Affordable housing: selling your affordable home
Last Updated: 21 June 2023
If you decide that you want to sell your affordable home there is a specific procedure to follow.
Check the section 106 agreement
The Section 106 Agreement attached to your property will normally provide the information you need to sell your house, including; obtaining a valuation, stating the maximum percentage of the market value you are able to advertise and sell your home, who can buy the property and that the purchaser will normally have to be approved by us.
If you need help to understand the terms of your Section 106, you can consult your solicitor for advice or contact our Affordable Housing Officers for general information by calling the number below.
Find a RICS chartered surveyor
Prior to marketing your home, your first step will usually be to get an independent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) registered chartered surveyor to provide an open market valuation for your property. This will be at your cost.
You must use someone local as they will know the local housing market and have experience of valuing properties in the area. Your chosen RICS surveyor must visit your home and provide their report using this Valuation Guidance (DOC 189KB / 5 pages).
If your surveyor does not use the specified format it will be rejected by our valuers and your surveyor will have to resubmit it in the format prescribed here.
Checking the valuation
You must send your RICS surveyor’s report to the affordable housing email below and we will forward it for assessment to our independent valuers.
You will then receive a letter confirming a valuation and the discounted price which will be the maximum the property can be sold and advertised. If our valuers have concerns about your surveyor's valuation report, for example the value is not justified or the report in the wrong format, you will be notified and will not be able to market your home until this is resolved.
Marketing your home
Once the valuation has been agreed, you can market the property. The publicity must stipulate that the property is an 'affordable property', 'subject to a section 106 agreement' and that 'buyers must be approved by Westmorland and Furness Council'. You should check your Section 106 Agreement prior to putting your home on the market as there may be other criteria, particularly if your home is Shared Ownership or Shared Equity.
We hold an informal database of people who are looking for affordable properties. We can pass your property details on to them if you wish. You must let us know if you want us to do this.
Once you have found a buyer
Any interested buyers will need to by approved by us. Once we have all the documentation we need from the applicant, processing an application may take up to 15 working days.
We will notify the purchaser in writing of our decision. If the applicant is approved, they will need our decision letter in order to go ahead with the purchase.
What if your property is struggling to sell
Buying and selling homes can be stressful and selling any home can take a while. However, contained in most Section 106 Agreements there is a process called 'cascading' which may help you to find a buyer. Before beginning the cascade process you should make sure that you are doing all you can to promote your property. Talk to your estate agent for advice, they may suggest; declutter the home, decorate, clean up, reduce asking price. You may decide to change Estate Agents. You will need to tell us what has been done to market your home.
The cascade process may state that, if there is no buyer after your property has been marketed for a certain length of time, such as 12 weeks, we can look at a temporary relaxation of the 'local connection' part of the Section 106.
It may also state that after a further period of time, such as 8 weeks and you still don't have a buyer, we may permit temporary relaxation of the 'housing needs' rule.
This process is used as a last resort. Such restrictions will only be relaxed for this sale and will reapply for all future sales.
All Section 106 Agreements are different and there have been many variations over time. If you are unsure whether yours contains a cascade process, contact your solicitor or our Affordable Housing Officers.