- What to do if you want to sell your property
Selling your home
The rules on selling are set out in the Shared Ownership Lease given to you when you bought your home. Leases can vary, but normally they give a ‘nomination period’ to enable us to find a new buyer for your share of the home. If we cannot find a buyer within this time, you can then sell your home on the open market.
Some properties may have specific restrictions on who can own them e.g. key workers, people over 55’s, therefore in order to comply with any relevant planning, legal agreements or funding restrictions the re-sale of these properties will be similarly restricted to those who fulfill these restrictions.
Before committing to sell we recommend doing some research on the local property market. Compare prices of properties that are similar to yours in your local area, combining online research with estate agents estimates. Once you decide to sell you will need to pay for valuations and solicitors so knowing if it is a good time to sell will possibly save you a lot of money.
Once you have done your own research and you definitely know that you can and want to sell you will need to let us know. We can arrange for a valuation to be carried out, or you may wish to instruct your own valuation (any valuation must be carried out by a RICS qualified surveyor), you will need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), before we begin to advertise the property for sale.
When you signed your contract with us you will have noted a clause which states we will try to sell your property for you during the first eight weeks of sale. This is called the ‘nomination period’
During this period, you are unable to sell your home privately or through an estate agent. If we are unable to find a buyer by the end of this period, you will be able to sell your home privately or through an estate agent. If you choose to sell on the open market through an Estate Agent, you must sell at a price not less than that set by the valuer. Please remember that you will be responsible for all costs incurred. The buyer must still be approved by us.
You will usually be required to pay an ‘assignment fee’ to us. This covers the cost of the work we will do in connection with your sale. Details of this fee are usually contained in your lease. If your lease does not contain these details, we will still charge you a reasonable amount to cover the cost of this work.
When you agree to your home being marketed by us at this price, the start of the nomination period (described above) will begin.
The buyer we nominate and to whom you agree to sell then has 12 weeks to complete the purchase. If a sale cannot be agreed to one of the people we have chosen within the nomination period, or they fail to complete within 12 weeks, you will be able to sell your shared on the open market, via an estate agent if you wish.
Why is there a nomination period?
All shared ownership properties have this as a clause in the contract. This is to ensure that housing associations can try to sell it to other people who are on low to moderate incomes.
Valuing your home
An independent valuation must be carried out by a Member or Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and be based on vacant possession of the whole property in its current condition. We can arrange for this on your behalf or you can instruct a suitably qualified surveyor directly. An estate agents valuation is not sufficient for this purpose.
You will need to complete and return the ‘Notification of Intention to sell a shared ownership property form’, which comes with this guide. When you agree to your home being marketed by us at this price, the start of our nomination period (described above) will begin.
Under the terms of the lease you must pay for the valuation.
On receipt of the valuation report, HS will confirm the value of your share. It is important to note that the valuation is valid for 3 months only.
What happens if I don’t agree with the valuation from the surveyor?
From time to time, housing providers receive concerns from vendors that the amount the home has been valued for it under or over what they expected. If we have instructed the valuation, we can challenge the surveyor on your behalf but would require three comparable properties that have sold within the last 3 months as evidence. We can also put you in touch with the surveyor to discuss your concerns with them directly.
You must notify Housing Solutions in writing, within 3 months of the date of valuation, if you wish to proceed with the sale of your share, as the valuation is only valid for this period. You will also need to send a copy of your Energy Performance Certificate.
How much can I sell my share for?
The share you own may not be sold for less than the market valuation. This is a condition of the lease.
Energy performance certificates
You will need to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is required by law before you can sell your home. EPC’s were introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings. For more information, and to find a registered and accredited Domestic Energy Assessors and Home Inspectors go to www.epcregister.com
So that we can market your home effectively, we will produce sales details for your home highlighting the features and benefits you have told us about, including any photographs that will enhance these.
