WIBU to ask for advice on buying property in Scotland?

(68 Posts)
ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 19:57:49

Due to two pieces of unanticipated good fortune we've found ourselves in a position to buy a flat in Leith.

As neither of us were expecting to be on this position we are a wee bit naive about the whole scenario. We will be speaking to a solicitor tomorrow as we have found a flat that will be perfect for us. It is listed as offers around 100, 000. Will the solicitor talk us through the process and what to offer etc? If not I would appreciate any savvy mumsnetters with a good knowledge of the Scottish system to twlk me through the process and what we should be offering.

Eilidhbelle Mon 15-Jul-13 20:02:47

It depends. The people selling will have to pay for a home report which will tell you if the flat needs any work done to it. If it does, you could use that to negotiate on price. Is it offers over/in the region of....?

Zoopla.com will tell you how long it's been on the market for and again, you can negotiate if its been up for sale for a while.

Apart from that, unless there is something dramatically wrong with it, and if its a decent size, I'd think £100,000 for a flat in Leith is probably quite a good price!

Almostfifty Mon 15-Jul-13 20:08:50

Is it offers around, or offers over? If it's offers over, they expect you to offer at least 10% more for it.

We only found this out when we offered what we thought was the asking price for the house we wanted to buy. Being English home owners that's what we'd been used to.

Mind, we got it for that price as they were struggling to sell...

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 20:13:06

Cheers Eli, the home report lists the value as 100000 and it offers around, rather than offers over 100000. It needs lots of superficial things doing painting tiling, possibly a new kitchen and loo. They are serviceable but knackered.

NewAtThisMalarky Mon 15-Jul-13 20:20:48

The system is different in Scotland. Its usually a closed bid scenario, where you offer what you want to pay. The seller sets a closing date and on that date all bids are considered and usually the highest bid wins.

badguider Mon 15-Jul-13 20:27:50

Most flats around that price are not going to closing in Edinburgh right now (but it will if the vendor gets more than one simultaneous offer).
Speak to your solicitor who will help you work out what to offer but I'd say 90-95 if you really want it. You could go down to 88ish if you want a bargain but be prepared for them to decline that and get a better offer.

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:01:40

okay thwnks everyone. not sure if ive got this right: if it says offers over that means it is the old style blind auction whete everyone submit s a sealed bid. if it is offers around it is like the English system where you submit a verbal offer and then haggle?

PatsyAndEddy Mon 15-Jul-13 21:06:52

No it's still a closed bid situation, notes of interest and closing dates, just not expecting much over the price asked.

Have to say, Leith and 100k, if be watching what area it is. It's not all pizza express on the shore, it can be beyond grim and at that price I'd be wary!

cozietoesie Mon 15-Jul-13 21:09:36

Is is a new build flat or an older tenement ?

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:14:24

okay cheers- I think a poster said that flats weren't going to closing at the moment, what does that mean? the flat is on the Leith/Abbey hill border betwixt easter road and leith road. we know snd like the area!

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:15:14

oh it is an older tenement flat.

badguider Mon 15-Jul-13 21:18:35

So anybody can offer an offer around or offer over at any time. When the housing market is slow the solicitors just pass these on one at a time for consideration.
When the market is moving faster you put in a note of interest which says you intend to offer, if the sols get more than one note of interest they set a closing date and you all put in sealed offers on that date.

badguider Mon 15-Jul-13 21:20:30

How many beds? 100k is about standard for a 1bed in that area. If its bigger than that it might be a better deal and likely to go quicker.

badguider Mon 15-Jul-13 21:22:30

I sold a 1bed in abbey hill for 88 about a year ago. Home report was 100 but there was no gch or dg and others on with them at same price so I didn't really expect more than 90. We didn't go to closing.

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:23:02

cheers bad thst makes sense. so in the first scenario you describe, does the seller then accept/reject the offer there and then and is that offer your one amd only shot at biding?

Soupqueen Mon 15-Jul-13 21:23:42

I have two friends who've accepted offers on one bedroomed flats in the last month, both went to closing. One of the properties was on the market a year ago and didn't get a single viewer. The market appears to be picking up.

OP, your solicitor will have a reasonable idea of what similar properties ae going for and can guide you.

