Coronavirus COVID-19: Advice for property buyers and sellers in Scotland
LAST UPDATED: 22nd March 2022
Here is some advice for property buyers, sellers and homeowners. We will update this page as regularly as we are able to with new information and the latest advice.
As of Monday 21st March 2022, the Scottish Government confirmed the removal of all legal requirements regarding Covid-19, with the exception of requirements to wear face coverings on public transport and in most indoor settings - this includes when working in other peoples' homes. These requirements are likely to stay in place until early April 2022.
This means that the specific Covid-19 guidance on home moves will be removed.
Open viewings may have limits placed on the number of attendees at any one time, the selling agent will advise buyers and sellers on the recommended protocols in place to reduce the risks of spreading Covid-19.
Prior to attending any property viewing or any public gathering, attendees are advised to take a lateral flow test. It is still encouraged to follow certain protocols during viewings, including opening windows and doors for ventilation, hand washing and respiratory hygiene.
If you choose to attend a physical viewing of a property, it is important that buyers, sellers and selling agents should continue to wear face coverings indoors and adhere to hand hygiene guidelines. Prior to attending any property viewing, attendees are advised to take a lateral flow test.
The Scottish Government advises that all parties involved in home buying and selling should agree to be as flexible as possible to accommodate any changes in circumstance, dates or progress due to COVID-19.
We have answered some commonly asked questions below to provide advice to those looking to buy or sell a home.
Advice for property buyers and sellers
As of 21st March 2022, most of the remaining Covid-19 legal requirements were removed, including the specific Covid-19 guidance on home moves, with the exception of the requirement for face coverings to still be worn on public transport and in most indoor settings, including when working in other peoples' homes.
If you would like to find out more about moving home in the present circumstances, speak to an ESPC agent for expert advice on the latest guidance and local market.
House moves are allowed to go ahead with no legal requirements around Covid-19 in place as of 21st March 2022.
If any member of either household involved in the transaction presents with symptoms of COVID-19 or has a confirmed case, efforts should be made to delay the house move until it is safe to do so in line with current guidance.
Find out more about moving house and the removals process.
Property viewings are permitted.
Virtual viewings are still likely to be popular moving forward, so you can make the most of these and view properties online before proceeding to a physical viewing if you so wish.
Agents may ask you questions in advance of scheduling an appointment with regards to your status as a buyer to confirm neither you nor anyone in your household has symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19. If you are identified as a household contact of a positive COVID-19 case, you must follow current guidance on testing and self-isolation periods.
When attending a viewing you should adhere to government guidance on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. The Scottish Government also advises wearing a face covering and avoiding touching surfaces while inside a property. You should also ensure that you have taken a lateral flow test prior to attending a property viewing.
Find out more about how to view a property safely.
Getting your property valued is the first stage of selling your home and generally involves inviting an agent to your home to assess its value.
In-person property valuations are permitted, so agents can come to your property to do a valuation. All parties should adhere to government guidance on hand washing, social distancing and respiratory hygiene. Selling agents are legally required to wear a face covering unless medically exempt. You are also advised to wear a face covering.
Surveyors are permitted to go to properties for the purpose of completing a Home Report.
When a surveyor comes to your property, you should both take care to follow government guidance on social distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene. The surveyor will be legally required to wear a face covering unless they are medically exempt. You may also wish to consider wearing a face covering.
Find out more about bringing your home to market.
Are solicitor estate agents open in Scotland?
No, the LBTT holiday in Scotland was not extended past the end of March 2021. The zero tax threshold dropped back to £145,000 from 1st April 2021, although first time buyers will still benefit from relief up to £175,000.
Use our LBTT calculator to find out how much LBTT you will have to pay.
Yes, offers on properties can be accepted. House moves can also go ahead. However, you may still need to prepared for potential delays if anyone in either household involved shows symptoms of COVID-19.
You can still apply for a new mortgage, but some lenders have tightened up loan-to-value ratios and require a larger deposit than usual. However, there are lenders who are still accepting lower deposits and there are also schemes available that may help you get on the property ladder with a smaller deposit, such as the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme. It is best to speak to an independent mortgage adviser to find out what your options are.
There are lots of properties on the market which you can browse on the ESPC website or app.
If you would like to be kept up to date with new properties coming to market, you can do so by signing up to My ESPC and opting in to receive our email alerts.
Your solicitor estate agent is the best point of contact for any questions or concerns about buying or selling a property.
This document contains the full outline of the latest Scottish Government guidance.
This helpful guide outlines symptoms, answers common questions and provides stay at home advice.
This web page outlines the latest information of Coronavirus in Scotland, including the latest number of positive cases by Health Board.
*The initial consultation with an ESPC Mortgages 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.