The simple way to buy and sell shared ownership properties

The simple way to buy and sell shared ownership properties
28th May 2024

“One of the best things I’ve ever done is getting onto the property ladder through shared ownership,” says Tom, who bought his first property in Wokingham in 2020 aged 26.

Wokingham is notoriously expensive: with the average house price no less than £546,467 according to Zoopla, many first time buyers are forced to look elsewhere, away from family and friends.

But Tom, a Wokingham local had heard of shared ownership and was pleased to find out that he was eligible. To qualify you must have a household income no more than £80,000 (£90,000 in London), not own an additional property and meet some basic affordability checks as you would do with any mortgage. But that’s it.

“It was a huge weight off my shoulders to find that I could get on the property ladder sooner than I had expected to and I was able to buy a 50% share, which was fantastic,” says Tom. “If I wanted to ‘staircase’ to 100% ownership I could do.”

Adrian Plant, Director of SOWN, explains the benefits of shared ownership: “When you sit down to work out whether you can afford to buy it invariably works out a bit tight. But with shared ownership it’s the opposite - shared ownership often allows people to buy a larger property than they expected, or one in a better area. It’s a way of avoiding compromise while also saving the considerable cost and trouble of moving again in a few years’ time.”

When Tom chose to move, he sold his shared ownership property. “It’s a complete myth that you get locked into shared ownership,” he says. “After contacting my housing association and going through the nomination period, I got in touch with SOWN and went through the detail, which was all very straight forward. Whenever I had a question they were there – at the end of the phone or with a quick response to an email. That took just 24 hours and within five days of my property hitting the market I’d accepted an offer – it just what everyone wants when they sell a property. Like buying, selling was much easier than I had expected.”

Buying a shared ownership home is simple.  You can typically buy between 10% and 75% of the home's full market value and pay rent on the outstanding proportion. But over time, you’ll probably choose to increase, or ‘staircase up’ your ownership to gain a greater equity and pay less rent until you achieve full ownership.

When it comes to selling, that’s simple too. If the property is still under shared ownership (you haven’t staircased up to 100%), before putting your property on the market you’ll need to review your shared ownership agreement. This is because sometimes the housing association has the right of first refusal. In this case you’ll need to inform the housing association of your intention to sell. They then have the opportunity to find a buyer for your share within their nomination period before you are able to market it via an estate agent (although in some circumstances a housing association or provider will release you early from this period if they are unable to offer it to any buyers).

It’s no more difficult to sell a shared ownership property than a regular property – because you can sell it either as a shared ownership property and as a regular property. Any estate agent can market your property but it’s best to choose one with a dedicated specialist shared ownership department which really understands the process of shared ownership. SOWN, part of property specialists Leaders Romans Group, has this expertise and more. We can deal with everything related to your sale in-house and even offer specialist mortgage advice on your next purchase.

SOWN have been selling shared ownership homes since 2018 and now sell over 600 every year. With a huge database of potential purchasers, we can reduce the stress and keep you up to speed every step of the way. With a presence of 300+ high street branches, we have the reach to connect your property with the right buyers. And we don't just list properties - we make sure people see them. Your home will shine on the top property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla, Share To Buy, Keaze, New Homes For Sale, as well as social media.


Shared ownership could open the door to your dream home. But is it the right move for you?

We can help you decide.

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