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:24:24

one bed plus a boxroom, could probably squeeze a diddyman in to boxroom.

badguider Mon 15-Jul-13 21:29:47

You can put in another offer if your first is rejected but its solicitor to solicitor and they don't really go for the whole haggling thing like EAs do down south.
Because people don't expect the haggling thing putting in a silly low offer could scupper your chances.
But really, talk to your sol - they're not like EAs, they will not play you, your sol works for you and has your interests in mind.

ratspeaker Mon 15-Jul-13 21:31:23

Your solicitor should talk you through the process.
It's possible to make an offer have it rejected then make another offer.

PatsyAndEddy Mon 15-Jul-13 21:33:18

I don't think I could cope with estate agents blabbing on about a house they know nothing about, I like getting down round by the home owner, the way it's always been here.

PatsyAndEddy Mon 15-Jul-13 21:35:39


ratspeaker Mon 15-Jul-13 21:37:23

Was there not a thread on here the other week about some one selling a flat in Leith-they'd had no viewers? Which would imply the market is still a bit slow in some areas
As for value for money it depends on where in Leith.
I take it you've had a good look around the area and have looked at other flats.

Rangirl Mon 15-Jul-13 21:38:57

Your solicitor will talk you through the options but basically your solicitor will note interest in the flat If there are no other parties who have formally noted interest put in a lowish (not ridiculous) offer If they reject it ask what they would accept Then you can negotiate between the 2 If there are other interested parties and it goes to a closing date then basically the best offer wins

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:44:09

we have. had a right good shufti at other things. immaculate one beds seem to be on for 100000, but this is scruffier and needs a good deal of work superficial work done on it, but does benefit from the boxroom and a separate kitchen.

chocolatesolveseverything Mon 15-Jul-13 22:33:56

Yes, speak to a solicitor. They may know stuff about how often similar properties are coming up, how well they're selling, etc and that will guide you as to offer tactics. I work in that part of town and haven't noticed places selling particularly quickly. During the summer the market goes quiet too, so if the sellers are keen to move, you may be in luck and get an acceptance for less than the home report value.

ComposHat Mon 15-Jul-13 23:14:50

cheers going to speak to the solicitors tomorrow so will update. Thanks for the advice one and all!

deste Mon 15-Jul-13 23:45:24

If you are interested and want it, put in a note of interest. The property won't be sold unless they get back to you first. They have to give you the chance to put in a bid. Ask how long it has been up for sale and go from there. If its been up a while lower the offer. If there are other notes of interest it will go to closing and that is when you put in your offer.

WilsonFrickett Tue 16-Jul-13 00:04:53

Talk to your solicitor but be aware they are sometimes still a bit wedded to the old ways of doing things (note interest, set a closing date, go in with a high offer). If you really want it, I'd go in straight away with a cheeky offer. If they say no, you can up your offer. There are MILLIONS of one bed and a box flats in Leith. Millions. So don't be afraid to go low. It's not a 'one shot only' thing.

chickenfactory Tue 16-Jul-13 00:16:51

Don't be afraid to ask the seller what they would take (if they do the viewings) we did this, said we were happy to pay that (was less than we expected/would have paid at closing) he agreed, we put in offer next day with solicitor, seller accepted, he got the price he wanted and we weren't in a chain so no delays. There was another note of interest but as he was happy to accept it didn't go to closing date. It's not always about a higher offer if they need to get things moving.

pinkr Tue 16-Jul-13 04:47:21

I think the days of sealed bids and closing dates ate somewhat over...many places are sitting for long periods of time etc and the buyer is in a good position at the moment. Make a low bit reasonable offer and work from there...the solicitors will go back and forth. We offered twenty under value for our house and eventually settled on 13 under...depends off course on area etc. I know where my dad lives most houses asking prices are around 40k under value because nothing is moving. Good luck!

karron Tue 16-Jul-13 06:36:42

Also from reading the property talk boards on here, there should be a homebuyers report as its Scotland with a valuation in it. Depending on the local market people seem to be buying near to this but do put a low offer in first and you can them increase it.

SunnyL Tue 16-Jul-13 06:49:15

Other thing to remember in Scotland is we have the Edinburgh Agreement. That means once you have had an offer accepted you are obliged to buy the property. Pulling out of a sale in Scotland is far more difficult in Scotland once you have had an offer accepted. This also means gazumping is unheard of. For this reason make sure you have an mortgage offer in place before you bid on a property.

