Here’s what to consider when buying a home in Scotland.
1. Do your sums
Before setting out on your home hunt, work out what you can afford.
If you are selling before you buy, consider what your current property is worth and how much equity is in it.
We are very happy to provide a free, no obligation valuation to help you work out your budget. We can also recommend financial advisors to give you sound mortgage advice.
Tip: Do your research, access professional advice that’s available and use sound financial information to get a clear understanding of your position.
2. The hunt
Over 90% of buyer’s search for their new home online. When you identify potential options there’s no substitute for seeing them.
Viewing various properties gives you a feel for what’s available within your budget and which features are ‘must-haves’ for your new home.
Remember to request a property's Home Report – this is a requirement for most residential properties sold in Scotland. It comprises a Survey and Valuation, an Energy Performance Certificate and a Property Questionnaire. This is useful information in helping you decide whether it is home for you.
Tip: Don't be put off by a property that’s poorly presented online. It may look much better in reality. Poor marketing may have adversely affected interest and could pave the way to a good deal for you.
3. Appoint your team
Solicitors handle the home buying process. We’re proud when people trust us to help them secure their dream home.
We have extensive knowledge of properties, areas, prices and the purchasing process that can benefit you. We can also give you an indication of likely costs such as land registration and stamp duty fees.
Once you’ve found a property that might be ‘the one’ your solicitor will guide you every step of the way.
Tip: Talking to a solicitor early can end up saving you a lot of time and money.
4. Make an offer
Your solicitor's expert advice is crucial when you make an offer. We’ll guide you on what and when to bid bearing in mind your budget, your preferred entry date and any moveable items you would like to be included (such as carpets, curtains and white goods).
We can also advise on whether your offer should be ‘subject to survey’ or ‘subject to sale’.
When an offer is accepted - either initially or following negotiation - an agreement in principle has been reached. The property is ‘under offer’. The deal is not legally binding until the missives are concluded.
Tip: Effective professional negotiations by your appointed solicitor could save you a lot of money.
5. The legalities
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one owner to another. When an offer is accepted in principle your solicitor will work with you towards the conclusion of missives and settlement of the sale.
We ensure that everything related to the property’s title deeds is in order, and address matters such as availability of the correct local authority consents for any alterations. We keep you up to speed on progress and informed about any issues.
We draw up the conveyancing paperwork and the security documentation for your mortgage lender. We then arrange for the loan funds to be released in time for the date of entry
Tip: When engaging a solicitor ask for testimonials.
6. Moving on up
On the date of entry, with financial transactions complete and funds transferred, your solicitors have completed all the paperwork. The keys to your new home are ready for you to pick up. It’s moving day!
Tip: Consider changing your locks. The sellers may be 100% trustworthy but others may have keys to your new home - a dog walker, gardener, cleaner or neighbour. It may be worth starting afresh with new locks.