Affordable housing: selling
If you decide that you want to sell your affordable home there is a simple 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 as well as telling you who can buy the property and that the purchaser will normally have to seek permission from us.
If you need help to understand the terms of your Section 106, you can contact our Affordable Housing Officers for general information by calling 01539 733 333 or consult your solicitor for advice.
Find a RICS chartered surveyor
Prior to marketing your home, your first step will be to get a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) registered chartered surveyor to provide a market valuation for your property. This will be at your cost.
You must use someone local because they will know the local housing market and have experience of valuing properties in the area.
They will visit your property and complete a valuation. This must:
- state that the value is to the RICS definition of open market value ignoring all Section 106 restrictions
- state that we can rely upon the valuation
- certify that the value has been reached independently of the parties to the transaction
- the report must be in a specific format, for more details your surveyor can contact our Affordable Housing Officers or request a copy from our Property Valuers at Lambert Smith Hampton
Checking the valuation
Once the valuation has been carried out, your surveyor must send their original report to Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), our independent valuers who will assess the valuation. Alternatively the report can be sent to our Affordable Housing Officers, who will forward it on accordingly.
You will then receive a letter confirming a valuation and the discounted price which will be the maximum the property can be sold or advertised.
Marketing your home
Once the valuation has been assessed, you can market the property in much the same way as any other property; in the local newspaper, with local Estate Agents and online property search sites such as RightMove and Zoopla. However, publicity must stipulate that the property is an 'affordable property' or 'subject to a section 106 agreement' and that 'buyers must be approved by South Lakeland District 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 complete and return to us a Low Cost Home Ownership application form so that we can check they qualify to purchase your home. Processing an application may take up to 15 working days.
Once the application is assessed, 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 won't sell
Unfortunately buying and selling homes can be stressful and sometimes selling any home can take a while. However, contained in most Section 106 Agreements there is a process called 'cascading' which may make it easier 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 things like; declutter the home, decorate, clean up and consider whether the asking price should be reduced. 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 future sales.
Please note that 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.