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% of my Shared Ownership home if I only own a share?arrow_downward
This process is called back-to-back staircasing, or simultaneous sale, and you may have the option to do this if you haven’t been able to sell your Shared Ownership home through your housing provider or on the open market.
As part of this process, you are allowed to sell for more than your valuation amount but 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, meaning that you will not have to borrow extra money to pay for the remaining share.
Can I sell my Shared Ownership home through an estate agent?arrow_downward
If your housing provider is unable to find a buyer within the nomination period, you can choose to sell privately or through an estate agent of your choice.
If you decide to sell your home to another Shared Ownership purchaser, your housing provider would check that the buyer you have found meets the relevant eligibility criteria, just as you did when you bought your home.
How can I ensure my Shared Ownership sale goes as quickly as possible?arrow_downward
To help speed up the sales process, 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 association has instructed their solicitors, your provider will not have any direct involvement with the sale, however they are able to assist where required.
What happens if I don't agree with the surveyor's valuation when selling my Shared Ownership home??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 three comparables of similar properties that have sold within the last three months. They can also put you in touch with the surveyor to discuss your concerns with them directly.
Are home improvements taken into consideration when carrying out valuations on a Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
When you sell your home, the surveyor 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 during your time in the property.
What if my housing provider is unable to find a Shared Ownership buyer for my home?arrow_downward
If your housing provider is unable to find a buyer for your home within the nomination period, they will write to you to say you are free to sell your home privately or through an estate agent at a price which is not less than that set by the valuer.
You can sell your current share or you may decide to sell 100% of your home via the back-to-back staircasing process.
What if the Shared Ownership buyer my housing provider finds does not proceed with the purchase?arrow_downward
When it comes to selling a property, both the buyer and seller have the right to withdraw from the sale before contracts of sale are exchanged. If this happens, your housing provider will try to find another buyer.
However, if it is past your provider’s nomination period, your housing provider could allow you to try and sell via an estate agent, while also continuing to look for a buyer themselves.
What happens if the valuation expires on my Shared Ownership home during the resale process?arrow_downward
A valuation will usually last for three months, and if yours is due to expire, your housing provider can try to arrange an extension. If this is not possible, a new valuation will need to be obtained; a current valuation is required to complete a sale, and you would be required to pay any additional fees for this.
Do I need to commission an EPC to sell my Shared Ownership home?arrow_downward
It is a legal requirement to commission an EPC before selling your home, and failure to do so would prevent the sale from going ahead.
I'm selling my Shared Ownership property, when should I start looking for another home?arrow_downward
You should begin to look for another property as soon as you decide to sell. However, to avoid putting yourself under any pressure, you should not make an offer on another property 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
If a a housing association buys shares back and allows you to rent the property, this is known as flexible tenure. Flexible tenure is rare and only granted in exceptional circumstances.
If you wish to sell some or all of your shares back to your provider, you should approach your housing association to discuss your options.