Do I need a solicitor to buy a house in Scotland?
Taking that first step and deciding that you’re ready to buy a property is exciting! Your days will probably be spent seeking out your new home on ESPC, and touring furniture stores for inspiration at the weekends.
We LOVE the enthusiasm and excitement of working with first-time buyers, but we know all too well that it can often seem a little overwhelming, too. For instance, do I need a solicitor to buy a house?
This is one of the main questions our estate agents are asked by first-time buyers and if so, what stage in the process do you contact them?
Do you wait until you have found a property that you want to make an offer on, or is it better to speak to a solicitor before you even start looking?
We spoke to our director of property sales, Tzana Webster, about what you can do to make your property process as straightforward as possible.
What is a residential conveyancing solicitor?
In Scotland, you are required by law to use a solicitor or qualified conveyancer when you are buying or selling property. As a property buyer, your chosen conveyancing solicitor will handle all the legal aspects of the purchase, so that you can concentrate on organising your move.
Your solicitor will also be able to give you advice and information about the property you are interested in by going through the Home Report for you.
If the Home Report for a property mentions “higher than normal moisture readings”, your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you should make an offer on the property, or if you should submit an offer subject to getting a damp and timber specialist to look at the property before you buy.
When do I need a conveyancing solicitor?
It’s important to get in touch with a residential conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible in your Scottish property buying journey.
By instructing a solicitor now, it means you will be ready to act when you find the home of your dreams – be it in Edinburgh, Glasgow or the Scottish Highlands.
Conveyancing solicitors are able to request a property’s Home Report, register a formal Note of Interest on your behalf, and help you when you’re ready to make an offer.
Your ESPC registered solicitor will have access to the ESPC’s historical sales archive – meaning they can provide you with sales data, and identify market trends in specific areas.
This will help you to make a competitive offer on your home, as you will have information on what sellers in the area expect for their property sale.
Tzana said: “There is a lot that a conveyancing solicitor can help you with and having one lined up at the start, one who you trust and who you have a good relationship with, is worth its weight in gold.
“They will be able to provide you with honest, helpful advice, as well as being quickly able to react if a Closing Date is set, so that you can make your offer in time.”
How much is a conveyancing solicitor?
The majority of solicitor estate agents work on a fixed rate, meaning they will be able to quote a fee to you for the work that will be involved in the purchase. This means that you won’t be seeing extra charges coming through to register Notes of Interest on your behalf, or for giving you advice about a property.
Ready to instruct a conveyancing solicitor?
At Watermans, our expert conveyancing team is ready to help you to buy your dream home. We have helped thousands of people to buy their first home, and we take the hassle out of all the legal stuff, so you can concentrate on enjoying the process. Speak to our conveyancing team using the form below, or by calling us on 0131 555 7055.