”
Delays caused by this tactic have on more than one occasion resulted in the buyer going elsewhere, says Steward.
“Divorce can also leave a bad vibe in the home of which prospective buyers rapidly become aware.
“In these situations a cheerful, positive agent, a spring-clean and several bowls of flowers placed at strategic points can do much to recreate the affectionate, caring atmosphere a happy home gives off,” says Steward.