Can You Sell a House With an Existing Equity Release Plan in 2024?

Selling your house after taking out equity release usually involves repaying the loan and any interest from the sale proceeds. Equity release providers have "no negative equity" guarantees, ensuring you never owe more than the home's value.
  • Last Updated: 11 Jun 2024
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Francis Hui
Learn About the Advantages and Drawbacks of Selling a House With an Existing Equity Release Plan. Discover How to Maximise Your Asset.
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Key Takeaways
  • If you decide to sell your house after taking out equity release, the amount you owe must be paid off using the sale’s earnings—proceeds from the sale pay off your equity release debt, with leftovers going back into your pocket.
  • Watch out: Your sale’s profit might take a hit after clearing the loan, and early repayment fees may apply if you opt to sell during the plan.
  • Before selling, chat with your provider about and understand potential fees, pick a solid estate agent, and make sure the sale can handle the loan payoff.

Selling a house with equity release is a complex balancing act between financial strategy and property tactics, one that offers potential gains but also comes with inherent risks that require careful navigation.

Circumstances change, and you may one day want to move closer to family or downsize to a more manageable property.

Putting your home on the market can be daunting at the best of times, but now you may also need to consider an equity release loan.

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    The Every Investor team will guide you through potential challenges and opportunities, providing you with the essential knowledge needed to make an informed decision.


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    Selling House with Equity Release

    Can I Sell My House if I Have Equity Release?

    Yes, you can sell your house with equity release, subject to the terms of their agreement.

    What Is Equity Release and How Does It Work?

    Equity release offers a way for individuals over 55 to unlock the financial value of their home. It’s a financial tool that can provide either a single lump sum or smaller, regular amounts.

    Importantly, the loan, plus interest, is repaid from your estate when you pass away or move into long-term care.

    Understanding the impact of equity release interest rates is essential for individuals considering this financial option. It is also important to weigh the pros and cons when comparing equity release vs lifetime mortgage options to determine which suits one’s financial goals and circumstances.

    What Are the Different Types of Equity Release Options Available in the UK?

    Lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans are the two primary options available and it’s crucial to understand these options and their advantages & disadvantages.

    Lifetime mortgages allow you to borrow against your home’s value, while home reversion involves selling a portion of your property.

    Can I Sell My Home After Taking Out an Equity Release in the UK?

    Yes, you can sell your home after taking out an equity release in the UK. However, it’s important to understand that this action will likely trigger a requirement to repay the loan.

    Equity release schemes are designed to last for the entirety of your life or until you move into long-term care, so selling your home will generally be considered a significant event that requires repayment.

    There may be exceptions to this rule depending on your specific equity release agreement, such as those with a ‘portability’ clause that allows you to move the debt to a new property.

    It’s crucial to consult with a financial advisor or the property equity release provider before making any decisions.

    When exploring equity release options, a frequently searched phrase is “how much equity can I release,” and that all depends on your personal circumstances.

    Learn More: Can I Release Equity From My House?

    Why Consider Selling Your Home With Equity Release in the UK?

    Selling your home with equity release in the UK can provide financial flexibility in retirement.

    Why You Might Sell Your Home With Equity Release

    There a few reasons you may sell your home with equity release. These would include:

    • Downsizingcan also be a sensible move for many retirees, as having a smaller home to maintain could give you more time to indulge in hobbies or spend with family, and more money to do those things with.
    • Moving – as you get older, a move to the seaside and away from the city could also be very beneficial, as could finding a place closer to your family. 

    Some individuals may find that downsizing is a better alternative to equity release, providing financial flexibility without the complexities of releasing equity.

    What Legal Implications Should I Consider When Selling a House with an Existing Equity Release Plan?

    You must ensure compliance with contractual obligations and regulations.

    It’s essential to consult legal experts to understand your rights and responsibilities throughout the process.

    How Does Selling a Home With Equity Release Work?

    Selling a home with equity release works in a relatively familiar manner, though it requires careful planning. Firstly, the equity release provider must be repaid. 

