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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

  • How much will it cost?

    You will need to pay for:

    • A valuation report written a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors member

    • Your solicitors fees

    • Our solicitor’s fees - £390 including VAT

    • The resale fee mentioned in your lease. (If there is no mention of a fee in your lease we will charge £1200 including VAT if your home sells within the nomination period or £540 including VAT if your home sells after the nomination period.


  • Why can’t I just sell on the open market or to my friend?

    We used public money to help fund your home and we need to ensure this is protected to help others in the future. One of the conditions attached to this funding was that the home would be offered in the future to another eligible person.

    Just as you benefited, we continue to have a duty to help others find a home.

    We have a database of people waiting for Shared Ownership homes and 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.

    If we can’t find a buyer, we can give you permission to sell on the open market through an estate agent. We will give you advice if this happens. We want to be reasonable, if we can’t find a buyer, we’ll let you know as soon as we can. You can then choose to sell your share through an estate agent or you may be able to sell 100% of your property. It depends on your lease restrictions.

  • How long will it take to sell my 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 instruction to sell your home. 

    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 your instruction to sell.

  • Is there a waiting list?

    We do 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 customers 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.

    When a buyer submits an enquiry form on your property listing this will come to you directly by email so that you can arrange a viewing.

  • How do you value my property?

    There are a few different options. Take a look at our options page to find out more information.

  • Who pays for the valuation on my home?

    You are responsible for paying the survey directly to the company you choose.

    There is a free option if you sell the same share than you currently own.

    Take a look at our options page to find out more information.

  • What happens if my 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.

    You might want to ask them about these fees when you initially instruct them as sometimes sales can take longer than three months.

    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 the price changes.

  • Where is my property advertised?

    We will advertise 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 it is advertised?

    When you complete your instruction form we'll ask you some information about your home so we can make your property listing the best it can be.

  • 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 will happen with the keys to my home?

    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 buy 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 Guinness a fee for selling my home?

    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.

  • I’m not happy with my sale price, can I have my property revalued?

    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.

    Read our tips on taking great property photos.

  • 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.

  • What happens if I sell my share on the open market?

    If you sell your share on the open market, we have an obligation to financially assess your buyer to make sure they are eligible and can afford the payments on a shared ownership property. We will explain this further if we give you permission to sell on the open market.

    We will charge the resale fee as determined in your lease. If the fee is not specified we will charge £540 including VAT.

    You will also have to pay fees to an estate agent if you use one.

  • What happens if I sell 100% of my property on the open market?

    You will need to buy the remaining shares of your property (this is known as ‘staircasing’).

    You don’t have to raise the money yourself; your solicitor will use the money from your buyer on the day the sale completes. We will need a valid RICS valuation report on completion to confirm that the agreed sale price reflects prices on the current market.

    We will charge the resale fee as determined in your lease. If the fee is not specified we will charge £540 including VAT. You will also have to pay fees to an estate agent if you use one.

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