The home-buying process in Scotland is different from the rest of the UK. And if it's been some years since you last bought, the process will have changed considerably.
So we've produced a step-by-step guide to buying your next home in Scotland (and selling your current home).
Get your home valued. If you do decide to sell, you will have to pay for a Home Report which will contain a valuation. If you’d just like an indication of value before deciding, invite two or three local estate agents to view the property.
Get an up to date credit report from Experian (£2), Equifax (£2) or Noddle (free). Then you’ll be aware of any issues and can let your mortgage adviser know.
Do your research on Zoopla and the Registers of Scotland website, so you know how much the type of properties you’re interested in have been selling for.
Get mortgage advice. Whether you need to borrow more, less or the same than you have now, a mortgage adviser can advise you how much you can borrow and get you the best deal.
Consider getting a decision in principle from a mortgage lender so you know how much you can afford to offer.
Decide whether to put your house on the market before making an offer on another property, or wait till you have an offer accepted first. This will depend on whether the market is heated or slow.
If you do decide to sell now, engage an estate agent and/or solicitor to market your home and deal with the conveyancing.
Commission a Home Report – you can either do this via a surveyor, or your solicitor or estate agent may be able to arrange this for you.
Make sure you have all paperwork relating to any work you’ve had done to your property. Your solicitor can advise you on this.
Decide on whether you want a fixed price or offers over, and agree the closing date if necessary.
If an offer is made, decide whether you want to accept it.
If you do, the two sets of solicitors will agree the details of the sale.
Meanwhile, you may have found a property you want to offer on – instruct your solicitor to make an offer.
If the seller accepts, your solicitor will work to achieve completion dates that suit your circumstances, for example the sale of your existing home and the purchase of your next home may be planned to complete on the same day.
If the seller doesn’t accept, you have to look again for another property. Bear in mind that if you are already committed to selling your home and you haven’t found another, you’ll have to find somewhere else to live meantime.
When the solicitors have concluded missives and funds are received, the keys are handed over and the sales are complete.
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Brought to you by Peter Dean
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Peter Dean has helped thousands of people with quality money advice, through his well-known company Your Debt Expert. Peter is now helping even more people by offering quality whole-of-market mortgage advice.