The Selling Process in Scotland
05 May 2022
Here, we discuss the step by step process of selling your property in Scotland. We mention every key step from start to finish so that you’re fully clued up when it comes to selling your own home!
1. The property valuation
The first step of selling is to get your property valued by an estate agent. It’s worth bearing in mind, that the agent suggesting the highest asking price may not be the best – you want the selling price to be realistic. Keep in mind, you’ll be working with whichever agent you choose through a lengthy and emotional process. So ask yourself if this agent will get the best results for you, and remember to ask lots of questions during the valuation.
2. Moving costs
Taking estate agent fees, legal fees, removals etc. into account, costs start to stack up. Plan your budget well in advance so that you’re not caught out further down the line.
3. Organise a Home Report
In Scotland, it is a legal requirement that all properties are marketed with a Home Report. A Home Report is a pack of three documents that give buyers a clear picture of the condition of the property for sale: The Single Survey which states the condition of the property; the Energy Report which gives the property in question an energy efficiency rating; and the Property Questionnaire which details other key information such as the property’s council tax band.
4. Instruct a solicitor
Conveyancing may sound like boring legal stuff, but it’s essential when selling your property. It’s the process by which the property is legally transferred from you to the new buyer. For the average person, it can be a confusing process, however your solicitor will deal with this for you by drawing up the disposition.
5. Setting the asking price
When you market your property, you will be asked whether you would like to advertise it as “fixed price”, “offers over” or “offers around”. “Fixed price” means your property is sold to the first person to offer the advertised price. “Offers over” refers to selling your house to the highest bidder. ”Offers around” suggests you are willing to negotiate on the price you sell at. Your selling agent will advise you on these options.
6. Putting your home on the market
Always make sure you have your property details just right. First impressions are hugely important when selling your property, so stage your home to get the very best photographs. Once you’ve had the images and videos taken, review them with your agent and choose the best ones. It’s worth considering professional photography too!
7. Use the internet
With almost everyone starting their house search online, the internet is a powerful tool when selling a property. Making your property stand out online is key, so consider enhanced online packages like premium listings. Also, don’t underestimate the personal touch, make sure you share your property from your own Facebook and Twitter profiles.
8. Prepare for viewings
Potential buyers need to picture themselves living in your home. The most common things to put buyers off are dirty bathrooms and kitchens and scruffy exteriors. It’s a good idea to make a list of all the things that made you fall in love with your property and highlight/extenuate them for potential buyers to see.
9. Potential buyers viewing your home
Your agent can show buyers around for you or you can choose to do it yourself. Prepare to show buyers inside storage spaces like lofts or cupboards. Your agent will also give you thorough feedback after each viewing, you should consider acting on any feedback from buyers before any future viewings.
10. Interested buyers will request the Home Report
You have to provide a copy of your Home Report to any potential buyer who requests it.
11. A buyer will note their interest in your property
An interested buyer’s solicitor will be in contact with your estate agent to note their interest in your property. Once received, your property can’t be sold without giving the interested buyer a chance to put an offer in.
12. Accepting an offer
You will be notified of offers by phone and in writing by your solicitor. There are several factors to consider when weighing up the offers: the amount they’re offering, the financial position of the buyer, the buyer’s chain if they’re selling another property, and your own timescales.
13. Mortgage valuation
Your buyer’s mortgage lender will arrange to have your home surveyed. This confirms that the property is worth what you’re being lent. Your buyer can also choose to arrange an independent survey of your property in addition to the Home Report and Mortgage Valuation.
14. Searches are performed
Your buyer’s solicitor will check the Land Registry and Local Authority information for planning history, and information about any potential developments around roads, drainage etc. This is called ‘performing searches’.
15. Concluding the missives
Both solicitors will agree on the written negotiations of the sale, these are known as the ‘missives’. This can only be done once the buyer’s mortgage offer is received. Once the missives are agreed, both parties are now legally bound to the sales/purchase.
16. Moving dates
Both of your solicitors will agree a date for the exchange of contracts and for completion (for example, move out day). This is also usually put forward when a buyer is making an offer on your property, which is a proposed date of entry. This usually remains the same but can change later.
Now you can set a provisional moving day! You can get quotes for removals, etc.
18. Tell people your address is changing
Your utility companies will need to cancel contracts and take your meter readings. Also, don’t forget to let the bank, your employer, family, etc know you are planning to move address. You can also ask the Royal Mail to organise a mail redirection.
19. Final conveyancing completed
Your solicitor now draws up the disposition (a document transferring legal ownership). The buyer’s solicitor will also draw up the Standard Security (the deed securing their loan).
The balance of the purchase price is paid to your solicitor. Once the money is received, the seller’s solicitor will tell the estate agent to release the keys to the property and the property is now officially sold!