What is a Closing Date?
03 June 2022
In this article, we will discuss the term ‘Closing Date’, and what it means when you are buying or selling a home in Scotland.
So, what exactly is a closing date?
A closing date is the set date and time given for all interested parties to submit their best and final offer on a property they want to purchase. In Scotland, all bids are ‘sealed bids’ – which means if you are bidding at a closing date, you will not know how many other bidders there are or what they’ve offered.
The selling agent will then unseal the bids after the set time has passed on the closing date, and share these with the seller, who will then choose their preferred offer.
Often, the seller will choose the highest bidder, but this is not always the case – therefore, it is always worth making your bid as attractive as possible, by highlighting your status as a buyer and being prepared to be flexible or to move quickly.
Why are closing dates set?
Closing dates are becoming increasingly more common in Scotland, this is due to the property market being very competitive, with the number of buyers outweighing the number of available homes.
Closing dates allow the seller of the property to set a cut-off date for all interested parties to submit their best offer. Usually, this can mean that property prices increase because buyers don’t know how many other bidders there are, however, the rule of thumb is to only bid what you believe the property to be worth, and what you are happy to pay for it. Your solicitor estate agent can give you some advice on selling prices for similar properties in the area, however, the final decision on your bid will be yours alone.
How do closing dates work?
A closing date is usually set when a property has been popular with viewings and notes of interest quickly after being put on the market. The seller will often opt for setting a closing date within a few weeks of the property being listed for sale, and buyers who are interested in bidding should make a viewing appointment prior to this date and appoint a solicitor estate agent.
The solicitor estate agent will then note your interest, and discuss with you if you’d like to proceed with a formal offer at the closing date. After you have then discussed the terms of your offer, you and your solicitor will submit this in writing ahead of the deadline.
After the closing date time has passed, the seller will review the bids and choose their preferred option. Once they have accepted an offer, the property is removed from the market and all unsuccessful bidders are contacted.
How do I make an offer at a closing date?
If you wish to make an offer at a closing date, make sure you have viewed the property and read the Home Report thoroughly. Let your solicitor know in plenty time that you want to make an offer, discuss the amount you’d like to bid along with the terms of your offer with them.
You should include details such as your status as a buyer, whether you need a mortgage or to sell an existing property, how quickly you can move or how flexible you can be, a suggested entry date, and any other information.
Should I set a closing date for the property I am selling?
You don’t have to set a closing date on a property you’re selling, but it can help if your property is proving popular. Your solicitor estate agent will be able to advise on the best course of action for your circumstances.
Can I make an offer before a closing date is set?
Yes, you can make an offer before the seller has set a closing date.
How will I know if my offer has been successful?
If your offer is successful, the selling agent will contact your solicitor estate agent and let them know – this can happen within a few hours of the closing date deadline passing, or the seller may want to take longer to decide.
Your solicitor estate agent will then inform you, and the process of the transaction will begin.