What is Shared Ownership property?
A Shared Ownership Property is a property that’s owned through Shared Ownership, a government scheme that allows you to own part of a house or flat, with the rest of it owned by a housing association or developer.
Read more about Shared Ownership.
Shared Ownership is a great way of getting on the housing ladder, but most of us eventually outgrow our first home. So what happens then?
Selling a Shared Ownership property – how is the process different?
In many ways, selling a Shared Ownership home isn’t too different to selling property the conventional way. You’ll need to hire a conveyancer and probably a removals firm, and the steps you take in preparing your home to sell are identical.
However, there are some key differences.
You’ll need to get a Shared Ownership valuation when selling your home, something which is not needed for a traditional sale.
It’s likely that the housing association or developer will have the right to buy back your property before it’s marketed to anyone else. This is known as the ‘right of first refusal’, and it means you have to offer the property to them first, and give them enough time to respond (they’ll be able to tell you how long you need to leave it before finding an estate agent yourself). In some situations this might even be the case if you’ve staircased to own 100% of the property.
Shared Ownership eligibility criteria
Even if you end up selling your house on the open market, you’ll probably be selling to a Shared Ownership buyer (unless you own 100% of the property). This means that any buyer will need to fit the eligibility criteria, as well as be able to secure a Shared Ownership mortgage (which aren’t as common as conventional mortgages). Both of these factors could potentially result in a delay to the sale, so bear that in mind when you’re planning your move.
How to sell a Shared Ownership property
Step 1: Tell your housing provider
The first thing you’ll need to do is tell the housing association or developer that you’re planning on selling. You’re not legally obligated to go through with the sale at this point, you’re just getting the process started.
Step 2: Get a valuation
With an ordinary property sale, getting a valuation is optional. But for a Shared Ownership property sale it’s essential because your housing provider has to be completely sure of the value of your share, so it can be priced appropriately If the value of your property has gone up, the value of your share goes up too. Valuations are carried out by Chartered Surveyors who can accurately assess the value based on the area and similar properties nearby.
Bear in mind that you are responsible for paying for the valuation. Shared Ownership valuations cost approximately £300-£600, depending on the estimated value of the property.
You can get quotes for Shared Ownership valuations through our quote form.
Step 3: Contract of sale
The next thing to do is complete and return the contract of sale. You’ll need to employ a solicitor before this, as it’s likely you’ll need to provide their details on the form.
You can get conveyancing quotes through reallymoving – just remember to select the ‘Shared Ownership’ option on the form.
Step 4: Get an EPC
Depending on how long you’ve been in your property, you might need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).This tells potential buyers how energy efficient your home is, and gives an idea as to how much they’ll spend on bills. EPCs last for 10 years, and need to be updated if you have made any energy efficiency changes to the property since you bought it. You can get quotes for EPCs through reallymoving.
Step 5: Prepare your home and take photos
Your housing provider might liaise with you about this. You’ll need to make your property look presentable to ensure it’s marketed in the best possible way. There may be rules about selling the property on in the same style that you bought it, which might mean painting the walls white, or removing any additions you’ve made (shelving etc). Check your lease, or speak to your contact at the Housing Association.
Read about how to stage your home to sell.
Step 6: Find a buyer
As we said earlier, the first part of this step is to give your housing provider first refusal. Generally waiting lists for Shared Ownership properties are pretty long, so there’s a good chance they’ll be able to find a buyer in the specified time.
If they’re unable to, however, you’ll need to advertise and sell the property on the open market. You can either do this yourself or employ an estate agent. But remember that, unless you owe 100% of the property, you’ll need to sell the property to a Shared Ownership buyer. Something else to bear in mind is that the buyer won’t be able to buy a smaller share than the one you currently own. So, for example, if you own 50% of the property, you’ll need to find a buyer who can buy 50% or more.
Step 7: The sale
The process the buyer has to go through will be familiar to you, as it will be similar to the one you went through when you originally bought the property. Once the criteria for Shared Ownership, like financial checks and mortgage in principle approvals, have been met then the sale continues much like a conventional purchase. Like a traditional purchase, you can usually expect the conveyancing process to take up to three months, although this also depends on whether you’re moving into a new build or existing property, as your sale may be quick, but your purchase may take longer.
And there you have it! You’ve sold your Shared Ownership home, and maybe helped someone else take that first step on the property ladder.
Reallymoving can help you in the sale of your Shared Ownership property, by allowing you to compare prices for Shared Ownership valuations.