    This repayment usually comes directly from the sale proceeds, and the amount repaid includes the original loan sum and the accrued interest. 

    As long as your equity release plan carries a No Negative Equity Guarantee, the repayment cannot exceed the sale value of your home, even if the debt has grown larger. 

    After the loan is repaid, any remaining sale proceeds are yours to keep. 

    Could I Take My Equity Release Loan With Me?

    Yes, you could take your equity release loan with you when moving home, depending on your loan contract and whether or not your provider finds your new home suitable. 

    The option to carry your equity release loan to your new home can be exercised through a process often referred to as ‘porting’.


    • Your new property must meet the lender’s criteria and be acceptable as continued security for the loan.1 Criteria may include the property’s location, condition, and type.
    • If your new property is worth less than your current one, the lender may require you to repay a portion of the loan to reduce their risk.2 This is usually done from the sale proceeds of your old home.

    Keep in mind that professional guidance is essential when thinking about porting an equity release loan to ensure you fully understand the implications and costs involved.

    Could My Equity Release Provider Refuse to Port My Equity Release Plan?

    Yes, your equity release mortgage providers in the UK could refuse to port your equity release plan to a new property for a variety of reasons. 

    Providers’ most common objections include:

    • Property Type: Your provider may not allow you to port your plan to a property that is not a permanent residence, such as a holiday home or rental property.3
    • Construction Type: Your lender may have restrictions on the materials properties may be built from.4
    • Property Location: Homes in certain locations, like Northern Ireland, the Scottish Islands, the Channel Islands, the Scilly Isles, and the Isle of Man, are often ineligible for equity release.5

    Are There Alternatives to Porting My Equity Release Plan?

    Yes, there are alternatives to porting your equity release plan, which include downsizing protection, or repaying the loan.

    If your lifetime mortgage includes downsizing protection, a feature offered by some providers allowing you to repay your plan in full without any early repayment charges if your are moving to a smaller property not acceptable as security for the loan.

    Another alternative is to repay your equity release loan when selling your home, which may suit if you have had a change of circumstances or if the loan has become less suitable for your needs.

    What Is Downsizing Protection and Its Significance in Equity Release?

    Downsizing protection is a feature offered as part of some equity release lifetime mortgage plans that allows homeowners to pay off their loan without incurring early repayment charges, should they decide to move to a smaller, less valuable property. 

    This feature is crucial because it provides homeowners with flexibility, ensuring they are not financially penalised if their circumstances change and they suddenly need to move into a more manageable property or reduce living costs.

    It is important to check whether your equity release plan includes downsizing protection and what the terms and conditions are.

    What Are the Benefits of Selling a House With Equity Release?

    The benefits of selling a house with equity release include being able to downsize and gaining the mobility needed to move closer to family.

    Benefits of selling your house with equity release include:

    • Moving to a more affordable property, thereby freeing up some cash to use in retirement.
    • Moving to a property that caters to your changing needs as you get older.
    • Moving to the retirement location you prefer, whether that means being closer to family or moving to a more scenic part of the country.

    Remember, selling a house entails paying moving costs, solicitors’ fees, and stamp duty, and moving can be very stressful.

    Assessing the Risks: Selling a House With Equity Release

    Selling a house with equity release involves careful consideration of potential risks and costs.

    What Are the Potential Risks of Selling a House With Equity Release?

    The risks of selling a house with equity release include the potential decrease in equity if house prices have fallen, which could result in receiving less money for paying off your lifetime mortgage.

    Risks to consider:

    • The existing equity release plan and other fees will have to be paid before you receive any of the proceeds from the sale of your house. Repaying the equity release loan from the sale proceeds reduces the amount available for the homeowner or their estate. 
    • If the property value has not increased significantly, the accumulated loan and interest could consume a substantial portion of the sale price. 
    • You may face early repayment charges if you repay the loan before the end of the term.

    Depending on your personal circumstances, the risks may outweigh the benefits, so discuss your options with a qualified financial advisor before making any decisions.

    Understanding the Process: Selling a House With Equity Release

    Understanding the specific process and requirements is crucial when selling a house with equity release.

