Your Guide to Selling a House in Scotland
Step 1: Get a Pre-Sale Valuation
Selling property in Scotland can be a daunting task. The first step in selling your property is to find out how much it could be worth. To do this, you can arrange a pre-sale valuation with an estate agent. The estate agent will come out to view your property and provide an estimate of its value.
Most estate agents offer free valuations, and you aren’t then obliged to list your property for sale with that particular estate agent.
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What affects the value of my property?
There are a number of factors that can affect the price of your property – not just how big it is! That’s why getting a pre-sale valuation from a trusted and experienced estate agent is a must.
One of the main things that will influence your property’s value will be the size and condition that it’s currently in. The number of bedrooms, the size of the kitchen, and whether the property has extension potential or not will all factor into the estate agent’s valuation.
The condition that the property is in will also affect the valuation. Will the buyer need to renovate in order to move in? If that’s the case, you can expect the value to be lower than a recently renovated home.
Having a garden will also increase the property’s value, with more and more people looking for a home with outside space in the aftermath of Covid 19. Access to private parking could also help bump up your property’s price tag!
How to sell your house in Scotland will vary from place to place. The location of the property will greatly influence the potential value of your home. If your property is in a sought-after area, this will positively affect your property valuation! Keeping an eye on house price trends in your area will give you an idea of how much similar properties are selling for, and what you might expect from your valuation.
Locational factors that could affect your valuation would be whether you are in a school catchment area, close to public transport links and other local amenities, and the noise levels in the locality.
The state of the economy can also have an effect on the value of your property. Levels of personal income, interest rates, taxation, and unemployment rates will all affect the levels of demand for housing. If the demand for property is low because of economic factors, house prices may decrease. Similarly, if the demand for property outweighs the supply of homes for sale, you can expect the value of your house to rise due to increased competition.
Step 2: Check your options with a mortgage advisor
If you are still paying off the mortgage on the property that you want to sell, speaking with a mortgage advisor will help you to understand your next steps in this process. You may have to pay a fee to end your current mortgage, or change to a different lender when taking out a mortgage on your new property. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and a mortgage advisor will discuss the options available to you so that you can decide on the best option for you.
The cost of selling a house in Scotland will also vary between agencies.
Step 3: Appoint an estate agent you trust
When you decide to sell your house, it’s important to choose an estate agent that you can trust. Remember, this person will be in charge of marketing your home for sale, carrying out viewings, and achieving the highest possible sale value for you. Therefore, you should put some serious thought into choosing the right agent for you, making sure it’s someone that you want to work with.
It’s possible that you may have struck up a good relationship with an estate agent who carried out your pre-sale valuation, and you may decide to proceed with them. However, our team does recommend thinking carefully before making a decision.
Step 4: Prepare your home for sale
Once you’ve chosen your estate agent, it’s time to get your home ready to market! Before the professional photos are taken, make time to deep clean your property. The cleaner the space, the more appealing the photos will be to potential buyers. Try to declutter by putting your personal belongings into storage – or up in your parent’s attic!
You can also use this time to touch up any paint jobs, giving the property a fresh feel in time for in-person viewings. Get moving with those jobs that you have been putting off for the last couple of years, like fixing any faulty door handles and light switches. If you have an outdoor space, make sure the grass is cut and the garden isn’t overgrown. You could even invest in some evergreen plants or outdoor lighting to make the space more appealing in winter! These jobs may seem small, but a little TLC could help you bag that higher offer.
Step 5: Get a Home Report
In Scotland, you are required to produce a Home Report if you are selling a residential property.
A Home Report is a document that provides information to potential buyers about a property. Produced by a chartered surveyor, it gives an indication of the current condition of a property and states the value of the property as determined by the surveyor. The Report is split into three parts; the single survey and valuation, the property questionnaire, and the energy report. Your estate agent can source this document for you and discuss any questions you might have on the topic!
Step 6: Ask your estate agent to arrange property viewings
Now that you’ve sorted out your Home Report and your estate agent has put your house on the market, it’s time to start showing it off in person! Property visits give potential buyers the opportunity to get a real feel for the place and imagine themselves living there. They can gauge if the property needs any work, what the natural lighting is like, and if their furniture will fit! Viewing the property will also give buyers the chance to check out the local area, and what the noise and traffic levels are like, too.
Step 7: Consider your offers
If a buyer is interested in your property, their solicitor can submit a formal Note of Interest on their behalf. A Note of Interest is not an official offer on a property, but it is a sign that the potential buyers wish to have the opportunity to make an offer on the property before you decide to sell it to someone else.
If your property receives a few Notes of Interest, your estate agent may advise on setting a closing date for the sale. This means that all those who have expressed interest in making an offer on your home are given a deadline by which to submit their offers!
It can be exciting to watch the offers rolling in, and it’s up to you to decide what to do next. You can choose to accept an offer or negotiate with a buyer’s solicitor. If you are unsure of what to do, your sales negotiator can advise you on the best approach, unique to your sale. The time frame of how long to sell a house in Scotland can rely on this.
If you don’t receive any tempting offers, your estate agent can keep marketing your property until the right one comes in for you. It’s important to note that an offer on a property is not legally binding – the sale isn’t complete until the legal stuff is done (in steps 8 and 9!).
Step 8: Let the solicitors sort out the legal stuff
Once you have decided which offer to accept, it’s time to let the solicitors sort out the legal stuff. Your solicitors will work with the buyer’s solicitors, arranging the payments, transferring the Title Deeds, and agreeing on the date of entry (that’s when the buyers can move in). This is the conveyancing process, and has to be completed on house sales and purchases in Scotland.
Step 9: Conclude the missives
Once everything has been agreed between you and the buyer, it’s time to conclude the missives. Once the missives have been concluded, that means your sale is legally binding! It’s time to start packing!
Step 10: Get moving!
Congratulations! It’s time to pop the fizz and celebrate your sale. Once you and the buyer have agreed on a date of entry, all that’s left is for you to pack everything up, and say your goodbyes – you’re ready to move into your new place!
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