August 19, 2019

If you live in England but are considering moving north of the border and buying a property in Scotland, then it is important you understand the differences between the two systems.

Here we consider the key factors:

  • In Scotland, many estate agents also operate as solicitors and offer conveyancing advice
  • In Scotland you need to engage with a solicitor before making an offer on a property
  • In Scotland, would-be buyers indicate their interest in a property (via their solicitor) meaning that they are kept informed of any closing dates of offers
  • The majority of properties in Scotland are marketed as ‘offers over’ meaning there is an expectation that properties will sell for a percentage above the offers over price, although the precise percentage depends on the area, the property type and the current state of the wider market
  • In Scotland, all properties (except for new-builds) are obliged to have a Home Report, which contains a survey, a detailed property questionnaire and energy efficiency report, before going up for sale. The mortgage provider usually relies on the price stipulated in the Home Report to lend to the buyer.
  • Gazumping does not tend to happen in Scotland – once the seller has accepted an offer it is removed from the market
  • Missives are normally concluded as quickly as possible – missives are the series of formal letters through which the solicitors for the buyer and seller set out an offer on a property, a qualified acceptance of that offer, and other relevant documents that form the contract for the property’s sale. No contract exists between the parties until formal conclusion of the missive.
  • SDLT has been replaced with LBTT (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax) in Scotland

Scotland has a separate legal system to England, and this is especially clear when it comes to buying a property. If you are new to the process then speak to our experienced team who know the property market inside out and can take you through the different steps you will need to take, from getting a mortgage all the way to completion.