    A Step-by-Step Guide for Selling a House With Equity Release

    A step-by-step guide for selling a house with equity release can help you avoid the pitfalls associated with this process.

    What to do:

    • Consult with a financial advisor to explore your options and understand the implications.
    • Inform your equity release provider of your intention to sell. They will provide a settlement figure, indicating the total amount to be repaid. 
    • Use an estate agent to sell your home. 
    • Once your home is sold, the solicitor will usually handle the repayment of the equity release loan from the sale proceeds. Any remaining funds after the repayment will be yours.

    By following these steps, you can sell your property with an existing equity release plan and ensure that the loan is repaid correctly. 

    What Are the Costs Involved in Selling a House With Equity Release?

    The costs involved in selling a house with equity release include the repayment of the original loan amount, plus any accrued interest. 

    Other costs to consider:

    • Early repayment charges (if you do not have Downsizing Protection). If you are still within the early repayment period of your equity release plan, these charges can be significant and may be a percentage of the outstanding loan balance or a fixed fee.
    • Redemption fees, a percentage of the outstanding loan and fees that cover the administrative costs of closing the plan. 
    • Estate agent fees, which may include valuation fees. These fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the sale price of the property and are usually charged at between 0.9% and 3.6%, with an average of 1.42% in 2023.6
    • Solicitor’s fees, which usually depend on their hourly rate and the complexity of the transaction.
    • Stamp duty on your new property.

    Speak to a financial advisor to discuss the costs you may need to consider.

    How Important Is Financial Planning Before Selling a House with Equity Release?

    Financial planning is paramount before selling a house with equity release. You need to assess your current financial situation and future needs.

    Understanding the implications of selling, including any potential gains or losses, is crucial for making informed decisions.

    What Expert Insights and Advice Can Help Me Navigate Selling a House with Equity Release?

    Expert insights and advice can provide valuable guidance when navigating selling a house with equity release.

    Consulting with financial advisors and legal experts can help you make well-informed decisions tailored to your unique circumstances.

    Seek advice from professionals experienced in equity release to ensure a smooth process.

    What Market Trends and Considerations Should I Be Aware of When Selling with Equity Release?

    Being aware of current market trends and considerations is essential when selling with equity release. Factors such as property values, interest rates, and demand can influence your decision and outcomes.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Selling a House With Equity Release

    Can I Sell My House After I've Taken an Equity Release?

    What Happens When I Sell My House With an Equity Release?

    Are There Penalties for Selling a House With an Equity Release?

    How Does Selling My House Affect My Equity Release?

    What Steps Should I Follow When Selling My House With an Equity Release?

    What Type of Equity Release Plan Should You Look For If You May Want to Sell Your Home in the Future?

    Can I Always Sell My House If I Have Equity Release?

    Can I Move to a New House if I Have Equity Release?

    Should I Transfer My Equity Release to Another Property?

    Why Would I Not Be Able to Transfer My Equity Release to a New Property?

    What Happens to My Equity Release if I Do Not Transfer It to Another Property?

    Do I Still Own My Home With Equity Release?

    Is Selling a House With Equity Release Right for You?

    Can I Rent Out My House Instead of Selling If I Have Taken Out Equity Release on It?

    Conclusion: Making Informed Decisions About Equity Release and Home Sales

    Selling a house with equity release offers potential financial benefits but comes with its own set of complexities and risks. 

    That’s why for those over 65, you first need to answer, is equity release worth considering for financial flexibility, before taking out an equity release plan.

    It is crucial to explore all available options, from porting your existing plan to seeking Downsizing Protection, to fully understand the costs and implications involved. 

    Consulting with a financial advisor is indispensable in this process. 

    Ultimately, selling a house with equity release can provide substantial financial flexibility when navigated thoughtfully and with the right professional guidance.

    Seeking equity release advice from a qualified professional ensures that you receive personalized recommendations aligned with your financial goals.

    The features mentioned and the amounts raised, are subject to the lender’s criteria, terms and conditions. These may take into account the age, health and lifestyle factors in order to provide an enhanced amount. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

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