I sold a flat in Edinburgh 9 months ago and the buyers very nearly were stung with extra charges as they didnt have any sort of mortgage deal in place and it took 5 painful months to complete.

9 months ago few places outside of the very desirable areas (morningside, stockbridge) were going to closing and almost all of them were offers under despite saying offers over.

indyandlara Tue 16-Jul-13 07:44:14

Offer low. You can always put in another offer later if it is rejected. We stay outside Edinburgh now (suburbs) but houses here still regularly go to closing and have multiple bids. However there are literally dozens upon dozens of tenement flats for sale in Leith. £100k seems really high as friends were buying similar at that price before the market crashed. Be canny with what you offer and you will have the money left for the cosmetic repairs.

ComposHat Tue 16-Jul-13 10:52:56

we have an agreement to lend in principle, is that okay? Yhe news that relatively recently the market wasn't crazy makes me hopeful. DW is calling at lunch today.

pinkr Tue 16-Jul-13 11:12:07

Yes...your offer must be made by your solicitor which I think is different from England. They won't let you do something foolish if you find a good local one. You often offer subject to valuation etc and can pull out up until the point where you conclude the missives...at that point you are liable for costs etc. not just when you offer.
I offered for a flat years ago subject to survey and when the survey came back (pre home buyer report) I decided it wasn't worth what I'd offered and just retracted with no issues...its only one you sign those missives that you or the vendor us tied and that's quite a bit down the line.

cumfy Tue 16-Jul-13 15:19:42

Shop around.

£100k could be good for a nice top floor, but street-facing ground floors can go for £60-70k.

MmeLindor Tue 16-Jul-13 15:24:18

I would say offer low. It is not your dream house that you are desperate to buy, so don't worry about not getting it. If you don't get it, there are tons of similar flats in Edinburgh area.

The market is quite flat here at the moment, and a lot of houses are going under asking price.

Our house didn't go to sealed bids. We put in a low offer, and it was accepted. I think they are pretty happy to even get a bid.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 16-Jul-13 18:33:17

How old is the home report? If it is over say six months it may not be valued that much anymore as well. We bought our house in Feb, Home Report was 10 months old but when it was revalued by same Surveyor for updated HOme Report after our offer was accepted it dropped £20k. Good for us buying.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 16-Jul-13 18:38:35

Also i would say very few houses are going for offers over, im sure that something like 80% were going around 10% less than asking. Next to none are going to closing, most seem to be sitting on market for a 6 months - a year +.

ComposHat Tue 16-Jul-13 20:58:03

titty the home report was done in April, so not a vast amount of time ago. Solicitors are going to find out if thete are any notes of interest. fingers crossed!

MmeLindor Wed 17-Jul-13 09:07:57

Ok, so it has been on the market for at least three months if the home report was done in April.

Do you know the situation of the seller? We knew that it was the heirs of the owner who were selling our house, which meant that they were more likely to accept a lower offer. If the owners are buying another property, then they will want as high a price as possible.

ComposHat Wed 17-Jul-13 09:12:43

By the look of things it was a rental property for a while and the owner is selling up. not sure if that is a good/bad thing.

WilsonFrickett Wed 17-Jul-13 10:39:26

That's probably a good thing. There are loads of rentals around because when people wanted to move up to their second homes, they couldn't find buyers for their first-time flats, so they rented their first flats out. So either they're testing the market (tenant has moved out and they think 'may as well see if we can get a decent offer) or they need the money.

There's a lot of 'reluctant landlords' in Edinburgh. So a fair offer should probably get it, as they either need the cash or are done with the hassle.

badguider Wed 17-Jul-13 10:43:52

That was my situation. On the one hand it meant that I was happy to sell for any reasonable offer and totally flexible about moving dates etc. On the other hand, it meant I wasn't going to take any sort of cheeky offer (and I got a few) because I knew what I needed to discharge the mortgage and I knew I could rent it again if nobody offered that.

I still stand by my advice of offering a fair price based on the home report and other flats in the area (look on espcc for 'fixed price' flats in the area and compare yours to them) rather than the advice you hear in England of making your first offer so low it's embarassing.

badguider Wed 17-Jul-13 10:44:22

Also, if it's been rented out legally then all the electrics and gas will have been inspected annually which is good to know.

ComposHat Wed 17-Jul-13 14:45:23

it is...solicitors said they'd be in touch by now, but I guess it is par for the course for solicitors.

