What to expect from your purchasing interview

If you want to buy a Shared Ownership home you'll need to do a purchasing interview with us. We speak to sales consultant Gareth Thomas to find out more.


At what stage in the process of buying a house does the purchasing interview happen?

The purchasing interview will take place when you've come along to a viewing, seen a property and selected some choices for the properties you'd like to be considered for. We run these preferences through our system which checks them against the priorities that the Local Authority sets. If you’re successful then we'll contact you to offer you a home and you’ll have twenty-four hours to decide if you want to proceed with the purchase. If you tell us that you’d like to buy the property then we schedule a purchasing interview with you which will take place a few days later so you have time to prepare the required documentation.

What is the purpose of the interview?

There are two sections to the interview. In the first half we go through the financial breakdown of buying one of our properties. We want to make sure it’s affordable for you. It’s at this stage you'll also find out what the monthly mortgage repayments, rent payments and service charges are likely to be.

In the second half we'll talk you through the key terms of the Shared Ownership lease and the buying process. We'll discuss things like what it means to be a leaseholder and if there are any restrictions in regard to the purchase, such as parking provision or pet ownership. At the end of the interview you should know how the sales process will work and of course you can ask use any questions you may have.

How long does it take?

It depends on how many questions you have but typically the purchasing interview takes around an hour.

What do people need to prepare?

Before the interview we need customers to have completed a financial assessment with one of our mortgage advisors. You don’t have to use the mortgage advisor that we suggest as your broker but we do need you to go to a financial advisor to get a fair assessment of each of our buyers.

Then there are five pieces of documentation that we would need to see at least 24 hours before the interview: proof of identity, two forms of proof of address, copies of your last three months' payslips or last three years SA302 forms from HMRC if you are self-employed, your last three months’ bank statements and proof of your savings. In some cases we might ask for additional documentation to ensure that we have calculated your affordability correctly.

Is the interview always done over the phone?

Yes that is generally what we look to do. However, if we need to do the interview in person due to your personal circumstances then we can arrange to do that. The interview will take place during normal working hours.

Are there any trick questions?

No! It's all fairly straightforward. We go through everything in lots of detail and customers can ask any questions they might have. We do go through your finances to make sure that we can sell you a property because of rules in regard to income caps and ensuring homes are sold within affordability guidelines. We appreciate that this is personal information and it is held confidentially and we will make you aware of our requirements in advance.

What's the next step after the interview?

If you’re happy to go ahead with the sale we set a couple of further deadlines; one of which is a few days later when we need you to provide us with your solicitor's details and for you to start getting your mortgage in place. A few days later we also ask you to supply your reservation fee over the phone via direct debit and we will agree key dates for your sale such as the deadline for exchange of contracts. Once we have all of that information we will instruct our solicitors and your solicitors and we'll get the sale underway.

What question do people ask you the most during the purchasing interview?

People often ask if they need to use one of our recommended solicitors. You don't need to but it can help speed up the process as they'll stay in touch with us and they have been selected for our panel due to their experience in dealing with Shared Ownership sales and first time buyers. If you choose another solicitor you have to make sure that they're familiar with Shared Ownership otherwise there could be delays to the buying process.

Thanks Gareth!

Take a look at our Shared Ownership Homes