How to make buying a property in Scotland downright straightforward

How to make buying a property in Scotland downright straightforward

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Buying a home is undoubtedly the most significant financial decision you will ever make in your life. It should also be the most well-informed decision you should be making. There are many aspects to consider, such as your financial strength, legal representation, property assessments, and more. We are uncomplicating this process for you with these tips on buying a property in Scotland.

What is the size of your mortgage?

Without a mortgage ‘in principal’ from a suitable lender, you cannot make a successful offer on a property. When a mortgage lender confirms their decision to lend you money, it is called a Decision in Principle. It helps a seller to be confident that you can pay for the property and you to have a better understanding of the properties you can afford. Before making an offer, check that your deposit and mortgage can cover the cost of the property. A mortgage adviser can guide you on the type of mortgage you can afford.

Find a solicitor

A solicitor has to handle all legal matters related to a property purchase. The missives and conveyancing require a legal intermediary. Hiring a solicitor who has a good knowledge of the local housing market will make things a lot easier for you. Make sure your solicitor is an approved member of your mortgage lender's panel. If not, transactions can delay. When you choose a solicitor for your conveyancing who is not on your mortgage lender’s approved solicitor panel, it is called Separate Representation. It means your solicitor cannot act on your mortgage lender's behalf and for you at the same time.

Start looking for a house to buy

It is easier to actively start looking for properties now that you know what you can afford. Do not limit your searches only to big property portals or estate agency websites; try local listings and homes you can redo or improve. Houses in the suburbs can be beneficial as well as cheaper. Once you have a shortlist of properties, book them for viewing.  Usually, estate agents conduct property viewing, while some owners prefer to show their homes by themselves.

Home Report and Survey

If you like a property, you should request the Home Report from the seller. This document consists of The Single Survey, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and the Property Questionnaire. The Report is offered free of charge. The Single Survey is an evaluation conducted by a chartered surveyor that assesses the condition of the property. It details out the valuation of the property and the repairs it needs. Energy Performance Certificate provides information on energy efficiency and rating. The questionnaire covers 16 categories offering information on the council tax band, alterations and extensions, property damage, specialist works, and notices.

Most buyers arrange a separate survey of the property. It, too, should be carried out by a chartered surveyor.

If you are happy with the report, you can ask your solicitor to make a Note of Interest to the seller or their estate agent. It renders them with an obligation to inform you of any developments, including price changes, offers made, and arranged closing date.

Make an offer

The offer has to come from your solicitor in writing. Your solicitor will then negotiate the offer's terms with the solicitor of the seller. An offer accepted by the seller is not legally binding in Scotland. If your offer is successful, your solicitor receives a ‘qualified acceptance’ from the vendor's solicitor.  It leads to the exchange of formal letters, known as missives, which results in the final terms. Until the final contract is signed, either party can pull out of the sale. Fixed Price properties get sold to the first person ready to offer the advertised price Sometimes the vendor may accept even a lower price depending on how long the property has been on the market. ‘Offers over’ means the property gets sold to the highest bidder. ‘Offers around’ properties suggest the seller's willingness to negotiate.

Agreeing on the contract

When a contract is agreed on, it is called the 'conclusion of the missives.' Now both parties are legally bound to sell and buy. The seller's solicitor draws up the disposition, the document transferring legal ownership of the property. The buyer's solicitor draws up the Standard Security, the deed securing the loan, which the buyer signs. It is the final conveyancing.

Completion and final steps

On the day specified by the contract, you should pay the seller the agreed purchase price in full to obtain the keys to the property, also known as the 'settlement.' The moving date or the 'date of entry' is agreed on by both parties before the conclusion of missives. Now is the time to start contacting removal companies for quotes and insurance companies for building and content insurance quotes. All relevant insurance policies have to begin from the exchange of contracts date.

Buying a property needs thorough research on your part and the best professional advice you can get to simplify the process. Did this guide help you understand the process better? Call GS Brown Construction today to find Scottish home developments and a skilled building team for renovation and construction work for your new property.