Selling your home

image: a couple packing after selling their home

image: a couple packing when moving home
If you own a share in a property through a shared ownership scheme and would like to sell, then the process is fairly straightforward. It can take longer than selling a property in the normal way through an estate agent but we are here to support you through the process.
 
A shared ownership resale can normally take between 3-6 months to complete. Sometimes it can be longer depending on individual circumstances (for example, if an issue or complication with older leases emerges).
 
Please note: The introduction of the temporary stamp duty holiday has seen a significant increase in sales. Our team are working through all sales as quickly as possible, however due to this increased demand it is taking slightly longer than normal to process new sales. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. For anything urgent please call us.

Step-by-step instructions on how to sell your existing shares are available below.

If you purchased your home from us but now own 100% of the property, then you can sell your property through an estate agent. We just ask that your solicitors send us the Notice of Assignment once you've sold your property so we can update our records.
 

Step 1 - Getting started…

To start the process of selling your home you first need to choose a RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) qualified surveyor to value your home.

Your resales officer will contact you before a surveyor is instructed if you live in a block to let you know if there are any issues with the external wall system of the block that could delay a sale from proceeding at mortgage application stage.

You can choose from our panel or select your own but you should let us know beforehand if you are choosing your own valuer as they will need to know your remaining lease term which will have an impact on the value of your property. We also don’t want you to instruct your own valuer if you live in a block and there are issues with the external wall system that could delay your sale.

Please refer to the information below named “Homeowners living in an apartment block” for further advice about how your sale could be affected and delayed if there is an issue with the external wall system of your block and an EWS1 certificate is not available.

There are then 3 things we need you to send us:

  • ‘Request to Sell’ form: This asks for information about your home. You need to complete, sign and return this form to us. Download here (PDF, 48KB).

  • ‘Terms and conditions’ form: Before confirming your decision to sell your share in your home, we need to make sure you're clear about our Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) of business. You need to complete, sign and return this form to us. Download here (PDF, 172KB).

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): this certificate ranks the energy efficiency of your home. We need you to send us a copy of this document. You may already have one from when you first bought your home from us. Depending on the age of your home, you may also be able to download it from www.epcregister.com. If you’re unable to locate your EPC, you’ll need to arrange one. You can search for EPC assessors on the EPC register website.

 

How to send your documents back to us?

Please send all completed documents to us by email at resales@optivo.org.uk or in the post with a cover letter to:

Optivo – Resales & Staircasing Team , First Floor
Grosvenor House
125 High Street
Croydon
CR0 9XP


We recommend you keep a copy of each of the documents for your own records, just in case you need to refer to them further down the process.
 

Step 2 – Your home is valued

We will contact your chosen surveyor within 10 working days of proceeding with your instructions and ask them to contact you to arrange a convenient time to value and take photos of your home. You will pay the surveyor directly for their services. They will then send the valuation report directly to us when it is available normally within 10 working days. 

Once you’ve been given the value of your home, this will usually be valid for 3 months. If your home is not formally under offer within this time, you may need to obtain a further updated valuation. We’ll discuss this at the time if necessary.

After we’ve received your valuation report we’ll send you a marketing approval form within 10 working days. Once we’ve received your marketing approval form we’ll market your property within 10 working days. We will ask you to approve all sales photos and information before we start marketing your home.

Step 3 - Finding a buyer

Once we’ve received all the documents (step 1) and have your valuation report and approved marketing information and photos (step 2), we can start the process of selling your home!

We have 8 weeks to sell your home – this is known as the ‘nomination period’. During this time we’ll encourage people to apply to us if they wish to purchase your home.

If we have more than one suitable applicant, those with the highest priority/eligibility/need for your home will be successful. This is the same process used when you first bought your home. 

If we cannot find a buyer during the 8 week nomination period, you are free to sell the share that you own or the property 100% outright through an estate agent. Further information about this can obtained from the Resales & Staircasing Team.

We’ll market your home on the Share to Buy website which is the main portal for people interested in buying through shared ownership.
 
We’ll encourage interested parties to contact you directly to arrange a viewing of your home. We’ll provide you with everything you need to give people when they visit (e.g. application forms and additional sales information). 

If after the viewing they want to find out more about your home or want to apply to buy the property, they’ll be told to contact us. If you need us to, we can also contact people on your behalf to support them with their application.

We usually put a ‘closing date’ on applications (especially if we feel there’ll be lots of interest in your home). This is initially shorter than the end of the 8 week nomination period.

The chosen buyer may already have a ‘Mortgage Promise’ from a Bank or Building Society. If not, we liaise with financial advisers to check they’ll have no problem getting a mortgage to buy your home. Please note that we aim to have your allocated buyer financially assessed and signed off within 10 working days and If all is agreed, we’ll then formally approve them as your buyer and will let everyone know.

Step 4 – Finalising the sale

Once we’ve approved your buyer and your home is formally under offer, you’ll need to appoint a Solicitor to help you to complete the sale. The buyer will do the same.

To speed things along, we always recommend instructing Solicitors who are familiar with Shared Ownership leases. Have a look at our website for a list of solicitors familiar with Shared Ownership sales.

We’ll instruct our own solicitors to act on Optivo’s behalf once we receive details of your Solicitor and your buyer’s Solicitors.

A fee of £200 is payable by you once the property is under offer for a pre-sale legal management pack requested by the buyer’s solicitor. If Optivo do not own the Freehold or manage the building, additional pre-sale legal enquiry fees may be payable to the Freeholder or their Managing Agent.

Should you need it our solicitors details are:
 
Jane Campbell,
Legal Counsel,
Optivo,
DX 155750 Croydon 40


We advise you not to start looking for another home until you’re at this stage of selling. However, please make your Solicitor aware straight away of any timescales you need them to meet, e.g. exchange dates specified on a home you’re thinking of buying.

The buyer’s mortgage lender (if applicable) will carry out a valuation of your home.

You will keep in touch with your solicitor for updates, and to agree a date for exchange of contracts and completion of the sale.

On completion day, you’ll arrange to meet your buyer at your home to hand over the keys and explain anything they may need to know about your home.

 

Homeowner living in an apartment block?

Some residents may be affected by the government's updated advice notes on building safety.

If you’re planning to change your mortgage, are thinking of selling, or want to buy more shares in your home, you need to consider that many lenders have now made changes to their conditions.

Read more.