Looking to buy or sell a house? With the market in a constant state of change, our Residential Conveyancing solicitors are based in Stirling & Tillicoultry. If you are in Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Plean, Cowie, Alloa or the surrounding areas in Scotland we can help you to buy or sell houses.
How to buy a house in Scotland
1. Finding a property
Look through the local papers and visit the local estate agents.
2. Noting Interest
Once you have found a property you like get in touch with your solicitor as soon as possible. This will enable them to contact the selling agent to "note interest" in the property on your behalf. Your solicitor should then keep you advised of any developments regarding the sale of the property.
3. Home report
As of 1 December 2008 most houses which are marketed for sale in Scotland require to have a Home Report made available to all potential buyers. There are three parts to the report; a single survey of the property, an energy report and a property questionnaire. This should be examined to ensure that the property does not suffer from any serious defects or, if you still want to go ahead with the purchase, it may be necessary to ask a builder or other person to estimate the cost of carrying out necessary repairs.
4. Make an Offer
The time to make an offer depends on whether or not there is anyone else interested in the property. If no one else is interested, or if the property is being sold at a “fixed price”, then an offer can be submitted immediately. If, however, other people are interested and have noted that interest then it is likely that a closing date for offers will be fixed. In that event you should wait until the closing date before offering. Properties being sold at a fixed price are usually sold to the first person who offers the asking price.
5. Closing Date
If the selling agent has a number of notes of interest for a property being sold it is likely that a closing date for offers will be fixed. This is a date and time by which all offers have to be submitted in writing. Prior to that date your solicitor will discuss your proposed offer with you to help you decide exactly how much to offer. Your offer will require to state the price being offered, the Date of entry (the date on which you will require to pay the full price for the house and will receive the keys) and details of any extras to be included in the price, such as carpets and curtains. Shortly after the closing date, the selling agent will telephone all the firms who submitted offers to advise them of the outcome.
If your offer is successful, the solicitor acting for the seller will issue a written acceptance to your solicitor. This, your offer and any other letter dealing with the terms of the contract makes up the missives. An offer will contain a number of different clauses and the selling solicitor will take some time to go through it in detail with the seller before issuing an acceptance. It is very unusual for an offer to be met by a completely unqualified acceptance: it is likely your solicitor will receive a qualified acceptance, deleting or amending some of the conditions in the original offer. Once all of the terms of the contract have been agreed one of the solicitors will issue a letter concluding the bargain. The contract will then be binding and neither the purchaser nor the seller will be entitled to pull out. Your solicitor will try to conclude missives as quickly as possible however it sometimes takes a few weeks for agreement to be reached on all of the terms of the contract depending on what enquiries have to be made and the information to be provided to the other party.
7. Title Examination
The seller’s solicitor will then send the title deeds of the property to the purchaser’s solicitor. These will be checked in detail to make sure that the seller does in fact own the property, is free to sell it and that all of the conditions of the contract can be complied with. Various other documents are also checked, such as Property Enquiry Certificates (to make sure that there are no local authority statutory repairs notices or planning proposals which affect the property) and any building warrants and certificates of completion relating to any alterations made to the property, to ensure that everything is in order.
8. Preparing Disposition
Assuming the titles are in order, your solicitor then prepares a document to transfer the title from the seller to you. This is known as a Disposition and it sets out the parties, the price, the date of entry and also usually refers to older title deeds or a Land Certificate which contain the full description of the property. He then sends this to the selling solicitor for revision before a final version is prepared for signature by the seller before the date of entry.
9. Loan Documentation
Your solicitor will often be in contact with your building society or bank and will complete any loan documentation required by them as a condition of giving you the money: this usually involves a Standard Security, the lender's security over the property and associated documents. Your solicitor should explain the meaning of these documents to you before you sign them. Under certain circumstances these documents will be signed electronically by your Solicitor on your behalf.
10. Settlement and Date of Entry
On the date of entry you are obliged to pay the full price for the property, via your solicitor and, in exchange, the keys will be handed over to you, again often via your solicitor. Your solicitor will receive the title deeds and the signed Disposition, transferring the title to you. This process is called settlement. Your solicitor will have done whatever is required to make sure the mortgage money is through on time and will have asked you in advance to deliver a cheque to him or her for your share of the price, plus any Stamp Duty Land Tax and other outlays which are payable.
11. Recording Titles
The purchaser’s solicitor will then complete a Stamp Duty Land Tax application online on your behalf and then send off the Disposition and the Standard Security, to have both recorded in the Public Register of Title Deeds, called either the Register of Sasines or the Land Register of Scotland, depending on which County the property is situated in. Under certain circumstances this may be done electronically on your behalf. It is at this stage that your solicitor will send you the bill for his or her services.
12. Storing the Titles
It normally takes a number of months for the Disposition and Standard Security to be recorded. Once this has been done they will be returned to the purchaser’s solicitors, or alternatively a Land Certificate in favour of the purchaser and a Charge certificate in favour of the lender will be issued. The solicitor will send any titles to the lender to be kept safe by them until the mortgage has been repaid. Alternatively, if there is no loan then your solicitor will offer to store the title deeds for you, often free of charge. This completes the transaction.
Residential Conveyancing Solicitors Stirling & Tillicoultry
Our residential property solicitors are based in Stirling, Tillicoultry, Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Plean, Cowie, Alloa or the surrounding areas, and we can help you buy or sell a house in Scotland. We offer a full range of domestic conveyancing services from when you find the house you want to buy to the day you get your keys and we also offer re-mortgage facilities.