What Can I Do If My Ex Won’t Sign To Sell House?

Estimated reading time 7 minutes

A separation, no matter how amicable, will always throw up some uncomfortable moments. Arranging on what is to be done with a shared property can be a sticking point for many divorcing or separating couples, both wanting some benefit from the ending of the relationship – albeit bricks and mortar.

Your ex may not wish to sign to sell the house, despite it potentially being the best answer for everyone. The thought of the long-drawn-out process of contracts, valuations, and viewings all possibly being too much for them to work through.

Maybe, as a quick solution, cash house buyers could provide the best option for all involved. Whatever route you try and take, consider what has the best result for you all, especially when children are involved.

Can I make my ex sell the house?

The simple answer here is no. When you bought the house, it was no doubt, purchased via a mortgage with both of your names on it. As a result, you each have an equal ownership. If you are married nothing can really progress until the divorce is finalized unless a solution is reached. If though, you are not married, things can be a little simpler. If the house is just in your name, you may be able to list it for sale and move on without any problems. If you have only been together a short while there should not be any serious hurdles either. As with anything of this nature, it is always best to gain legal advice first.

One thing to be aware of is that even if only one of you is on the title deed, a marriage means that your spouse is legally allowed to continue living in the property. Their rights will still apply even if the house is sold to a third party. The non-owner would also have to give consent to the owner for their removal from the property. If the refusal of consent is seen to be unreasonable, a judge is likely to rule in the owner’s favour.

My divorce isn’t finalised yet, can I still sell the house?

Often, nothing can be agreed until the divorce is finalised. This can lead to that awkward situation where you both have the right to occupy the house. As mentioned above, this is where legal advice is the best action.

If a sale is being forced though, perhaps, because one party owns the property, a notice of home rights can be obtained. This basically allows the person with no ownership rights to put a notice on the property deeds stating they have rights to the property.

A sale would not be able to go through until a notice of home rights is removed. Hence the need for legal advice.

How can the ex and I sell the house?

There are a few avenues you can pursue that will hopefully make things as stress free as possible. Below are the most common and hopefully the easiest for you to implement.

Buy them out

Whilst things may be strained, giving yourselves the option to talk things through, may provide the best answer. If you are in a position to buy them out, you could offer them a cash sum for their share. This would allow them to move on, secure a new mortgage, and start afresh. This sometimes puts you in an advantageous position as they can either accept the money or face the long-drawn-out court process. Be aware though that gaining the funds to buy them out may put you into unmanageable debt. It would be advisable to speak to a solicitor to gain professional advice.  If you do proceed with the court avenue, you may be offered an order of sale.

What is an order of sale?

The order of sale is granted as a result of a court hearing where you both will have the option to present your case. The successful party will then be awarded the right to take possession. From here the house can be sold and the money divided in a way agreed between you and your ex in court.

Use a cash house buyer

Avoiding the needs for courts, the proposal of using cash house buyers could be made. Assuming you are both named on the property, you could sell the house much quicker than going through an estate agent. This is a stress-free option available with Gaffsy – there are no legal fees involved, no property chain, and no delays completion. We have helped numerous separating couples sell their homes hassle free, in a timeframe that has suited their needs, so don’t hesitate in getting a free cash offer today.

Ex partner refusing to sell house FAQs

Before considering legal action, it is essential to establish whose names are on the title deed and mortgage and then consider your options:

  • If only your name is on the title deed, you might be able to sell the house without your ex’s consent, unless the court has control over the assets.
  • If your ex is joint owner and refuses to sell the house you could apply for a court order to force the sale of the property.
  • If your ex is living in the house and doesn’t own it, you might need to follow a formal eviction process in order to sell the house vacant.
  • If your divorce decree orders your ex to cooperate in the sale and they refuse then they could be in competent of court.

Whilst it’s clearly a very stressful and worrying time when your ex refuses to sell the house try and reach a mutual agreement amongst yourselves or through mediation because once you involve lawyers the legal proceedings can be both lengthy and costly.

2. How can I protect my interests in the property during a divorce?

It’s crucial to ensure your legal rights to the property are protected during the divorce process. This might involve filing for a home rights notice if you’re not named on the title deed, which will ensure you have the right to remain in the property. Speak with a solicitor and seek advice for your particular situation.

3. Can mediation help if my ex won’t agree to sell?

Mediation can be a valuable tool in resolving disputes over property sales. It involves both parties discussing their views and concerns with a neutral third-party mediator, it is often less adversarial and cheaper than going to court.

4. What if I need to sell the house quickly for financial reasons?

In scenarios where a quick sale is necessary, for example, to release equity or due to financial hardship, explaining the situation to your ex-partner is key.  Hopefully you will reach an understanding and can then get in contact with Gaffsy your trusted cash house buyer who can provide a free cash offer to buy your house in as little as 7 days.

However, if an agreement still can’t be reached, legal advice is essential as you may need to go through the courts to secure the rights to prioritise a quick sale due to financial necessity.

6. What happens if one party wants to buy the other out?

If one party can afford to, they may propose to buy the other’s share in the property. The partner who is bought out will then have their name removed from the title deeds and the other person will own the property outright. This arrangement can be beneficial as it allows both parties to move on more quickly. However, it’s important to get the property valued fairly and ensure the buyout is financially viable.

7. How can I prepare for selling the house during a separation?

Preparing for a sale involves getting the house valued, ensuring all paperwork is in order, and agreeing on how proceeds will be split. It’s also wise to consider the impact on any children involved and how the sale might affect their living arrangements.

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