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A Guide to Buying Property in Scotland

The first obvious step to buying a property is to find a property that you like. You might find a property through an estate agent, website, such as primelocation.com or through a private buyer.

Once you have found a property you like it is worthwhile getting a Solicitor to Note your Interest. If you are buying a property in Scotland you must instruct a Scottish Solicitor. A note of interest indicates to the seller that you are interested in the property and wish to be informed of closing dates, or other offers on that particular property. A note of interest does not mean that you are obliged to buy the property nor does it mean that the seller is obliged to sell his or her property to you.

It is important that you are provided with a copy of the Home Report from the selling agent. The Home Report provides information about the structure of the property and its general condition, including services and also the Surveyors professional opinion as to the market value of the property as well as the insurance reinstatement value. A Property Questionnaire submitted by the Seller and an Energy Performance Certificate is also included within the Home Report. You should discuss the contents of the Home Report with your Solicitor before you make a formal offer on the property you wish to buy. Although the Home Report provides the seller with detailed information about a property you may wish to have an independent report done or your mortgage company may request that you have an independent survey done even if a Home Report is available.

Once you have an idea about how much you want to offer for a property, you will have to arrange to get a loan, unless you are a cash buyer. To arrange a loan you will need to speak to your mortgage lender direct or you can go through a mortgage broker. It is good practice to get a mortgage in principal before you make a formal offer on a property.

The legal aspects of buying a property in scotland are as follows:

  1. You will need to instruct a Scottish Solicitor to make a written formal offer on your behalf.

  2. If your offer is acceptable to the seller then their Solicitors will provide a written acceptance which may contain a number of points about the property.

  3. Your Solicitor will discuss with you the written acceptance, and then will go back to the sellers Solicitor with a formal response. The sellers Solcitor will come back with a formal reply until any outstanding points are resolved.

  4. Once all the points are resolved in writing a binding contract is then formed at which point, Missives are concluded. Once Missives are concluded then neither the buyer or seller can withdraw from the sale without a financial penalty.

  5. Your Solicitor will be responsible for checking and discussing with you the title deeds of the property and any burdens relating to it. Your Solicitor will then prepare a new title deed, which is called a Disposition

  6. The title of the property you are buying is transferred into your name. This is checked by the sellers Solicitor and signed by the seller. At this point, if you have a mortgage you will sign a document called a Standard Security. Your solicitor will give you advice about these documents.

  7. The final stage of purchasing a property is transferring funds. You must make sure you have enough money for the purchase price as well as any outlays including stamp duty land tax, and registration dues for registering your title in the Land Register.

  8. The day in which the transaction is completed is called the date of entry.On this date funds are transferred and keys are exchanged. Your Solicitor will deal with any stamp duty or registration requirements. When your land certificate is issued your Solicitor will forward them onto your mortgage provider.

  9. Once you are in your property you should check that you are satisfied with the condition of the property and check that any appliances that have been included in the sale are in working order. If you have any concerns you should speak to your Solicitor as soon as possible in order for any disputes to be resolved.