The Buying Process in Scotland

14 June 2022

Below, we have provided a step by step guide to buying a house in Scotland, along with some frequently asked questions from past buyers.

 

1. Find a solicitor 

 

You are probably aware that in Scotland you require a solicitor to buy a property. If you choose a solicitor estate agent, they can take care of the buying process for you and will also be able to help with selling your property, if you are selling a property in Scotland. 

 

2. Work out your mortgage options

 

Whether you are buying your first home or moving to another house, you will need to work out what your budget is for a new property. It is worth seeking independent mortgage advice to work out your mortgage options, from how much you’ll be able to borrow to if you’re able to port your mortgage if you already have one.

 

If you already own a property, you should get a free mortgage valuation from an agent as that will help give you an idea of what your current home will sell for, and therefore, inform how much you can spend on a new home.

 

When considering the financial side of things, take into consideration the costs of removals and Land and Building Transaction Tax. 

 

3. Search houses and flats

 

Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to find the perfect home. Once you know the area or areas that you’re interested in, write a list of requirements you have for a property and work out what is most important, and what you could potentially live without. 

 

4. View properties

 

Once you have viewed properties online that you like, view them to discover if they are right for you.

 

5. Submit a note of interest then make an offer

 

Once you have found a property you like enough to make an offer, alert your solicitor and they can submit a note of interest for you. 

 

This doesn’t tie you to anything, but does register your formal interest in the property. If more than one note of interest has been made, the seller may choose to set a closing date. However, a seller isn’t obliged to set a closing date and can accept an offer at any time.

 

Your solicitor will be crucial at this stage, their expertise in the local market will allow them to advise you on how much to offer.

 

6. Finalise your mortgage

 

Once you have made an offer and it has been accepted, you now need to get your mortgage approved. If you already have an agreement in principle, this stage should be easier. 

 

7. Conclude the missives

 

Once you’ve had your offer accepted, the conveyancing process will begin. The offer, acceptance and any subsequent letters, which are intended to be part of a legal contract, are known as the “missives”.

 

When the final acceptance letter is issued, missives are said to be “concluded”, meaning the purchaser and seller have entered into a legally binding contract and cannot withdraw from it without penalty.

 

8. Move home

 

Your moving date will be agreed in advance. This is also the date that the transaction will be settled. The purchase price is paid to the seller’s solicitor in exchange for the disposition (the legal document that will transfer ownership of the property from seller to purchaser), title deeds, other documentation and the keys to the property.

 

You solicitor will calculate the balance required for settlement, including any Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and fees due. You will then be asked to transfer the funds to your solicitor, and they will speak to your mortgage lender to arrange for the funds to be transferred in advance. 

 

Once you have moved in, if there are any issues with the property, you have five working days to notify your solicitor. And once that’s all done, it’s time to celebrate your new home!
 

Frequently asked questions about buying a property in Scotland

 

What are the differences between buying a property in Scotland and England?

 

While there are many similarities between the process of buying a home in Scotland, there are a few differences. A key one to highlight is that, in Scotland, a solicitor submits offers on your behalf. Whereas in England, conveyancers are not generally involved until the price is agreed. 

 

Other differences include, most properties for sale are legally required to produce a Home Report in Scotland, and property tax is different in Scotland, with LBTT replacing Stamp Duty in 2015.

 

What is LBTT and how much does is cost?

 

Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) is a property tax in Scotland. It replaced Stamp Duty from 1st April 2015.

 

How much property tax you’re required to pay in Scotland depends on the value of the home, whether you’re a first-time buyer, and if you are purchasing the house or flat as a second home or buy-to-let.

 

How much deposit do I need to buy a house in Scotland?

 

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, many lenders raised their minimum deposit amount to 15% for much of 2020, however more lenders are now offering 5% and 10% deposit mortgages. 

 

Can I pull out of a property purchase in Scotland?

 

An offer isn’t legally binding until the missives have been concluded. If you wish to withdraw your offer before this point, you should alert your solicitor and seek their advice.

Once missives have been concluded, neither seller or buyer can withdraw without facing penalties.

2022

Most Common Property Questions Answered 2022-06-23 Overpaying a Mortgage 2022-06-17 The Buying Process in Scotland 2022-06-14 What Happens as a Home Valuation? 2022-06-09 What is a Closing Date? 2022-06-03 Here's What You Need to Know About Downsizing 2022-05-30 What Does 'Property Chain' Mean? 2022-05-26 Why You Need the Right Insurance When Taking Out a Mortgage 2022-05-24 Staging Your Home for Selling 2022-05-17 Buying a House in Cash 2022-05-10 The Selling Process in Scotland 2022-05-05 Strongest Ever Spring Sellers' Market 2022-05-03 Understanding a Home Report 2022-04-26 How Will the Cost of Living Crisis Affect the Property Market? 2022-04-22 A Guide To Buying a House or Flat in Scotland 2022-04-18 Thinking of Buying an Investment Property? Here's What You Need to Know 2022-04-12 What's Happened to the Property Market Since Covid-19? 2022-04-06 Energy-Saving Tips For Your Home 2022-04-01 Understanding Your Property's Value 2022-03-28 Why It's Best To Sell Your Home Before Buying Your Next Property 2022-03-24 The Differences Between Buying and Selling Property in Scotland and England 2022-03-21 The Differences That Come with Using a Solicitor Estate Agent 2022-03-16 Want To Sell Your Home Fast? Here's Our Top Tips! 2022-03-10 Fixed Rate or Variable - What's the Best Mortgage? 2022-03-08 Building Survey's - What are they? 2022-03-03 Questions every first-time buyer should ask! 2022-03-01 What Is Required for a Successful Mortgage Application? 2022-02-22 Your Offers Been Accepted - What Happens Next? 2022-02-15 Joint Property Ownership - Everything you need to know 2022-02-09 Mortgages in 2022 - What Could Happen? 2022-02-05 4 Tips for Saving a Deposit 2022-02-01 Reminder - The Law on Fire Alarms is Changing 2022-01-25 The 2022 Scottish Property Market - What Will Happen? 2022-01-21 Top Mortgage Tips for First Time Buyers 2022-01-18 What's the difference in using a solicitor estate agent? 2022-01-11

