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If you are selling a residential property in Scotland, your property transaction will involve the following seven steps:-
1. Instruct a conveyancing solicitor
Your first steps should be to instruct a conveyancing solicitor you can rely on. This will save the legal process being on the back foot, as it means that the solicitor has time to get all the sale documents prepares in an orderly fashion prior to a sale being agreed. In Scotland, many conveyancing solicitors also offer an estate agency service. It is a good idea to instruct a law firm such as this, as they will be able to take care of all your needs.
2. Prepare the Home Report
Your solicitor will then organise a Home Report. This has been a requirement as of 1 December 2008 and must be prepared before a property can be put on the market. The report itself consists of three documents: a property questionnaire, a single survey and an energy report. If a potential buyer requests a copy of the Home Report, a written copy must be sent to them within nine days.
3. Put your property on the market
Once the Home Report has been completed, your property will be ready to put on the market. Your solicitor can advise you upon a suitable price and will also organise a for sale board and any other advertising you may want (for example, in local newspapers). If you start to receive notes of interest from various buyers, you may wish to set a closing date (ie. the date by which all offers must be made.)
4. Accept an offer
You can either accept an offer straight away or, if you have set a closing date, you must wait until then to look at the bids you have received. You must then decide whether or not you wish to accept any of the offers. You should consult your solicitor before doing so, as the highest bid is not always the safest option. Indeed, many buyer's will make an offer 'subject to survey', meaning they will only agree to the transaction if a survey is performed and the results are satisfactory. Therefore you may wish to go for a slightly lower offer that does not have such conditions, as that party is less likely to withdraw.
5. Conclude the missives
When an offer is accepted, your solicitor and the buyer's solicitor will negotiate upon the exact terms of the sale. This is called qualified acceptance. At this stage the agreement is not legally binding; however, if one party does back out, it is likely they will have to pay compensation to the other side. Once details of the sale have been agreed, your solicitors will continue to finalise the contract via a series of letters - this is known as concluding the missives. Once this is finalised, the contract becomes legally binding.
6. Complete the sale
The terms of the contract will include a date of entry. This is the date by which you must have left the property and handed over the keys to your solicitor. Once this is done, the sale is complete. Your solicitor will hand the keys to the buyer along with the disposition, a document which formally transfers ownership. The buyer's solicitor will then send the agreed purchase price to your solicitor.
7. Discharge your loan
Finally, if you still have a loan on the property, you must pay it off with the money received for the purchase. Your solicitor will obtain a redemption statement from the bank or building society and handle the repayment on your behalf.
Conveyancing Solicitors in Dundee and Edinburgh
For a one-stop estate agency and conveyancing service in Dundee or Edinburgh, contact us on 01382 229 222 (Dundee) or 0131 222 8000 (Edinburgh) today at Blackadders and speak to a member of our residential property team. We will be more than happy to help with your property transaction.