The Buying Process in Scotland
30 November 2022
Are you looking for information around the process of buying a house in Scotland? We've got a step-by-step guide below to help you.
1. Find a solicitor to represent you
Did you know that you need a solicitor to buy a property in Scotland? All TSPC agents are solicitor estate agents, so 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 home in Scotland.
TSPC solicitor estate agents are duty bound to offer the best possible service to you and work to stay up-to-date with the latest guidance and legislation on buying a house in Scotland.
2. Work out your mortgage options
Whether you’re moving home or buying for the first time, you’ll need to work out what your budget is for a new home. It’s 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.
For those who already own a property, you should get a free property valuation from an agent as that will help to give you an idea of what your home is likely to sell for, and therefore inform how much you can spend on a new home.
When considering the financial side of things, make sure to factor in other costs such as removals and Land and Building Transaction Tax.
3. Search houses and flats for sale
Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to find the right 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 which ones are must-haves and those you could live without.
Now you have a clearer idea of what you’re looking for, sign up to My TSPC to register your requirements and get email notifications of properties that suit your needs as soon as they come to market.
4. View properties
Once you’ve identified some houses or flats that you like the look of, you will likely want to view them to see if they are right for you.
5. Submit a note of interest and make an offer
Once you’ve decided you like a property enough to make an offer, you should alert your solicitor so they can submit a note of interest in the property.
This doesn't commit 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 – all offers must be in by then. 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’ve made an offer and it has been accepted, you now need to get your mortgage approved. If you’ve already got an agreement in principle, this stage should be a bit easier. You need to work out exactly how much you need to borrow and how much of a deposit you can put down. An independent mortgage adviser can help you with this.
7. Conclude the missives
After you’ve had an offer accepted, the conveyancing process will begin. If your offer is verbally accepted, your solicitor will discuss the acceptance with you and negotiate on your behalf with the seller’s solicitor.
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.
Your solicitor will advise you when the missives are concluded and send you a copy of the full contract.
8. Move home
Your moving date or date of entry 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.
Your solicitor will calculate the balance required for settlement, including any Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and fees due. You will 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’ve 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!