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Selling a Shared Ownership Property

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The unique ownership structure of a shared ownership property makes it a bit more complex when it comes to selling. But fear not, we’ll guide you through the process, addressing how you can sell a partial share, exit a shared ownership scheme, and transfer your share.

Selling a shared ownership property

Shared ownership properties are partly owned by the buyer and partly by a housing association.

So, when it comes to moving you need to consider the other party. This can make the selling process a bit more complicated, as you must adhere to specific rules and some restrictions that come into play with shared ownership schemes.

So, preparation when it comes to getting the sale ready is important.

A good estate agent will be able to guide you through the process of selling a shared ownership property.

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Exiting a shared ownership scheme

Exiting the scheme means either selling your share or buying more shares, which is known as ‘staircasing’.

By buying all the shares, you basically buy the rest of the property to own it entirely.

Transferring your shared ownership share

In certain circumstances, like a change in the family dynamics or financial situation, you can transfer your shared ownership share to another person. This option is not so common and is subject to specific conditions set by the housing association.

How to sell a shared ownership property?

Selling a partial share of shared ownership property, such as 25%, without staircasing (or buying more shares) involves a few specific steps. Here’s how the process generally works:

1. Valuation

Before you start, you will need to get an updated valuation of the property by a solicitor. This is to determine the value of your share. The property may have gone up or down in value since you last bought it.

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2. Inform the housing association

Once you’ve received your house valuation, you’ll need to notify the housing association of your intent to sell. Housing associations typically have an 8-week period where they have the right to find a buyer for your share before you can offer it on the open market. This is known as the ‘nomination period’.

3. Marketing your share

If the housing association does not find a buyer during the nomination period, you can market the property yourself or through an estate agent.

Working with an estate agent, who is familiar with the local area and how shared ownership properties work can help. They know how to navigate the complexities involved and can market your home in front of the right buyers.

4. Finding a buyer

The shared ownership scheme is mainly aimed at first-time buyers, but the scheme is also intended to help people back on the property ladder. Thinking of people who used to own a home but can’t afford to buy now. An estate agent can be invaluable in this process. They can help market your property effectively. Ensuring it reaches potential buyers through various channels, including online property listings and social media platforms.

If you have found a buyer, the housing association will likely need to approve the buyer too. An estate agent can help by screening potential buyers to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria of the shared ownership scheme. Before presenting them to the housing association for approval.

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Once the right buyer for your home has been found and the housing association has approved the buyer then the sale can proceed. You will need to engage a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the transfer.

This includes ensuring all paperwork is in order. The sale complies with the terms of the shared ownership scheme and managing the funds transfer.

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6. Completion

Completion involves the transfer of ownership, or in this case, the shares to the buyer. From this point onwards the buyer will enter into a new lease agreement with the housing association for the remaining share of the property.

For anyone looking to sell or transfer their shared ownership property, it is advisable to start with a clear understanding of your ownership terms. Seek professional advice early in the process. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on shared ownership properties.


Last Updated: May 24th, 2024

Phil Spencer

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