A guide to selling a house or flat in Scotland
Here's our step-by-step guide on how to sell a house in Scotland. We'll also be answering our commonly asked questions about selling.
When you're ready to sell your home, arrange a free property valuation with an ESPC solicitor estate agent and search for your new home on ESPC. You can learn more about our services for sellers here.
Wondering where to start with selling your home and what the process of selling a property involves? Below we look at the main steps to selling a house or flat in Scotland.
1. Get your property valued
The first step to selling your home is to find out how much your house or flat is worth. This is called a valuation. You can contact a few solicitor estate agents for a valuation by using our form. By arranging a valuation you are not agreeing to definitely sell your home.
There are several things a valuer will look for when valuing a property, including:
- curbside appeal (how attractive it looks from the outside)
- the general condition of the property
- how many bedrooms and public rooms there are
- how energy efficient it is
If there are things requiring fixing in your home, it's a good idea to get them done before a valuation is carried out.
If you're at this point just looking for an idea on how much you can sell for, use our Sold Prices Search to find out how much houses near you have sold for.
2. Appoint a solicitor estate agent
After you have invited a few solicitor estate agents to value your property, you will need to choose one to take you through the rest of the selling process. Getting different solicitor estate agents to value your home is a great way to find out what they offer.
ESPC solicitor estate agents are experts in the local property market and can take care of the entire selling process, from marketing the property to the legal process.
They are also duty bound by the Law Society of Scotland guarantee to provide the best service possible to you and work to stay up-to-date with any changing guidance and legislation on selling a property in Scotland. Find an ESPC solicitor estate agent.
ESPC Charter members have signed up to provide an even higher level of service. From clear, transparent pricing, to regular feedback and consistent points of contacts, Charter firms offer their clients a little more. They also prioritise training and development to ensure that they can stay in a market leading position, offering high quality, customer focussed service. Find out more about the ESPC Charter.
3. Look at your mortgage options
When you decide to sell, it’s wise to also determine your financial situation. Seeking independent mortgage advice from ESPC Mortgages can help you to make decisions about your mortgage and what the best options are is a good place to start. You can learn more about mortgages for home movers here.
4. Prepare your home for sale
Prior to your home going to market, you’ll want to make sure that it will appear attractive to potential buyers.
Some ideas for making your home as attractive as possible:
- carry out any diy tasks (no matter how small)
- paint the walls to freshen them up or make the colour scheme more neutral
- have a deep clean
- have a clear out or ensure that there's not too much clutter
Try to think as a potential buyer when looking at your home. Your solicitor estate agent will also be able to advise you in this regard.
5. Get a Home Report
Before you can market your home, you’ll need to get a Home Report. Some parts of the Home Report are conducted by a surveyor and your solicitor estate agent will help to arrange this.
The Home Report will contain information about your property, and includes a Property Questionnaire, with general information about your property, a Single Survey, with details about the condition of the home, a valuation and accessibility audit, along with an Energy Report, which provides your home with an energy efficiency rating.
A surveyor will need to visit your home in order to produce the Home Report.
6. Conduct viewings
Once your home is on the market, interested buyers will view your property to see if it’s the right fit for them.
We have some advice here on staging your home for viewings.
7. Negotiate offers
If a buyer wishes to purchase your property, they will either submit an offer or a formal note of interest. These will be made to your solicitor. If they submit an offer, you can choose to accept it or negotiate on the price – your solicitor estate agent will negotiate the selling price and other matters, such as the date of entry, on your behalf.
If a note of interest is submitted, this is the buyer declaring formal interest in a property and that they would like an opportunity to make an offer on it before it sells. If one or more notes of interest have been made on the property, a closing date may be set, which means all offers should be submitted by that date.
However, there is no legal requirement to set a closing date. Your solicitor will be able to offer you further advice in this.
8. Concluding the missives
Once you have accepted an offer, your solicitor will work on the legal aspects of the sale. Once the missives are concluded (a binding contract between buyer and seller), neither can withdraw from the sale without penalties.
However, there are some further checks a solicitor estate agent must do before drawing up the new title deeds and transferring ownership of property.
Once that’s taken care of, the money from the sale will be collected and arrangements made to discharge and repay your existing mortgage, on the agreed date of entry. And that’s your house or flat officially sold!
What are the costs of selling a house?
There are different costs involved when selling a house in Scotland, including selling agent fees, additional marketing costs, getting a Home Report, property repairs and subsequent moving costs.
It’s important to take these into consideration when budgeting, particularly if you’re looking to purchase a new property, as this will help determine how much you can spend. Your selling agent will be able to explain the various costs associated with moving home.
Do you need a solicitor to sell a house in Scotland?
Yes, a solicitor is legally required to help with the settlement and title transfer process.
They make sure you meet all legal obligations and your rights are protected.
What's the difference between a solicitor and an estate agent?
A solicitor deals with the legal aspects of buying and selling property in Scotland, while an estate agent markets and promotes the property on the sellers behalf.
One of the many benefits of using an ESPC solicitor estate agent is that they are all solicitor estate agents, meaning they can take care of the entire selling process, from marketing the property to the legal side.
Do you pay tax when you sell your house in Scotland?
You don’t pay tax on selling a home, but if you are buying a home you may have to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), which is Scotland’s equivalent to Stamp Duty. How much you will have to pay depends on the value of the property you are buying.
Use our LBTT calculator to get an idea of how much you will need to pay and your solicitor can offer further information and help you work out how much this is likely to cost you.
How can I sell my house fast?
Selling times for different properties and areas vary and your solicitor will be able to advise your further in this regard. If you would like to get a rough idea of selling times in your local area, use our explore areas tool or speak to an ESPC agent.
Can I sell my house before my mortgage is paid?
Yes, you can sell your house before paying off your mortgage as you can use the money made from a sale to pay it off.
But if you’re on a fixed term contract, you may have to pay penalties to leave earlier if you move before the end of the term, although you may also be able to port a mortgage to another property.
It is advisable to get an independent mortgage adviser or specialist to help you in this regard and work out the best option for you.
Do you need a Home Report to sell in Scotland?
Yes, in most cases it is a legal requirement to get a Home Report for a property in Scotland if it’s public knowledge the house is for sale. Your solicitor estate agent will be able to help you arrange a Home Report and explain the cost of this to you.
Should I sell my home before I buy?
Deciding whether to sell a home before you buy, or buy before you sell is tricky, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Your solicitor estate agent will help you navigate the buying process as well as the selling process, so you should consult with them about the best option for you.
You can also sell your house through our Unlock
ESPC is the home property and our network of solicitor estate agent member firms can help you through each stage of the selling process – you can trust them to work hard to get the best selling price for your home. Here are some reasons to use an ESPC agent:
- The home of getting a great selling price – Independent research proved that on average ESPC agents get more for your home by achieving a higher selling price above Home Report valuation than non-ESPC agents.
- The home of local property experts - our solicitor estate agents are all experts in the local market, with access to a wealth of ESPC data allowing them insights into the market.
- The home of free house valuations – ESPC offers a free home valuations service so you can easily find out how much your house is worth and get started on the property selling process.
Get started on your home selling journey by having a look at the services on offer to sellers from ESPC solicitor estate agents.
The initial consultation with an ESPC Mortgages adviser is free and without obligation. Thereafter, ESPC Mortgages charges for mortgage advice are usually £395 (£345 for first-time buyers). YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER LOANS SECURED AGAINST IT.
The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.
The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
ESPC (UK) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Lyncombe Consultants Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.