Selling your Shared Ownership home
Shared Ownership advice for selling your home
What happens when you want to sell your part-buy part-rent home? If you’re a shared owner looking to move on from your current home, we’ve outlined some of the key stages of the sales process to help you on your way.
Contact your housing provider
First and foremost, you will need to contact your housing provider to let them know that you’d like to sell your home.
Generally speaking, your provider will have around two months to market your home first and, if they find a buyer, they will go through a similar process to the one you went through when you bought the home. If your provider doesn’t find a buyer during this time, you can then choose to sell your property privately or through an estate agent of your choice. If you would like to advertise your home on Share to Buy’s property portal, you can find out more here.
Get a valuation
As part of the sale process, you will be required to choose a surveyor to value your home, and your housing provider will usually have a list of surveyors available to help you get the ball rolling.
You will have to pay a fee for the valuation and will be informed of the cost before proceeding. The surveyor will arrange to visit your home to carry out the survey. The valuation sets the sale price for your home and from this, the housing provider can work out the current value of your share.
Carrying out the valuation does not commit you to selling your home, however, once your housing provider is in receipt of your valuation report, they will arrange for you to sign a contract to agree the fee and details of how your home will be sold.
Contract of sale
If you decide to proceed, you will need to complete and return a contract of sale and include details of the solicitor who will be acting for you once a buyer is found. If you bought your home with someone else, and you are both on the lease, both of you will be required to sign the contract of sale. At this stage of the process, you may wish to make contact with some of the specialist firms on our Solicitor and Conveyancing Panel.
Get an EPC certificate
You will need to instruct an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provider to produce an EPC. EPCs provide important information on the existing energy efficiency of your home and make recommendations on how you could improve its energy efficiency.
You will only be able to start the process of selling your home once you have confirmed that an EPC has been commissioned. Please note that the EPC must be provided within the first 28 days of marketing your property as this is a legal requirement.
Your housing provider will liaise with you to explain each step of the process and either arrange for professional photographs to be taken, or will discuss having you take these photos yourself, in order to market your home to other potential purchasers. Please ensure that your property is tidy and presentable in any photographs to ensure that it is marketed in the best possible way.
Finding a buyer
When you want to sell, you will need to contact your housing provider to let them know. As there are often long waiting lists for Shared Ownership homes, your provider will normally have a set period of time (as outlined in the terms of your lease) to try and sell your home to other buyers who are looking to purchase through the scheme. After this time, you will be able to advertise the property yourself, selling privately or through an estate agent of your choice.
If you haven’t staircased to 100% of your home at the time of wishing to sell, you will be required to sell your home on a Shared Ownership basis. The buyer will need to meet all relevant eligibility criteria, and will usually be required to purchase a share equal to or higher than what you currently own.
The nominated buyer will go through a similar process to the one you went through when you bought the home. They will need to attend a compulsory financial interview with an independent financial advisor. If the buyer is approved financially and a sale is agreed, your housing provider will send you written confirmation of all the details.
Their solicitor will then contact your solicitor. As a standard part of the sales process, your buyer’s solicitor will raise any leasehold enquiries relating to your property with your solicitor.
The buyer normally has 12 weeks to complete the purchase, although this needs to be flexible if you are buying another home. Both your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor will agree an exchange and completion date. Your housing provider would not usually be involved in agreeing dates so these are negotiated between yourself and the buyer. We would encourage you to keep in regular contact with your solicitor to make sure that the sale progresses as smoothly as possible.
Search our Guides and FAQs
Can I sell 100% if I only own a share?arrow_downward
Yes. This is called ‘back-to-back’ or simultaneous staircasing and you have the option to do this if your housing provider has not sold your home within the nomination period.
You are allowed to sell for more than your valuation amount, however not less, unless you are prepared to cover the shortfall. You will increase your share to 100% and sell your home on the same day and you will not have to borrow extra money to pay for the remaining share.
On completion of the sale you will receive your share and your housing provider will receive its percentage share of the current full market value.
Can I sell my share through an Estate Agent?arrow_downward
If your housing provider is unable to find a buyer within the nomination period you can sell through an estate agent or privately.
If you decide to sell your share (e.g. 50%), your housing provider checks that the buyer you have found meets the headline eligibility criteria (just as you did when you bought your home).
How can I make sure that the sale progresses as quickly as possible?arrow_downward
It is advisable that you allow your housing provider to pass your contact details on to your buyers so that you can discuss possible moving dates. It is also important to liaise with your solicitor on a regular basis so that they can progress the sale with your buyer’s solicitor.
Once a buyer has been found and your housing provider has instructed solicitors, your housing provider does not have any direct involvement with the sale, however they are happy to assist if required.
What happens if I don't agree with the valuation from the surveyor?arrow_downward
From time to time, housing providers receive concerns from vendors that the amount the home has been valued is under or over what they expected. Your housing provider can challenge the surveyor on your behalf but would require 3 comparables of similar properties that have sold within the last 3 months. They can also put you in touch with the surveyor to discuss your concerns with them directly.
What if I have made improvements to my Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
When you sell your home the valuer will not value improvements separately. You will sell the share you own which will be a percentage of the full market value including improvements you have made. If you staircase or ‘back-to-back’ staircase and sell, improvements are excluded.
What if the buyer my housing provider finds does not proceed?arrow_downward
Both buyer and seller have the right to withdraw from the sale before contracts of sale are exchanged. If this happens your housing provider will find another priority buyer. If it is over the nomination period your housing provider would allow you to go to an estate agent, but would continue to look for a buyer for your home.
What if my housing provider is unable to find a buyer?arrow_downward
If your housing provider is unable to find a buyer for your home within the nomination period (which will begin the date they receive the signed contract of sale), they will write to you to say you are free to sell your home through an estate agent at a price not less than that set by the valuer.
You can sell your current share or you may decide to sell 100% of your home.
What if the valuation expires?arrow_downward
The valuation usually lasts 3 months. Your housing provider will try to arrange an extension of time for the valuation. If this is not possible a new valuation will need to be obtained. You will be required to pay any valuation fee. You will need a current valuation to complete the sale.
What happens if I do not commission an EPC?arrow_downward
It is a legal requirement to commission an EPC before selling your home, failure to do so will prevent the sale.
When should I look for another home?arrow_downward
You should begin to look for another home to buy as soon as you decide to sell. However, to avoid putting yourself under any pressure, you should not make an offer on another home until a buyer has agreed to purchase your Shared Ownership home. When you agree to buy a home, it is in your best interest to make everyone involved aware of the timescales outlined in this section.
Can I sell back some or all of my shares to the housing association?arrow_downward
When a housing association buys back shared and allows you to rent the property this is known as flexible tenure. Flexible tenure is rare and is only granted in exceptional circumstances. You should approach your housing association if you do wish to sell back some or all of the shares in your Shared Ownership home.