ComposHat Wed 17-Jul-13 15:07:09

right no notes of interest recorded...solicitor says put in a bid of 95. Does that sound okay?

I'd start at 90k and go from there

badguider Wed 17-Jul-13 15:38:49

I think that 95 would get it for you. definitely. no question.

I would probably try 92 or 93.... I suspect the seller will want 'in the 90s' so flat 90 sounds a bit low but 92 or 93 sounds better...

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 16:33:02

Exciting! I like that part of Edinburgh too. smile

MmeLindor Wed 17-Jul-13 16:59:08

Yes, I would go slightly lower so you can go up to 95 if need be.

ComposHat Wed 17-Jul-13 17:15:45

yes 92-93 was the figure I thought. Euphemia we've lived around Leith walk and Easter Road for years. we like ut very much especially as we have loads of friends close by.

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 17:18:21

DB and SIL used to live on Easter Road. DB is a total saddo Hibbee. smile

ComposHat Wed 17-Jul-13 17:31:39

I have developed va softvspot for Hibs too. second only to partock thistle (on the grounds they are in Glasgow and are neither queen's celtic or Pope's o' Rangers.

Solaia Wed 17-Jul-13 17:50:22

YABU for not buying the one bed one box flat I have on the market in Leith wink

I'm actually slightly distressed by this conversation as ours is on well above £100k and we would never take 'in the 90's'. In saying that, Leith is quite a variable area and some streets are more expensive than others. Ours is also in good condition, top floor, views of the castle etc. Ach well we're in no hurry to sell.

It's changed days from when we bought, there would be queues of couples up and and down the close on a Thursday night and the viewings would be a 'one in one out' system. Then a week later a closing date and 10 offers... Madness.

ComposHat Wed 17-Jul-13 20:37:33

sounds crazy... just rereag the home report there are a coiple of twos on it. due to flat roof section and and a need to re point the chimney in yhe future. should that put us off? sorry to bombard you with questions!

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 20:42:38

Twos are totally standard and nothing to worry about.

Check there's no obvious water damage anywhere owing to the roof, and well duh if it's a tenement the chimney will be quite old by now. confused It's probably absolutely fine, but the surveyor feels s/he has to warn you that it won't stay like that for ever.

ComposHat Wed 17-Jul-13 23:54:54

msgic cheers!

Solaia Thu 18-Jul-13 17:50:13

Check how old the flat roof bit is as can be expensive to replace. Usually made of felt and last around 20 years. When it comes to getting buildings insurance we found it difficult/expensive with a flat roof. A few companies are totally fine with it though and I think it is Direct Line who gave us a decent price in the end.

I assume there is no factor (sorry if you mentioned that already) as they are rarer in Edinburgh tenements. There might well be a 'stair committee' or similar that you might like to join.

ComposHat Thu 18-Jul-13 23:11:38

the roof is oldish I think nut no water damage. small signs of pooling but a 2 on the HR. Out of interest how expensive is expensive?

Solaia Fri 19-Jul-13 20:42:37

Our roof was £60,000 I think. Shared between 12 flats. I think that included some chimney work. It took about 4 years to get it started after it was assessed as needing it and we had to have emergency repairs for a leaking roof in that time. The work itself took around 4 months once it was started.

Solaia Fri 19-Jul-13 20:45:33

Oh sorry did you mean insurance? Our buildings insurance (not contents) with DLine is about £130, but we found quite a few companies either couldn't give us a quote, or quoted hundreds and hundreds. DL was cheapest by a long way if I remember right.

ComposHat Fri 19-Jul-13 20:45:55

gulp. ..sixty grand!

ComposHat Fri 19-Jul-13 20:49:23

sorry silly me I did mean the roof replacement. of the worst comes to the worst at least the costs will be split 16 ways... offer of 94k has been sent to thr solicitors today.

Solaia Fri 19-Jul-13 21:11:34

Good luck! smile

And that was a whole roof - if yours is only a section it will be less. Although we looked at a house recently where the flat roof on the garage needed replaced and had been quoted at £12k...

ComposHat Fri 19-Jul-13 21:17:57

cheers! solicitor seems to thimk we'll get the lmocknack fot 94k but I remain optimistic.

lotsofcheese Fri 19-Jul-13 21:18:03

Good luck with your offer - crossing everything for you!

ComposHat Fri 19-Jul-13 21:21:05

thanks! Will update!

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