House prices are steadily falling, and it is getting harder and harder for people to sell their homes, so what can you do when you have found the house of your dreams on the new housing estate a few miles away but you are concerned you won’t be able to sell your home fast enough to buy it? Many of the major homebuilders like Miller Homes, Bloor and Bovis, as well as some of the smaller, more local developers have schemes in place that allow you to part-exchange your home against one of their new builds.

There are many advantages to the part exchange schemes, the most obvious of which is that you have the ability to sell you home quickly – and because you are selling direct to the developer, it cuts out the problems faced with chains.

To qualify for the schemes most housing developers ask that you have been trying to sell your home for a period of approximately eight weeks; if at that point your home hasn’t sold the exchange scheme kicks in. The developer will then arrange for at least two independent valuations on your current home, and will typically offer you approximately 90 – 95% of the value of your home based on the valuations they have received.

If you are happy with the offer made, and decide to accept it, then the buying process continues as normal, but with the developer being your buyer, you are left free to put in the offer on your chosen new home.

Not every home will be eligible for the schemes, and each of the schemes will vary in their details from developer to developer so it is always wise to make sure you know the details of the particulars of the scheme you are looking at using – but there are some general pointers that will apply to most of the schemes that will allow you to part-exchange your home.

  • Your current home should be in good condition – i.e. structurally sound, have a good order of decoration, and be basically saleable. Look around your property; if there is anything there that would make you hesitate as a potential buyer, then there is a fair chance it may make the developer hesitate to put in the offer you would want.
  • Certain types of property are often excluded, but again check this with the developer you have chosen, as they will vary from company to company, and even possibly development to development. It is fairly common for properties like mobile homes and studio flats to be excluded from part exchange, but some also will exclude properties with flat roofs for example.
  • There may be a limit to how many miles there can be between your current home, and your desired property.
  • Be aware that there may be a fee held to ensure that your current home is in a satisfactory state when you leave it, this is usually refunded once they have inspected it and are satisfied.