What’s the home buying process in Scotland?

Blind bidding system

Most homes in Scotland are sold on what’s called a ‘blind bidding’ system. This means rather than a house being sold at a fixed price, you can make offers over or around a minimum price. Therefore, the price you end up paying depends on how many other people make an offer too.

Here’s an outline of the legal process for buying a house or flat in Scotland.

Read the Home Report

Once you’ve found the house for you, ask for a Home Report. This is a document that tells you everything you need to know about the house you’re interested in buying. For instance, a survey and valuation, a property questionnaire and an energy report.

Request a ‘Note of Interest’

If you’re happy with the Home Report, let your solicitor know and they’ll note your interest with the seller. If several other people also note their interest in the house, the seller might set a closing date which means nobody else can make an offer after this date.

If there’s no closing date, this could indicate that there isn’t anyone else interested, which puts you in a strong position to negotiate a price that suits you.

Making an offer

If you’d like to make an offer, your solicitor will write a letter on your behalf, to the seller. The letter will include:

  • Description of the house you want to buy
  • Date you want to collect the keys
  • Price you want to pay
  • Items you want to buy from the seller
  • Any other conditions

If your offer is successful, the seller’s solicitor will write to you with a ‘qualified acceptance’ letter. Following this, any letters to negotiate conditions will happen between your solicitor and the seller’s solicitor. These are known as ‘missives’.

The settlement

This is the final stage where you pay the whole purchase price in exchange for the keys to your new house!

Why not start your mortgage search today and see what your monthly repayments could be? In the meantime, you might want to read more helpful tips about moving house.


Because we play by the book we want to tell you that…

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances.
The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

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