Edward Danks, partner at ESPC Chartered Firm Paris Steele, breaks down what’s involved in the property buying process. 

Looking to buy a home in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife or the Borders but unsure about the process? The guide below will help take the stress away from buying a home in the current climate. 

Find a solicitor 

To buy a home in Scotland you need a solicitor. ESPC has a network of solicitor estate agents. Solicitor estate agents are a one-stop shop when buying or selling a home as they can take care of both the conveyancing and the estate agency side of things.  

Consider your mortgage options 

It’s worth seeking independent mortgage advice to work out your mortgage options, from how much you’ll be able to borrow to if you’re able to port your mortgage if you already have one. 

Finding a home will be easier if you’ve already got an agreement in principle. You need to work out exactly how much you need to borrow and how much of a deposit you can put down. 

When looking at your budget, make sure you include extra costs such as removals and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). 

Find a home 

When you have decided what area you’re interested in, write a list of requirements you have for a property and work out which ones are must-haves and those you could live without, then arrange some viewings. 

Make an offer  

When you’ve found a property you like, you should tell your solicitor so they can submit a note of interest for you. 

If more than one note of interest has been made, the seller may choose to set a closing date – all offers must be in by then. However, a seller isn't obliged to set a closing date and can accept an offer at any time. 

Finalise your mortgage 

When your offer has been accepted, the next step is getting your mortgage approved – an independent mortgage adviser can help with this. 

Conclude the missives 

After you’ve had an offer accepted, the conveyancing process will begin. If your offer is verbally accepted, your solicitor will discuss the acceptance with you and negotiate on your behalf with the seller’s solicitor. 

The offer, acceptance and any subsequent letters, which are intended to be part of a legal contract, are known as the “missives”. 

When the final acceptance letter is issued, missives are said to be “concluded”, meaning the purchaser and seller have entered into a legally binding contract and cannot withdraw from it without penalty. 

Congratulations! When you’ve got your keys you can move into your new home.