2021

How the Scottish Housing Market has Changed Over the Last 50 Years 2021-12-27 Can I Get a Mortgage Without Permanent Residency? 2021-12-20 Property Conversion - Everything You Need to Know 2021-12-15 Asking Price - Everything You Need to Know 2021-12-06 Using a Home Report When Buying a Property 2021-11-29 What is Shared Ownership? 2021-11-24 What You Need To Know About Getting a Mortgage When You're Self-Employed 2021-11-19 So, What Is a Mortgage Agreement in Principle? 2021-11-08 Why You Should Use a Solicitor Estate Agent When Moving House 2021-11-03 Thinking of buying a listed property? Here's what you should know 2021-10-26 Everything You Need to Know About EPC Registers and Certificate Guides 2021-10-25 How much can I afford to borrow? 2021-10-20 Nine Steps to Selling Your Home 2021-10-18 Climbing the Property Ladder 2021-10-11 Fire Alarm Laws are Changing in Scotland 2021-09-27 Research You Should Conduct Before Buying a Property 2021-09-20 The LIFT Scheme and How You Can Use It To Buy a Home 2021-09-17 The Latest Scottish Government Guidance on Property Viewings 2021-09-10 NORMAL SERVICE BEING RESUMED IN A BUOYANT HOMES MARKET 2021-08-31 Should You Refurbish Your Property? 2021-08-18 Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale 2021-08-13 Mortgage Interest Rates - What are they? 2021-08-09 Helping You Consider the Right Location for Your Next Move 2021-07-26 Tips For First Time Buyers To Help Get Them on the Property Ladder 2021-07-19 Scotland's First Home Fund is Closed, What Other Schemes Can Help First Time Buyers? 2021-07-12 Retirement Interest Only Mortgages - What You Need To Know 2021-07-07 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to Coronavirus 2021-06-30 How To Boost Your Mortgage Deposit 2021-06-21 New Rules For Fire and Smoke Alarms in Homes Across Scotland 2021-06-17 Preparing To Put Your House on the Market in 5 Key Steps 2021-06-14 How Much Mortgage Can I Get For My Salary? 2021-06-09 How Long Does it Take to Buy Your First House or Flat? 2021-06-02 Is Your House Ready to be Sold?: House Selling Checklist 2021-05-31 What is a Mortgage Agreement in Principle? 2021-05-25 All You Need To Know About EPC Registers and Certificates 2021-05-19 Making the Most of House Viewings 2021-05-12 How the Coronavirus Pandemic has Changed the Priorities of Scottish Home Buyers 2021-05-05 Top Tips on Preparing to Buy a House 2021-04-26 What You Need To Know About Overpaying a Mortgage 2021-04-21 Advice on Buying a Property During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2021-04-14 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic 2021-04-13 Scotland's First Home Fund: Applications Now Closed 2021-04-09 Scotland's First Home Fund 2021-04-07 Scottish Stamp Duty Holiday: How Did LBTT Change and When Did it End? 2021-04-06 Property Questions Answered 2021-04-02

2020

Tayside housing market back with a bang 2020-12-10 Digital Guide 2020-05-27

2019

The property market across Scotland - Quarter Two 2019 by SPC Scotland 2019-10-16 LORD PROVOST OPENS NEW-LOOK CENTRE 2019-09-17 The Dundee property market 2019-06-24 A 427 MILLION BOOST FOR THE HOMES MARKET 2019-01-21

2018

Budget Proposals to the ADS Rate 2018-12-18 BUYING OR SELLING GET THE FACTS 2018-08-24 BUYING INTO LIFE ON THE WATERFRONT 2018-08-23 As moving day looms dont panic just prep 2018-05-17 THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS FOR HOMEBUYERS 2018-04-03 HOME COMFORTS FEND OFF BEAST FROM THE EAST 2018-03-07 V&A DATE MILESTONE FOR THE WATERFRONT 2018-03-02 FLAT SALES EDGE TOWARDS £100 MILLION 2018-01-23 PROPERTY SALES PUSH TOWARDS THE £440 MILLION MARK 2018-01-08

2017

FESTIVE GREETINGS FROM ALL AT THE TSPC 2017-12-19 PUTTING DUNDEE ON THE MAP 2017-11-15 TIME TO BRING YOUR HOME TO THE MARKET 2017-11-01 AUTUMN IS A GOOD SEASON FOR SELLING 2017-10-17 HIGH PROFILE OPTION FOR TOP PROPERTIES 2017-10-09 MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY TO THE MAX 2017-08-21 DO YOU LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEA? 2017-06-15 TIME LOOMING FOR A RE-MORTGAGE 2017-06-09 HAS THERE BEEN A BETTER TIME FOR A HOUSE SALE 2017-05-26 TIME TO PUT YOUR FLAT ON THE MARKET 2017-05-04

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TSPC is the trading name of TSPC Holdings Limited, a limited liability company registered in Scotland No 279747 and Tayside Solicitors Property Centre Limited, a limited liability company registered in Scotland No 279746. The Registered Office of both Companies is 11 Whitehall Crescent, Dundee DD1 4AR.

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