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Selling a house in Scotland

Thinking of selling your home? Find out the basic steps you need to take, from ordering a home report to signing the contract.

In this article
Home reports in Scotland Estate agents and solicitors for Scottish property sales Setting the right property price
Conveyancing for sellers in Scotland Completing the sale of a Scottish property

Home reports in Scotland

When you're selling a property in Scotland you need to provide potential buyers with a home report. 

This report contains three parts - a single survey, an energy report and a property questionnaire.

The single survey contains a valuation and an assessment of the property's structural condition.

The energy report provides an energy efficiency rating and gives details of the property's emissions.

The property questionnaire features key details about the history of the property (such as whether it's ever flooded), and answers some frequently asked questions, such as which council tax band the property falls into.

Your estate agent or solicitor will help you arrange this.

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Estate agents and solicitors for Scottish property sales

In Scotland, properties are often marketed by law firms offering an additional estate agency service. This means it's common to refer to an estate agent as a solicitor, and vice versa, in the context of selling a property. 

Your property solicitor will carry out standard estate agency tasks - such as advertising the property and negotiating with buyers - and can also offer conveyancing services to cover the legal formalities of selling your property.

If you wish, you can choose a separate estate agent and conveyancer - but make sure you shop around to get the best quote.

All estate agents in the UK must be part of an ombudsman scheme such as The Property Ombudsman (TPO), which will handle complaints. 

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Setting the right property price

In Scotland, sellers either advertise their property for 'offers over' or 'around' a certain amount, or at a fixed price.

You should discuss which option would be best with your estate agent or solicitor, who will market the property and deal with offers from buyers on your behalf.

If you're marketing your home at 'offers over' or 'offers around' a price, you will usually set a closing date by which you want to receive all bids. 

You can then choose the one you want to accept based on the amount and the terms of the offer, which will include a suggested 'date of entry' for completing the sale.

While buyers can submit offers subject to a survey, they will usually have had one carried out before making an unconditional offer.

Conveyancing for sellers in Scotland

Solicitors carry out the conveyancing work to ensure ownership of the property is transferred correctly. 

In Scotland, the contract drawn up to sell your property is created by an exchange of 'missives' - a series of letters between your solicitor and the buyer's. 

The missives will contain all the clauses that apply to the sale, right down to when the buyer gets the keys.

As in the rest of the UK, this process can be drawn out as various legal checks are undertaken and a deed of transfer is put together.

Once everything is agreed - at the 'conclusion of missives' - a binding contract is created and neither party can break this agreement without paying compensation.

Completing the sale of a Scottish property

The sale is completed on the date of entry agreed in the contract, when the buyer pays the full purchase price in exchange for the keys to the property and the 'disposition' document transferring ownership to them.

Your solicitor will then deal with paying off any outstanding loan you have on the property from the proceeds of the sale.

Correct as of date of publication.

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