Buying a home in Scotland
Buying a home is a big financial commitment and a decision you’ll want to get right. We’ve put together this handy guide to choosing and buying your dream home and all the legal and financial processes involved.
Remember Scotland has its own distinct legal system, therefore the Scottish property market operates very differently from the rest of the UK. We’ve highlighted information that is unique to Scotland throughout this guide but here are a few important things to remember.
The Home Report system was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2008, to give buyers all the information they need before making an offer on a property. The report consists of a single survey, energy report and property questionnaire and is paid for by the seller.
Estate Agents & Solicitors
In Scotland both Estate Agents and Solicitors can market and sell homes. There are benefits to using both, the main difference between them is that the Solicitor can handle the legal side as well as the marketing.
Unlike the rest of the UK where a fixed price is usually stated, Scotland traditionally operates an 'offers over' system, which essentially means that buyers will enter into a bidding system. However, recently 'offers in the region of' and 'fixed price' have become increasingly common, as the sellers expectations are clearer and this can lead to a quicker negotiation process.
Until recently, property chains (where a buyer makes an offer on a property before they have sold their own) didn't really occur in Scotland as most solicitors would reject offers unless the buyer had the funds available for the purchase. However, there has been a marked shift towards the English system with offers being accepted and the deal only finalising shortly before the exchange date, leading to an increasing number of property chains developing in the market place. To avoid this, buyers should ideally make sure they have a concluded missive on their own property prior to making an offer on another property.