All the questions and answers you'll need when looking to sell your shared ownership home.
Why can’t I just sell on the open market or to my friend?
You were helped to buy your home with public money, which is to help people who need housing. One of the conditions attached to this funding was that the home would be offered in the future to the person who needs it the most. Just as you benefitted, we now have a duty to help other people. We currently have a database of people waiting for shared ownership homes. If you decide to sell your shared ownership home, it is a condition of your lease that you give us the opportunity to find a buyer from our database.
How long does it take to sell your home?
The average time it takes to sell a home in the UK is twelve weeks. However this can all depend on a number of factors, such as any legal, survey or communication problems. So you should always be prepared for delays to occur.
What is a nomination period?
Most shared ownership leases give us a period of time in which to find a buyer for the property. Our standard nomination period is eight weeks. Depending on what your lease says, this is the length of time you are required to allow us to offer your home to our waiting list of buyers. The nomination period starts from when we receive a fully completed Shared Ownership Resale Application Form. If your lease doesn’t require you to do this you can usually sell your home on the open market straight away.
If at any time the information provided is found to be incorrect, the expired nomination period will be considered invalid and will start again when correct information has been provided. Any efforts to frustrate the sales process, such as not allowing viewing of your home, will also render the nomination period invalid.
How long does it take to market my property?
We will market your property on our website and to our waiting list of buyers within five working days of receipt of the fully completed Shared Ownership Resale Instruction Form.
Is there a waiting list?
We maintain a waiting list of people looking for shared-ownership homes. Different buyers will have different requirements of course, but we will contact any who have expressed an interest in properties that match the description of yours. New applicants can join our waiting list at any time, and these will also be provided with information of your property if it meets their requirements.
How are viewings arranged?
Viewings are arranged directly between you and any interested buyers who have registered with us. They will then contact you, at which point you can confirm the full property address and any directions.
How do you value my property?
You will need to provide a valuation from either an approved Valuer, or your own Valuer so long as they meet our requirements. More information on our approved Valuers and our requirements if you wish to use your own Valuer are contained in the Shared Ownership Valuation Request Form.
Who pays the Valuer for a valuation on my property?
You are responsible for paying the valuation fee directly to the company you choose.
What happens when the valuation expires?
You must ensure your valuation report is valid for three months. After this you can get an updated report if you need to but the Valuer can charge you a fee for this. If you already have a buyer interested you may decide to carry on with the existing value, but they may pull out if you get another valuation and put the price changes.
Where will you market my property?
We will market your property on our Guinness Homes Website. We do not use Zoopla, Rightmove or other commercial websites or estate agents.
Do I have to provide a property description before marketing?
You will need to fully complete the Shared Ownership Resale Instruction Form, which includes information about your home and the area. This is used for marketing purposes. This is because, as you are the current home owner, you will have a better idea of the selling points of your property which will appeal to a potential buyer.
When can we advertise our property on the open market?
You can advertise your property independently if we are unable to nominate a buyer within the nomination period. This would mean that you would still be offering your property on shared ownership terms, so any buyer would still have to be approved by us and meet the shared ownership requirements. We charge a separate fee for this, which you would be responsible for paying.
It is important to note that, if we are unable to nominate a buyer and you do attempt to sell on the open market, this is subject to a 12 month limit. So if you fail to sell during that time we will require the nomination opportunity again after 12 months.
Can Guinness continue to market my home outside the nomination period?
Yes we can. If you wish we can continue to offer your home to our waiting list of shared ownership buyers while you also try and sell on the open market. If we’re able to find a buyer in that time the same fee will be payable as if we had done so during the nomination period.
How long does it take between exchange of contacts and actual completion of the sale?
We require 10 full working days in-between exchange of contracts and completion of the sale to process all memorandums and issue notices.
What if there are Staircasing restrictions in my lease?
On some homes, you can never own 100% so you won’t have the option of Staircasing to 100% and selling on the open market. This only applies to a small number of homes. Your solicitor should have told you about this at the time you bought your home.
What do I do with my keys?
When you have sold your home, make sure you have a firm arrangement with the buyer about where they can collect your keys – you should only hand these over when your solicitors get the money for your home. It’s a good idea to leave the keys with your solicitor or a trusted friend or relative. We cannot look after or pass on your keys for you.
Can I put in an offer on another shared-ownership Guinness property before I sell my current one?
As an existing shared-owner, if you make an application for another shared-ownership property this will not be accepted unless we have written confirmation from your solicitor that your other home is sold subject to contract. This means that you must have a confirmed buyer who is actively going through the process of buying your home. We will not approve the final completion of your purchase however until the same time as you complete on the sale of your existing home. If this is not possible you will need to make your own arrangements for any time in-between selling your existing home and buying the new one.
How do I get a copy of my lease?
You should have been provided with a copy from your solicitor when you purchased your property. Alternatively, you can get a copy from your mortgage lender or from the UK Land Registry website.
What is my currently share of the property?
Your lease will state what shares were initially purchased when it was granted. If you have purchased any additional shares since then, your solicitor should have registered these with the Land Registry. So you can check there or speak to your solicitor.
Why do I have to pay a fee?
This is to cover our overheads incurred in managing the whole resale process, operating and maintaining a computerised database, approval of mortgage offers and checking eligibility. Overall, this fee makes sure that we can continue helping other people onto the property ladder.
How much are the fees?
A list of our fees is available on request.
I’m not happy with my valuation price, can I revaluate it again?
If you are not happy with the valuation you receive you will need to discuss it with your Valuer. We will only accept the Valuer’s decision however.
What pictures do you need to market my property?
We will need pictures of the front, back and all of the rooms inside. Our Shared Ownership Resale Information Pack has instructions on how we need the photographs to be taken.
What happens if I try and sell my home on the open market without informing Guinness?
In most cases we will simply refuse to approve the buyer. This will result in your sale falling through and everyone losing any fees they have already paid. You are responsible for understanding the terms of your lease, so it is important that you follow this.
In rare circumstances we may permit the sale to proceed. However due to the fact you have breached your lease you will be required to pay a penalty charge of £3,000 or 1.5%, whichever is the greater, of sale price for 100% of the equity.