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Selling a shared ownership property

25/06/2024
(Last Updated: 03/07/2024)
9 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Selling shared ownership properties can be more complicated than fully owned homes, mainly because you’re not the sole owner.
  • Top Tip: Don’t get caught out by surprises in the small print - a good solicitor will make sure you understand the terms and clauses of your shared ownership lease agreement and any restrictive covenants.
  • Even if you have not staircased to 100%, you can still sell your shared ownership property on the open market. The buyer will take over the existing agreement seamlessly.
  • When selling your shared ownership property, if you don’t have a valid EPC, you’ll need to get one before the sale.

Thinking about selling your property? It might seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, but with the right guidance, you can navigate the process smoothly and successfully.

Selling a shared ownership home involves a few more steps than selling a fully owned property, but understanding these steps can make the journey a lot easier.

Whether you're looking to move to a new area, need a larger space, or are simply ready for a change, we will help you through the process of selling your shared ownership property on the open market.


What is shared ownership?

The shared ownership scheme is designed to make buying a home more affordable. Instead of buying the whole property, you purchase a share - usually between 25% and 75% - and pay rent on the rest to a housing association or developer.

Over time, you can buy more shares until you own 100% of the property, a process known as "staircasing". The shared ownership scheme is a great way to get on the property ladder if buying a property outright isn’t an option.

A small wooden house next to a smattering of coins. Selling shared ownership property explained with SAM Conveyancing

Is it hard to sell a shared ownership property?

Selling any kind of property with an ownership structure can be difficult, including a shared ownership home.

The process of selling a shared ownership property is more complicated than a fully owned home, mainly because in most shared ownership leases you’re not the sole owner – the housing association, landlord, or developer owns a share, and this means their involvement is required throughout the sale process.

This means more steps, cooperation and coordination with your local authority, and getting certain permissions which are likely listed in your lease agreement.

With the proper planning and the right information, though, you can manage the process. Being proactive in communications with the housing provider and understanding the specific details of your lease is key.

What are the steps involved in selling shared ownership properties?

Check your lease

Start by digging out your lease agreement and giving it a full read. This document will outline all the conditions and procedures you need to follow to sell your property, including details on who pays for what in the sale and any restrictions that may apply.

Pay special attention to any clauses about notifying the housing association and the steps for getting the property valued and marketed.

Contact your housing association or local authority

Next, get in touch with your housing provider to let them know you want to sell. They usually have a set period (often 8 to 12 weeks) where they have the first opportunity to find a buyer for your share.

This is known as the "nomination period." If they find an eligible buyer within this time, it can simplify things for you.

Get a valuation

You’ll need an official valuation report of your property from a RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) accredited surveyor. This valuation will determine the current market value of your share. It’s a necessary step and something you’ll have to pay for, so be prepared for that cost.

A RICS valuation report is valid for three months. After receiving the report, you must submit it to your local authority or housing association. If the property remains unsold after three months, you will need to get a new valuation and pay for it.

If your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is over 10 years old, you will need to arrange and pay for a new one too. The EPC register is available to check if you need to get a new energy performance assessment or not.

Find a buyer and market your property

If the housing provider doesn’t find a buyer during the agreed nomination period (usually 4, 8, or 12 weeks), you can then market your property on the open market.

During the landlord's nomination period, the housing association or local authority will exclusively market the property and contact potential buyers.

Once this period ends, it means you can list your home with estate agents or on property websites to reach a wider audience. Make sure to highlight that it’s a shared ownership property, as this is a key detail for potential buyers.

A smiling SAM Conveyancing shared ownership buyer after purchasing their house using the government scheme.

Fill out the relevant paperwork

Selling a property comes with a fair bit of paperwork. You’ll need to complete several forms, including:

You will also need to provide a copy of your lease contract.

Instruct a solicitor

Once you have a buyer lined up, whether through the housing association or on the open market, it’s time to get a solicitor involved. They’ll handle all the legal aspects of the sale, making sure everything is in order and that the transfer of ownership goes smoothly.

It’s crucial to have a good solicitor to help navigate the complexities of shared ownership property selling. Finding someone with experience in shared ownership properties is a good idea if you can.

Looking to instruct a solicitor to help with your sale?

Get a fixed-fee no-obligation quote today for your sale. You’re also protected by our no sale no fee guarantee.



Completion

After all the paperwork is sorted and contracts are exchanged, you’ll reach the completion stage. The completion date is when the property sale is finalised, the shared ownership property is transferred to the buyer, and you get your money.

Selling a shared ownership property on the open market

Selling on the open market if you own 100%

If you’ve staircased to 100% ownership, you can sell your property just like any other home. This means you’re no longer tied to the housing association, and the process is more straightforward.

A diagram of staircasing for shared ownership properties. SAM Conveyancing can help with your market value, mortgage broker, and any shared ownership sales

Selling 100% of the shared ownership home if you only own a share

If you haven’t staircased to 100%, you can still sell your share on the open market. The buyer will take over your share and continue to rent the remaining share from the housing association.

Alternatively, you can sell 100% of the property in one go, with yourself and the housing association receiving your relevant shares of the sale proceeds, if the Housing Association give their consent. This will be done as per your lease terms.

What if you’re not satisfied with how your housing association is handling the sale?

If you feel that your housing association isn’t handling the sale properly, you have the right to make a formal complaint. Start by following the association’s complaints procedure. If you’re still not satisfied, you can take the issue to the Housing Ombudsman, who can investigate and help resolve the situation.


Shared ownership selling fees

  • Estate Agent Fees and Marketing : Costs for listing your property with estate agents or property websites. If your housing provider manages to sell for you, they could charge marketing fees of around £350 which will cover the cost of professional photographs, floor plans, and advertisement of the property.
  • Valuation Fees: Fees for the RICS-accredited valuation can end up being more depending on the value and size of the property. Our fees for this start from £360.
  • Outstanding Legal Fees: Solicitor’s fees for handling the sale, or legal fees for the housing association to handle the sale. This could be from £500 to £1,000.
  • Leasehold Pack: A fee for obtaining a leasehold information pack from the housing association. This can cost between £200 and £300 which will hold all the information for the buyer such as ground rent, the lease length, and any future maintenance planning.
  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate): If you don’t already have a valid EPC, you’ll need to get one. This can cost around £60 to £120.
  • Assignment Fee: Some housing associations charge a fee for assigning the lease to a new owner. This can be 1% of the total value of the property in some cases, and payable when the property sells. If you sell on the open market, you'll need to pay a similar percentage to the estate agent.

We can help you sell your shared ownership property

A dedicated member of the SAM team will support you from the initial discussion to exchange and completion.



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Jack Meadowcroft, Content Writer for SAM Conveyancing
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Jack is our resident Content Writer with a wealth of experience in Marketing, Content, and Film. If you need anything written or proof-read at a rapid speed and high quality, he's your guy

Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
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Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.


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