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Selling Your Home in Scotland

Selling Your Home in Scotland: Important Legal Considerations

Selling a home is one of, if not the most significant transactions most people will ever undertake. If you’re selling your home in Scotland, it’s essential to understand the legal aspects involved to ensure as smooth and successful a process as possible, in particular the elements of the transaction you personally have an influence in. This article outlines the key legal considerations you need to be aware of.

Appointing a Solicitor

The first step in selling your home is to appoint a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing. Your solicitor will handle the legal paperwork required to transfer the property, communicate with the buyer’s solicitor and negotiate the elements of the contract between you and the potential purchaser, and ensure that all legal requirements are met. Choosing an experienced solicitor can help prevent delays and complications.

Preparing a Home Report

In Scotland, sellers are required to provide a Home Report to potential buyers, when placing the property on the open market. This report includes three main components:

Single Survey:   A detailed inspection of the property’s condition, conducted by a chartered surveyor.

Energy Performance Certificate:   An assessment of the home’s energy efficiency and environmental impact.

Property Questionnaire:   Completed by the seller, this provides additional information about the property, such as council tax band, parking arrangements, and any alterations made.

The Home Report must be available before the property is marketed and can be accessed by potential buyers.

Setting an Asking Price

Your estate agent, in conjunction with the surveyors comments on the valuation noted in the Single Survey, will help you determine a realistic asking price for your property based on the Home Report’s valuation and current market conditions. In Scotland, properties can be marketed as “offers over,” “fixed price,” or “offers around.”

Marketing Your Property

Once your Home Report is ready and the asking price set, your estate agent will begin marketing your property. This includes listing it on property websites, displaying a for-sale sign, and arranging viewings.

Receiving Offers

When a potential buyer is interested, they will submit an offer through their solicitor. In Scotland, offers are usually made in writing and can be conditional, meaning the buyer might include certain conditions that need to be met. Your solicitor will review these offers and advise you on the best course of action.

It should be noted, where there is more than one interested party in a property, Estate Agents tend to set a closing date. This is a date and time when all potential purchasers should submit their best offer. The estate agents should then consult with you on selecting the right offer for your particular circumstances . Whilst this is usually determined by price, there are other factors to consider such as the length of any chain the purchaser is involved in or whether the Purchasers own sale is even being marketed the time of the offer.

Accepting an Offer

Once you accept an offer, it will be sent to your chosen solicitor for them to progress missives towards a binding contract. Missives are a series of letters between your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor that form the contract for the sale. Once the missives are concluded, both parties are legally committed to the sale.

Conveyancing Process

The conveyancing process involves several key steps:

Examination of Title Deeds:   Your solicitor will obtain the title deeds and check for any legal issues that might affect the sale.

Searches:   Various searches will be conducted to ensure there are no outstanding issues, such as local authority notices or planning permissions.

Disbursements:   Your solicitor will handle any fees associated with the sale, including search fees and often the marketing costs payable to your chosen estate agent.

Settlement Date:   Often known as the “date of entry”, the agreed date when the transaction is to be completed, and the property changes hands.

Transferring Ownership

On the settlement date, the buyer’s solicitor will transfer the purchase funds to your solicitor. Your solicitor will then:

– Ensure any outstanding mortgage is paid off.

– Pay the estate agent’s fees.

– Transfer the remaining balance to you.

The buyer will receive the keys to the property, usually from the selling estate agents and the title deeds will be transferred into their name.

Post-Sale Responsibilities

After the sale, you must ensure that any final utility bills are settled and inform relevant parties, such as your bank and local council, of your change of address.


Selling your home in Scotland involves several legal steps and considerations. By appointing a skilled conveyancing solicitor and being well-prepared with the necessary documents and information, you can help ensure a smooth and successful sale. Understanding the process and staying organised will make the experience less stressful and more rewarding.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a property and are interested in finding out more about what we can offer you,  please contact our experienced Residential Conveyancing Team on 01324 622 888 or contact and we would be delighted to assist.

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