One of the most common frustrations when buying any property is losing out on your dream home because you can’t find a buyer for the one you live in now. Part exchange is one potential solution to that problem, but it’s not suitable for everyone. Most of the larger big house builders offer part exchange. However, if you are living in a location where the housing market is buoyant you should avoid part exchange if you want the best possible price for your property. House builders can sometimes tend to be vague about how a purchase price is arrived at. But there may be certain circumstances where it might be worth suffering a small loss on your existing home to enable you to move into the home of your dreams. For example, this could be because you are struggling to
sell or you need to relocate quickly for a new job or the start of the school term.
WHAT IS PART EXCHANGE?
You might have previously used a part exchange scheme when buying a new car. In that instance, you would use your old car as partial payment towards the new car, so that you have less to pay in cash or credit. The same applies to homes. Some sellers – specifically, some house builders – will allow you to use your current home as partial payment towards a home you want to buy from them. To take advantage of part exchange, you need to be a homeowner looking to move up the ladder. Most home builders will only consider homes worth up to a certain percentage of the value of the new home.
Using a part exchange scheme:
• You have a guaranteed buyer for your property and don’t need to wait for offers
• You won’t be part of a property chain, as both your sale and purchase are with the same party
• Your transaction can therefore move at a pace that suits you both, with fewer delays
• You won’t need to pay estate agent fees, which could potentially save you approximately 1% to 3% of the property value
WHEN IS PART EXCHANGE AVAILABLE?
Part exchange is only available when buying a new property from certain house builders. It wouldn’t be an option if you’re buying an older property from the current owner.
HOW DOES PART EXCHANGE WORK?
First, you’ll need to find a property you want to buy from a house builder who offers a part exchange
scheme. You may need to pay a reservation fee when you make an offer. Next, the house builder will
undertake a valuation of your current home and make a part exchange offer. This may be lower than you could achieve on the open market, so you’ll need to weigh this up against the benefits of part exchanging. Most will claim they will get at least two estate agent valuations for your property and then make an offer. If you decide to accept the offer, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer to manage the transaction. You’ll also apply for a mortgage at this stage. Once your transaction is complete and you have moved into your new home, the property developer will sell your old home to someone else.
DO I NEED A SPECIALIST SOLICITOR OR CONVEYANCER FOR PART EXCHANGE?
You can choose any solicitor or conveyancer to manage the transaction and, as always, you should
consider personal recommendations or testimonials. Some will have more experience in part exchange, which could be an advantage. The house builder might suggest a conveyancer they have an existing relationship with.
WILL I QUALIFY FOR PART EXCHANGE?
Not all properties will qualify for part exchange. If your current home could be difficult to sell, for
example, because of a short lease, a structural issue, Japanese knotweed or poor condition, the house builder may not want to take it on as they’ll risk losing money.
WHAT ARE MY OTHER OPTIONS?
You might choose not to part exchange, either because you think you can get more money from another buyer or because you decide to buy a different property. In that case, your options are the same as usual. You can list your property for sale, either with a local estate agent or online estate agent, or sell it at auction. If you consider that going down the part exchange route is right for you, it is important to negotiate as hard as you can, and not just accept the first offer that is made to you. As well as negotiating on the part exchange price, don’t forget to also negotiate the purchase price for
the new property as you would in a normal transaction.