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Everything You Need Know About Selling Your Home

March 13, 2019 Residential Conveyancing

Selling your home can be a big decision and if you’ve never sold a property before very daunting. This guide will give you everything you need to know from beginning and end simplifying the selling process.

Before you put your house or property on the market, you first need to arrange a Home Report. A Home Report is a legal requirement in Scotland and essentially a pack of documents that gives potential buyers information about a property sale. It looks at things like structural soundness, energy efficiency and council tax band.

In Scotland you will need both an estate agent and a , it is important to remember that they both work for you. Whatever you decide they will carry out the action, you are the one in control. When you are trying to decide which is the right estate agents for you, you might feel overwhelmed by just how many there are in your local area. When trying to decide who would be the best estate agents and solicitors speak to family and friends if they have ever sold property before they may be able to make a recommendation. You can also compare estate agents based on how quickly they sell properties or how they will promote your home.

When it comes to paying for an estate agent they will tend to take a percentage of the selling price of your property. You can ask them for written estimates in advance taking into account things such as commission, advertising and VAT.

When selling your property you can ask for an ‘offers over…’  a ‘fixed price’ or ‘offers in the region of’

The difference between ‘offers over…’ and a ‘fixed price’ is that ‘offers over…’ mean you want more than the price you’re asking for. For example, the house you are selling might be worth £110,000 so you ask for  offers over £100,000. A fixed price is the first offer of that amount secures the sale. Whereas the ‘offers in the region of’ gives the buyers an idea of what you expect but also shows that you are willing to be flexible with the price. When you are getting property valued your estate agent will take everything into account from to recently remodelled kitchen and bathrooms. It is important to take all these aspects into account to get the best value for your property.

If there are more than one offer on your property then what would usually happen is that there would be a ‘closing date’ for all offers. This means that all offers would need to be in before that date and then you can choose the offer you want to accept.

So you’ve put your property on the market and you are waiting on the offers rolling in but what kind of offers can buyers make and what do you need to do.

If someone is interested in buying your property they can instruct their solicitor to make a written offer. The offer could be subject to a survey or inspection but will specify the price they are willing to pay.

A note of interest is a way of trying to make sure that you get a chance to make an offer on a property. The estate agent will then fix a closing date for offers but allowing for the parties who has made a Note of Interest to make their own offer.

The closing date is set when there are more than one note of interest and is set by the estate agent under your instruction and gives all the parties a chance to make a formal offer.

If someone likes your property then they will instruct their solicitor to make an offer on it, this could be subject to the Home Report or a survey. Once the closing date has passed your solicitor will go over the offers you have received (if there are more than one) and send the solicitor of the purchaser a written acceptance.  This accepts the price but qualifies the list of purchaser’s legal clauses by amending some and adding in extra clauses to protect you.  The purchasing solicitor will then go over the acceptance and the additional clauses with his/her client and make the contract binding.

Once you have agreed a buyer, next comes the missives. The contract of purchase for the house will be constituted of formal letters between your and the other parties solicitors, these collectively are known as ‘the missives.’

Once the missives have been finalised, the contract between you and the buyer is legally binding. Depending on the missives this could mean if you change your mind and don’t want to sell the property anymore you could be forced to pay a penalty.

Once the missives have been concluded your solicitor will transfer the ownership (title) of the property from you to the buyer. They will also agree the disposition, which is the document the buyers solicitors have drafted which transfers the ownership of the property from you to them.

Once you sign the disposition you will be asked for a date to hand over the keys.

Once you have packed all your belongings, make sure you lock all windows and door and where possible tag the keys so the new owner know which key is for which lock. It may also be helpful to leave notes as to where certain things are in the property like electrical metres and gas metres. You should then drop the keys off at the estate agents where the new owner will be able to pick them up.

When you move out of the property if there are any outstanding loans or debt, then these will be paid off using the money you have made from the sale of the property. Your solicitor should deal with this on your behalf.

If you have any questions on moving home, or are looking to buy or sell a property, then our team of residential property lawyers are always on hand can advise you on the best legal option for your specific set of circumstances.

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