Working with a solicitor is essential when you are buying or selling a property. 

What is the ESPC Charter?  |  Why use an ESPC firm?  |  Opting for a Chartered firm  |  The ESPC Charter for home sellers  | The ESPC Charter for home buyers  |  More commitments from the ESPC solicitor estate agent chartered firms  |  The full charter   

You need a solicitor to buy a home in Scotland, and all home sales need to be handled by a qualified solicitor. Solicitor estate agents are unique as they handle both the estate agency element and the extensive and important legal work.  All solicitor estate agents are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland and are duty bound to do their best for their clients, however the ESPC Charter raises this bar even higher.

What is the ESPC Charter?

The ESPC Charter is a quality standard that some ESPC solicitor estate agent member firms have signed up to and details the level of service that you can expect from these progressive firms as they provide a top-quality service to their clients.

The Charter has been designed based on independent research and seller feedback, to ensure that it is current and relevant in the Scottish property market.

Encompassing all aspects of the property transaction, the Charter details what service levels you can expect: from clear, transparent pricing, to regular feedback and consistent points of contacts. Additionally, it helps firms prioritise training and development to ensure that they can stay in a market leading position, offering high quality, customer focussed service.

Why use an ESPC firm

ESPC is the best way to market property in Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife, Borders and the South and West of Scotland, with an extensive network of 140 expert solicitor estate agent member firms who are all committed to making your property sale and purchase as positive as possible.

ESPC solicitor estate agents allow for a smoother transaction, with everything carried out by the one firm.

Solicitor estate agents are set apart from other estate agents who can’t carry out the legal elements of your sale or purchase. 

Opting for a Chartered firm

The ESPC Charter promotes a higher standard of service levels for both buyers and sellers. Chartered firms have voluntarily signed up to these higher standards which encompasses all aspects of your property journey, from estate agency through to the legal process and highlights exactly what you should expect at all points of the journey.  

We know that home sellers think it is important that agents have signed up to a Charter or quality standard. In our recent independent market research, 89% of sellers rated this is very or quite important. This exclusive Charter provides this quality standard that consumers want. 

 It is easy to spot if a solicitor estate agent has signed up to the ESPC Charter. You’ll see the Chartered Firm logo next to the firm details on the property pages across the site, and alongside the contact information in our solicitor estate agent search and valuation service. Find a list of our Chartered Firms here

 The ESPC Charter for home sellers

  • At all stages of the property transaction, home sellers can benefit from using a Chartered firm.
  • In the initial property marketing stages, you can expect to be updated quickly and efficiently on what is happening and what you need to provide and an individual will be assigned to guide you through the sale.  
  • Full transparency on the valuation, fees, and services that the solicitor estate agent firm will provide will be detailed as standard.  
  • The extensive ESPC past sales archive is uniquely available to solicitor estate agents who are part of our network, and this detailed wealth of information is vital in providing accurate valuations by our firms to their clients. Chartered firms have committed to ensuring this is utilised fully in your sale and that the archive is fully up-to-date.
  • The conveyancing team (who handle the legal process of transferring a property from one person to another) will be introduced and you’ll be asked about documents that will make your sale  progress more easily, such as building warrants, alteration documents etc.  
  • Enquiries will be handled promptly, and feedback will be provided regularly to keep you up to date with how your sale is progressing.  
  • In addition to the high level of service you can expect with your property marketing, when it comes to the legal transfer of the property, the sale conveyancing will be completed to a high standard. You’ll be provided with full transparency on fees from the outset and have clear timelines provided with regards to accepting offers and transferring title deeds.  

The ESPC Charter for home buyers

You’ll get a full breakdown of the costs involved which will include the legal fees, LBTT (indication) and additional costs. In addition, your solicitor will ensure that the required identity checks are completed prior to an offer being submitted wherever possible.

This puts you in a stronger buyer position.  

You’ll get a named person within the firm to be your main point of contact and expert advice on the purchase based on market knowledge and up-to-date property comparisons. All ESPC firms have access to the extensive ESPC archive, which provides an invaluable source of reference when making offers, providing real-time updates on the market. Your Chartered solicitor estate agent will ensure that this knowledge is used to help in making the right offer on properties to suit your individual circumstances.  

More commitments from the ESPC solicitor estate agent chartered firms  

Alongside the responsibilities of both seller and buyer client care, our chartered member firms will also agree to a number of other commitments, including:   

  • Continuous professional development and industry relevant training.
  • Frequent meetings with other chartered firms to promote good practice and to review client feedback with the objective of making positive changes in the delivery of services to property buyers and sellers.
  • Being subject to an annual mystery shopper exercise with the aim of continuous improvement of service levels. 
  • Incorporating and being mindful of ESG responsibilities and working towards UK commitments to be net-zero by 2050.
  • Accepting feedback from clients when their sale or purchase completes to ensure continuous improvement.

 See the full charter here.