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Buying and Selling a Property or Land in Lochaber, Scotland


Buying a Property

First things first

First you have to find the right property. Then you have to arrange a survey. You have to make
an offer to buy the property, and you have to arrange finance to pay for it. You’ll need someone
who can guide you through this process and offer you sound advice. It’s a process which starts
before you actually make an offer and isn’t quite finished even when you get your keys.

Throughout the whole procedure, your solicitor is there to explain the procedure and offer you
expert advice and experience.

Finding a property

Once you have found a property you like, ask your solicitor to ‘note interest’ for you with the
selling agent. A note of interest does not oblige you to buy; it simply indicates that
you are interested in the property and wish to be kept informed of developments,
such as the fixing of a closing date for offers.

Arranging a Survey

You will now need to have a survey carried out to find out the value of the property and to find
out if there are any problems with the structure of the building. There are several different types
of survey and your solicitor will advise you on the best one for the property you have chosen.
He or she can also instruct a surveyor on your behalf, if you wish.

Arranging the Loan

At the same time, you will have to arrange your loan. Ask your solicitor for advice regarding this.
With many different kinds of loan available at any time (eg repayment mortgages, endowment
mortgages, Islamic mortgages, fixed rate, capped rate, slow start, deferred payment etc.) it can be
very confusing. It is important to have a reliable adviser, so that you are confident that you have
chosen the loan repayment method which is best suited to your circumstances. Many solicitors
can give you advice on this and, if you want, can arrange your loan for you.

Submitting an Offer

If you wish, your solicitor will arrange the survey. Thereafter, he or she will give you advice about
how much you might need to offer. If there are other people interested in the property, the
sellers may well fix a ‘closing date’ when all the interested parties will submit their best offers.
However, if you are the only person interested in purchasing the property, or if the property is
advertised for sale at a ‘fixed price’, it may be possible to put in an offer right away. On your
instruction the solicitor will prepare an offer, sign it on your behalf and submit it to the selling
agents. Any offer prepared in this way may well have legal consequences for you so it is essential
that your loan arrangements are agreed beforehand.


Your solicitor will be able to advise you about insuring the property and its contents.
Negotiating the purchase Assuming your offer is successful, there will
probably be negotiations with the seller, to agree the date of entry (ie, the date on which you will
obtain the keys and the titles of the property, in exchange for payment of the purchase price).
There could be other matters to be negotiated too, such as the items to be included in the

Buying a Property

purchase, guarantees in respect of the central heating system, how to deal with an outstanding
Statutory Repairs Notice and many other practical matters. Your solicitor will help you to deal with
these issues and, once they are all agreed in writing, you will have a binding contract for the

Checking the Titles

While all this is going on, your solicitor will also be checking over the titles and reporting to you
on the exact description of the property and any ‘title burdens’, that is, conditions which will have
to be obeyed by any owner of the property. This could include an obligation to pay a proportion
of common repairs, or a restriction on the possible uses to which the property can be put.

Transferring the title into your name

A new title deed (a ‘Disposition’) will also have to be prepared for signature by the seller,
transferring the title into your own name. If you have a mortgage arranged, a Standard Security
will also have to be prepared (to be signed by you, the purchaser) giving the Lender (ie your
mortgage provider) certain rights over the property, including, in certain circumstances, a
right to take possession of the property and sell it. Your solicitor will advise you in detail about
the effect of granting a security of this kind over your property.

Completing the Purchase 

Once all these matters have been dealt with, the transaction will be completed, the deeds will all
be signed, the price will be paid to the seller and you will get the keys to your new home. There
are several other matters which you may have to deal with and which your solicitor can assist
you with. For example, if you have not already done so, it is a useful time to consider drawing
up a will, especially if you are buying the property along with another person. If you are not married,
or in a ‘civil partnership’ with the joint owner, there may be other issues to consider and your
solicitor can advise on these.

Quotations of fees and outlays

Your solicitor can provide you with a quotation of the fees which you will be charged for the
house purchase and any will etc, including the various outlays you will also have to pay, such as
Stamp Duty and survey fees. Your solicitor can generally deal with everything
from the start of the transaction to the moment when you move into your new home. So, if you
are thinking of buying a house or a flat, the best advice is See your Solicitor First.

Buying a Property

First things first

Before you start to sell your house or flat, there are a number of things to consider: when should
you sell it, for how much, what items are to be included in the sale, where should you advertise
the sale? If you are selling your house, there’s a good chance you will be buying another home.

If so, often the first question is: should you attempt to buy the new property first, or should
you sell your own property first? Your solicitor will be able to help
you with these issues and help you decide which of these approaches is best for you.

Putting your property on the Market

Most solicitors are able to carry out the entire sale transaction for a house including the estate
agency and the conveyancing. Your solicitor will advise you about the best method of advertising
your property.

Selling a Property

Most solicitors are members of their local Solicitors Property Centre (SPC) and your
property may be included on its website.

Contact your solicitor

Even if you decide to sell the property yourself, it makes sense to contact your solicitor as soon
as you decide to proceed, as he or she will need to order up the title deeds from your lender (ie
mortgage provider) at an early stage of the transaction. There are many issues to consider
and your solicitor will be able to advise you on these.

He or she will be able to provide you with a quotation of the fees and the various outlays you
will have to pay in connection with the sale.

A Binding Contract

Once you have found a buyer, your solicitor will negotiate the selling price and a number of other
matters, such as the ‘date of entry’ (that is, the date on which you will hand over the keys to the
buyer, in return for the sale price). Once all of these matters have been agreed, in writing there
will be a binding contract (also known as ‘concluded missives’) for the sale of the property
and neither party will be entitled to withdraw from the contract without becoming, potentially,
liable for substantial damages to the other party. If you are buying a property at the same time as
selling your own property, it may be possible for your solicitor to arrange for the two dates of
entry to coincide.

Dealing with the Titles

After the purchaser’s offer has been accepted, his or her solicitor will have to examine the titles
and your solicitor will have to carry out a Search of the public registers to confirm that there is no
reason why the property should not be sold. Your solicitor may also have to obtain Property
Certificates from the local authority and deal with any problems which may crop up, such as
an outstanding Statutory Repairs Notice or a missing Building Warrant. These matters should,
preferably, be dealt with before you find a buyer, and it is helpful to advise your solicitor that you
are planning to sell your house as soon as you make your decision.

Settling the Transaction

Once all these matters have been dealt with, your solicitor will arrange for the transaction to
be settled. Before this can be done, he or she will have to have a Disposition (that is, a new title
deed, transferring ownership to the purchaser) signed by you. Your solicitor will also need to
discharge any existing loans.

Selling a Property

At settlement, the purchaser’s solicitor will pay to your solicitor the sale price of the property in
return for the keys and the title deeds. Your solicitor will then repay any outstanding loan to
your lender and, after deducting his or her fees and the various outlays paid for on your behalf,
the rest of the money will be paid to you. If you are buying another property at the same time,
your solicitor will require the sale proceeds to complete the purchase of the new property.

After Settlement

If any matters arise after settlement, your solicitor is there to advise you and conclude matters

There are a number of matters to be considered when selling a property. To ensure that the sale
of your property runs as smoothly as possible, the best advice is See your Solicitor First.



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