A guide to selling a house or flat in Scotland

ESPC and our agents are experts in the home selling process in Scotland, covering areas across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, the Borders, central and west of Scotland, and Dumfries and Galloway, so whether you are selling a house or flat in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dunfermline, we can help you.

Selling your home can seem like a complicated process. To help you with your house sale, below we go through each step of selling a property in Scotland and answer some commonly asked questions about selling in the current climate.  

And when you're ready to make a start on your home selling journey,  arrange a free property valuation  with an ESPC agent and  search for your new home on ESPC.

Get a free home valuation

Advice from a recent home seller

We spoke to Ronnie who recently sold his flat through an ESPC agent so he could move closer to his grandchildren. Watch our video below to find out his experience. 

What are the steps of selling a house?

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 - arrange a free property valuation today to find this out and start the selling journey.

Agents are now able to visit your property in order to value it. However, if you would prefer, many ESPC agents are offering virtual property valuations so they can provide a valuation without coming to your property.

You should speak to the agent to find out what valuation services they can offer.

2. Appoint a home selling agent

After you have invited selling agents to value your property, you will need to choose one to take you through the rest of the selling process. Getting different 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 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 agent.

3. Look at your mortgage options

When you decide to sell, it’s wise to also determine your financial situation. Seeking independent mortgage advice can help you to make decisions about your mortgage and what the best options are.

4. Prepare your home for sale

Prior to your home going to market, you’ll want to make sure that it’s in as good a condition as possible.

If there are any fixes or repairs that need to be done, do them now! Try to think as a potential buyer when looking at your home. Your 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 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 and they will likely get in touch in advance to advise on any extra health and safety precautions they are taking due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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. If they submit an offer, you can choose to accept it or negotiate on the price – your 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 regard.

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!

Other commonly asked home selling questions

What are the costs of selling a house?

There are different costs to be aware of 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 required to help with the settlement and title transfer process.

They make sure you meet all legal obligations and your rights are protected.

One of the many benefits of using an ESPC 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.

The home of property

ESPC is the home of selling property and our agents 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:

  1. 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.
  2. The home of local property experts - our agents are all experts in the local market, with access to a wealth of ESPC data allowing them insights into the market.
  3. 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 organising a free property valuation with an ESPC agent today.

Get a free home valuation

Expert advice and tips on selling a property

Steps to bring your home to market

The processes involved with selling your home are different to before COVID-19 - find out more in this article.

Free property advice

Get free expert advice on buying, selling and letting a property.

Coronavirus COVID-19: Advice for property buyers and sellers in Scotland

We've provided some advice for property buyers, sellers, homeowners, landlords and tenants during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the UK.

The initial consultation with an adviser is free and without obligation. Thereafter, ESPC Mortgages charges for mortgage advice are usually £350 (£295 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. 

ESPC (UK) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Lyncombe Consultants Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.