We will list your property on our website and on the local Help to Buy Agents website. The property will state the percentage you currently own. We will let you know:
•if there are any prospective purchasers who have registered with a Help to Buy Agent for shared ownership. We will write to them to see if they are interested and put you in touch with them to arrange a viewing
•if there are any restrictions in place on the sale of your property e.g. the property may only be sold to people living or working in the local area
•the maximum % share in your property that can be purchased
•when you can put the property on the market with an Estate Agent
Once a buyer is found we will:
•arrange for checks to be carried out, with the local Help to Buy Agent, to ensure any potential viewer is eligible in principle for shared ownership
•arrange for a full financial assessment to be carried out to ensure that the prospective buyer is able to purchase the property
•provide information to your solicitor as well as the buyer’s solicitor once a sale is agreed.
Who can buy my home?
Any purchaser buying a share must qualify for shared ownership and register with a Help to Buy Agent.
We will also carry out a more detailed assessment to ensure the purchaser meets our eligibility criteria and any specific requirements within the lease, planning, legal agreements or funding requirements.
We are required to approve the mortgage offer for any purchaser and consent to the purchase as this is usually a condition of the lease.
Availability for viewings
You will need to send us your availability for viewings, either as block bookings which we will organise for you or we can pass on your details to perspective buyers to arrange viewings directly with you.
Evenings and weekends are best if you can make the time. Prepare your home for viewings – remember first impressions last and you want people to see the property in the best possible light. Make your home welcoming, tidy and clean, paint over any marks on the walls and keep colour natural. This will help perspective buyers image their own things and themselves in the property.
Think of important and interesting things that potential buyers would like to know about the property, such as storage space, what time of day the sun comes through the living room window, and if they have children tell them how many local schools are in the vicinity.
As soon as we hear from a perspective buyer that they are interested in the property we will let you know. We will arrange for them to have a financial assessment carried out, with our assessors JDC, who will ensure that they meet the criteria for the shared ownership scheme. We will keep your informed of how this progresses. Once we know that the perspective buyer has a mortgage in principle, agreed with a lender, we will let you know and offer the buyer to purchase the property.
Once you accept the offer we will instruct yours, ours and the buyers solicitors that this is the case. The solicitors raise any questions and management enquiries about the property with us and will prepare the final sale documents.
If no buyer has been found during the nomination period you can decide that you want to sell your property on the open market you can then take your property to an estate agent (or you can sell it yourself) who will take you through the standard process of selling a property.
Once you have found a buyer you will to confirm this in writing and provide the following details to us:
•confirmation of the share
•buyers full solicitors details
•your solicitor details
Once you have told us that you have a buyer you will need to instruct your solicitor to proceed with the sale. We will also instruct our solicitors, who will then contact your solicitor to provide further instructions. The buyer will instruct their solicitor. Our solicitors will liaise with each other after this point up to completion. Your solicitor will update you on the progress of the sale.
Your solicitor will contact us with any management enquiries about your home. You will be charged for this on behalf of your buyer.
Yours and the buyer’s solicitors will arrange with you to exchange contracts to be signed. It is most likely at this point that you will be notified of the completion date. The property is now legally the buyers.
You will exchange and sign contracts with the buyer through your solicitors. At this point, you will be given the date for completion which means you need to leave the property and hand over the keys. The property is now legally the buyer’s.
Handing over keys
Completion takes place at which point you will need to leave the property. All fees will be paid to us, the solicitors and lenders. We will then set up an account with the buyer. You are no longer a shared owner with Housing Solutions.
What fees are payable?
When you sell your home your costs include:
•any mortgage payments due to your bank or building society
•any outstanding rent or service charges
•your solicitors fee
•Housing Solutions' solicitors fee, for registering the lease to a new owner
•Housing Solutions' fee for finding your buyer, assessing the shared ownership criteria and arranging the sale
If you instruct an estate agent to sell your property you will be responsible for their fees. An agent will typically charge you 1-2% of the market value for their marketing services
Rent and service charges
You are responsible for paying these charges until you leave your home. If you need to claim money back, you should take it up with your solicitor.