Is Selling a Shared Ownership Property Difficult?

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

Selling a shared ownership property can be a little more complex than selling other types of property. In this guide, we explain all you need to know about selling a shared ownership property.  

What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership can be a useful way for someone to have a stake in a property even if they can’t afford the full deposit or mortgage payments. As the name suggests, with shared ownership, someone will buy a share in a property and also pay rent to a landlord. The landlord will own the other share of the property; they will usually be a housing association, local council, or other organisation.

Often, someone will buy a share between 10% and 75% of the home’s market value. The landlord will then own the other portion. The resident will pay rent based on the landlord’s portion and they may also pay ground rent and service charges for care of communal areas.

Residents will have the option to buy more shares in the property in the future, which will mean they pay less rent to the landlord. This is known as “staircasing”. Residents can increase their shares in the properties by increments, sometimes 1%, 5%, 10% or 25% over a period of time.

Are shared ownership properties hard to sell?

If you are able to staircase your way to owning 100% of the property, you will be free to sell on the open market whenever you would like. If you need to sell your house fast you could use a cash house buyer to secure a fast sale.

If you don’t own 100% of the property, it will still be shared, which can make it a little more complicated to sell. You will need to involve the landlord, and there are a few processes you will need to follow. Another issue that can make it more difficult to sell a shared ownership property is that there can be less interest, as the bulk of the market will be looking for full ownership properties.

How to sell a shared ownership property

Read your lease

How you sell your shared ownership property will depend on what sort of lease you have, so it’s best to take a look at your lease as the first step. If you have a “designated protected area – mandatory buyback” lease, you will not be able to sell it on the open market. Instead, you will need to inform your landlord you want to sell, and they will either buy back your portion or find a buyer themselves.

Inform your landlord

If you do not have this sort of lease, you will likely be able to sell on the open market yourself. However, first, you will need to tell your landlord you intend to sell. They then have a “nomination period” where they will have an opportunity to find a buyer. This nomination period can last either four, either, or 12 weeks, depending on your lease.

If the landlord has not found a buyer in the nomination period, and if they don’t want to purchase the shares themselves, you’ll then be able to sell your share on the open market.

Value your home

How much you receive for your share of the property when you sell will be based on the market value of the home. You will need to get your home valued by a surveyor who is registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

It will usually be your responsibility to pay for the valuation, but it could be either you or the landlord who will need to arrange for the valuation. You should speak to your landlord or check your lease to find out.

Market the home

Once you know the value of your home, you will be able to market your property for sale. You can do this via a traditional estate agent or an online estate agent, like Gaffsy. We can manage every step of the property sale for you, with a straightforward and transparent sales process.

Fees for selling a shared ownership property

If you decide to sell your shared ownership property, you will be responsible for paying all of the associated fees. To get your home valued by the RICS will cost around £250 to £500, depending on the size and location of your home.  

Selling a home will incur legal fees, which can typically cost around £1,000. You may also be liable for paying the legal fees of your landlord, which can cost around £500.

The landlord may also charge extra fees for selling the property, which should be noted in your lease. If they sell the home during the nomination period, they will typically charge you a percentage of the sales price, which is usually around 1.5%. They may also charge a marketing fee which can be around £300.

You will also need to pay for forms and certificates when you sell your shared ownership property. As shared ownership homes are usually sold as a leasehold, you will need to pay around £200 for a leasehold information pack, and also around £60 for an up-to-date EPC certificate.

You will also need to pay estate agent fees and commission unless you use a cash house buyer like Gaffsy. We don’t charge fees and we’ll even cover your legal costs.  

Help! I can’t sell my shared ownership property

Gaffsy can help if you need to sell a shared ownership property. We buy any house, any condition and any circumstance. We can secure a quick house sale, or if you need more time, we can work to your required timeframe. Our sales process is clear and transparent, with no hidden fees and no complications.

You can get a free cash offer for your home today.

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