What to expect when you are selling a house in Scotland: A guide to selling process in Scotland

Selling a house can be an exciting but complex process, especially if you are in Scotland. There are several unique aspects to consider, from engaging an estate agent, making a property questionnaire and energy report to navigating the legal procedures involved. At Clarity SImplicity solicitors, we understand the intricacies of the buying and selling process in Scotland and are here to guide you every step of the way. We are the best in the law society of Scotland and will ensure to make the process of selling easier for you by getting you information about the property market, helping you out with the date of entry, guiding you to make an offer, and obviously, selling your home!

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of what you can expect when selling a property in Scotland, highlighting key stages such as the missives, valuation, conveyancing process, accepting an offer, and more. Whether you’re a first-time seller and need to sell your property or have sold properties before, our aim is to simplify the process and alleviate any concerns you may have. Let’s dive in and explore the journey of selling your house in Scotland.

Clarity SImplicity solicitors can help you sell a property

The intricacies of buying and selling property in Scotland can get the best of you – but don’t fret yourself! You can reach out to our solicitors who will help you sell the property, house, or flat and make the process of selling a property on the market easy for you

Selling a house?

Please notify us as soon as you decide to list your property so that we can receive your title documents from any lenders or other agents. Once an offer is received, we can review these for any missing paperwork and, generally, be prepared to move forward with the correspondence.


The missives, which are composed of official letters exchanged between the two sets of solicitors, serve as the contract between you and the buyer for the sale of your home. They typically consist of an offer from the buyer’s attorney, followed by our acceptance on your behalf. There may be a variety of conditions attached to the offer in this, and letters may be exchanged back and forth between the solicitors to adjust the missives’ terms. 

When one or both of the two sets of solicitors write in one of the missive letters, “We now hold the bargain as concluded” or words to that effect, that is when the crucial moment has arrived. The transaction is now final and legally binding on both sides because all of the provisions of the missives have been agreed upon at that time. Before we reach that point, each party has the option of terminating the deal.

Although it is rare, delays can occur when tying up the missives as the buyer awaits a loan offer from the lender or tries to tie up the missives for the sale of their current home. It takes two to tango, so while we’ll try to wrap up the missives as quickly as possible, there may not always be much we can do if the purchaser’s attorney is being slow to act.

The Mystery of a home report and the conveyancing process

After receiving your title deeds, we will forward them to the buyer’s solicitors. To ensure that the title that their clients will get to the property is “valid and marketable” (i.e., good), the purchaser’s solicitors will review the title deeds. After that, they will draught the document transferring ownership of the property from you to the buyer and send it to us for review. At the same time, the solicitors will typically bring up any concerns they have about the property’s title as well as other issues like the names of the utility providers, professional guarantees, documentation for renovations to the property, etc. To get the answers to some of these questions, we might get in touch with you, and we might need to check with the local authority or other organisations. After we have reviewed the draught deed provided by the buyer’s solicitor, we will send it back to them, and they will provide us the final document for you to sign.

In the interim, we also order a Property Enquiry Certificate for the property that includes information on the property’s connection to the standard mains services, any outstanding building warrants or planning applications that may affect it, whether the roadway is taken over and maintained by the local authority, and whether it is impacted by any planning notices or listings. The purchaser’s solicitors are then shown that.

In the event that the property is subject to a mortgage, we will additionally draught a discharge of the mortgage deed, have it certified by the buyer’s attorneys and then submit it to the lender for signature along with a request for the redemption amount as of the actual closing date.

The Price to accept an offer 

We will pay off any mortgage you might have, your estate agent’s bill, as well as our own fees and expenses after we receive the sale price from the buyer’s solicitors. Following the settlement, we will send you a complete accounting of our financial activities and pay you any outstanding balance.

Additionally, we inform the local council of the change in ownership for Council Tax purposes. We also let them know your new address so they can contact you if necessary.

The Benefits of Paying by Cheque 

The Law Society’s current policy states that most conveyancing transactions should be settled by cheque, but telegraphic money transfers are becoming more usual. If a solicitor is relying on funds from a sale to support a purchase, bank transfer settlement can be difficult. Solicitors frequently do not get a client’s mortgage funds until the day of settlement. All the bank can guarantee after receiving a bank transfer instruction is that the money will arrive in the recipient’s account at some point that day, i.e., anytime before 5 o’clock. However, there is a cut-off time for instructing transfers of around 3pm, so the problem can emerge if a solicitor is waiting on those monies to arrive to subsequently transfer out.

Alternatively, we can get a cheque that the other solicitors want us to keep on file as undelivered until they can demonstrate that they have either received their loan payments or that a sale transaction has been settled. Once that has occurred, the cheque cashing can be authorised over the phone. This prevents telegraphic transfers from potentially causing a several-hour delay in the financial system. When conveyancing transactions are settled, we often get checks from solicitors’ client accounts. For Law Society accounting purposes, we are allowed to treat the checks as cleared funds, and it is actually unethical for a lawyer to “stop” a client account check. 

For Law Society purposes, the cheque may be regarded as cleared monies; however, for banking purposes, it is not cleared funds, and it still takes the standard amount of time for cleared funds to pass through the banking system before being credited to our account. Due to this, if the settlement is made by cheque, it is not possible to provide the client’s net proceeds of sale on the same day that we close the transaction.

The other attorneys may be able to agree to settle with us via telegraphic transfer, but we must be informed of this prior to the settlement of the transaction. In that case, it would be customary to offer to pay for the telegraphic transfer of the cash. Therefore, it is crucial that you notify us as soon as possible if you require any proceeds to be sent to you via telegraphic transfer.

When a property is in Joint Names

Unless we receive special written instructions from one party stating that they are pleased for the sale proceeds to be transferred to the other party, we are required to pay out the net proceeds of a property that is owned in joint names to both parties.

Selling a home in Scotland? Contact us!

Only a quick summary of what we perform in a sale transaction is provided here. However, since no two transactions are the same, other problems frequently come up. Moving is supposedly one of life’s most difficult situations. From a legal standpoint, we want to make everything as stress-free as we can.

Please do not hesitate to call us at 0808 169 5822 if you have any questions.

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