Buying or selling a First Homes scheme property
Buying a First Homes property is like buying a normal market home.
The main difference is that your eligibility must be confirmed by us near the start of the purchase process.
How to buy a First Home
Contact the developer (or estate agent if you're buying from a previous First Homes buyer) and tell them you want to buy a First Home.
They'll help you to complete the application, then send it to us.
You'll have to pay a fee if the First Home you want to buy is a new build. The amount is set by the developer.
You'll get the fee back if your application is unsuccessful.
Find step-by-step instructions in the First Homes Early Delivery Programme: customer guide (notes for buyers) on GOV.UK.
What happens next
We will check your application to make sure you're eligible.
We'll then contact you to tell you about our decision. We'll also contact the developer and your mortgage advisor.
If your application was missing any information, we may ask you to provide it.
If your First Homes application is approved
Follow these steps:
Hire a conveyancer - this is a solicitor who can help you with the purchase.
Apply for your mortgage.
Make sure your conveyancer follows any instructions we send them.
Complete any legal documents we send you.
After you've got a mortgage offer and agreed a contract with the developer, your conveyancer will ask us if you can exchange contracts.
We will check the conveyancer's request to make sure it's legal and tell you when we've decided.
How to buy a home
Buying a home is often the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. It is really important you have the right information, at the right time, to ensure you make informed decisions.
You can find general guidance on how to buy a home on GOV.UK.
Find a conveyancer
This can be either a conveyancing solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. You can:
- find a conveyancing solicitor on the Law Society website
- find a licensed conveyancer on the Council for Licensed Conveyancers website
Instructions for your conveyancer
Your conveyancer will work on your purchase and follow our instructions. You will have to make a further legal declaration that you are eligible and understand the terms of the First Homes scheme and that you can only resell the home in the future to another eligible First Homes buyer.
You need to pay your deposit at the same time as you exchange contracts with the developer. After you do this, you are legally committed to buying the home.
When you've exchanged contracts, the developer sets a completion date. This is the date when the home will be ready for you to move in.
Completing the purchase
On the completion date, your conveyancer transfers the money from your mortgage to the developer, you get the keys and can move in.
Selling the property
When you buy your First Homes scheme property, a restriction on its future resale will be registered on the title of the property by your conveyancer.
This means you can only sell to another qualifying First Homes buyer at the same percentage discount that you got, based on the home's market value at the time of sale. This allows the First Home to continue benefiting others.
You'll need to get the property valued by a surveyor who's registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
You will also need to hire a conveyancer - this is a solicitor who can help you with the sale.
Instructions for your conveyancer
When you have found a conveyancer your will need to ask them to contact us. They will work on your sale and follow our instructions.
How to sell a home
You can find general guidance on how to sell a home on GOV.UK.