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Scottish buying process

(35 Posts)
solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 08:04:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

m0jit0 Tue 03-Dec-19 08:21:17

1. Home reports are often available online as part of the listing. You are often best asking your solicitor as to what a reasonable offer would be. In our area certainly a year ago when we were buying we purchased for about 5% under asking price
2. you don't have to wait until closing date to make an offer but if the sellers receive more than one offer they may push to a closing date (though not necessarily)
3. Reduced price I think is to drum up more interest if it has been on the market for a while, again ask your solicitor what would be a realistic offer would be.

solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 08:33:29

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TooExtraImmatureCheddar Tue 03-Dec-19 08:35:43

1. They may show the home report as part of the listing or the solicitor/estate agent may tell you the valuation if you phone and ask. It’s not really confidential info as they give it to everyone anyway. Look out for any 2s or 3s and consider how much money it will be to replace, but bear in mind that it may say 2 for eg tired decor, which you might not mind about. You won’t be able to get a mortgage for above the home report value.

2. You can just put in an offer, and they will decide whether to proceed with you or go to a closing date. If no one else is offering then it might be very straightforward!

3. In Scotland the offers over figure is likely to be seen as lower than people actually hope to get. We liked a house that needed a lot of cosmetic work plus new boiler, which had been on the market for 6 months without an offer. The offers over figure was £245k, but the home report valuation was £260k. We offered £240k initially and the seller was quite offended, and we went up to £245k and got it, but she was desperate to move. I think the home report was wildly out (was done by an English company not familiar with the local market) and our offer reflected that, but the seller had been sure she would get £260k. In our situation we had approx £250k to spend and were looking at anything on at o/o £225k upwards.

Woliverine Tue 03-Dec-19 08:38:29

You can usually see the home report online or access it quite easily. On the back pages there's a valuation for mortgage purposes which gives you a guide to what the lenders think the property is worth so be guided by that with your offer.

I've bought and sold in Scotland several times and never paid over the 'offers over' price, usually under after a bit of negotiating with the seller

There's never been a closing date unless there have been a few interested parties. Unless you're in a really competitive area where properties are going fast then I wouldn't offer over at all but if there is lots of interest and it goes to a closing date you might need to go over

Veterinari Tue 03-Dec-19 08:39:23

Your solicitor is different to the sellers solicitors

1. Use ESPC to get immediate links to home reports
2. Yes def put in a cheeky offer if you like something

solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 08:47:56

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TooExtraImmatureCheddar Tue 03-Dec-19 08:49:18

Your solicitor acts on your behalf. The seller’s solicitor may also do estate agency - they’re trying to sell the house and do everything connected with that task. No conflict of interest!

Woliverine Tue 03-Dec-19 08:57:43

If the sellers estate agent is also a solicitor they will only act on behalf of the seller, you would appoint your own solicitor to act on your behalf as a buyer

solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 09:00:33

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jomaIone Tue 03-Dec-19 09:40:06

IME banks don't offer 100% mortgage. We just bought in Scotland for the second time. House worth £170,000 on home report and on for offers over 170, we negotiated with the seller and bought for 174,000. We were desperate for this house so didn't mine doing a little above. However that £4000 came from our own money as the mortgage only covers home report value.

jomaIone Tue 03-Dec-19 09:41:26

I've not seen any houses that are on for a significantly different price than their reports either so you have a rough idea when viewing how much the seller is expecting

solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 10:26:37

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TooExtraImmatureCheddar Tue 03-Dec-19 10:37:53

Estate agents don’t do conveyancing - the seller will have a solicitor to handle that regardless of whether they are also a firm that offers estate agency or not. Most do.

I think posters saying that they have never bought a house for above the offers over price aren’t really representative. I worked in a solicitors for a while as a property assistant and it is really common to offer over the stated amount. The home reports have actually improved things as people are a lot more reluctant to offer over that amount.

By the way, the ESPC only covers Edinburgh and surrounding area - you might want to try the A(berdeen)SPC or G(lasgow)SPC depending on where you’re looking! RightMove is getting more and more popular, though. Also, vair posh houses tend not to be on either - they’ll be on with Strutt and Parker or Savills or similar. Depends on your price bracket!

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Tue 03-Dec-19 10:41:14

Also new builds are usually fixed price, if that helps. People may put fixed price if they want a quick sale - nothing stopping you offering under that to see if they’ll take it! Fixed price means first to offer that price gets it. No closing dates.

solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 11:42:52

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EmmaC78 Tue 03-Dec-19 11:45:54

East Lothian is lovely. Good luck with the house hunt.

Ohdeariedear Tue 03-Dec-19 11:53:08

The offers over thing also depends on where you are buying and what;s on the market at the time - for example, central Edinburgh flats always have and always will go for more than the offers over price. Out of town, it depends on a number of factors - the property, the state it's in, similar properties nearby how long it's been on the market and how many other people are interested in it. Your solicitor (if they are good) will guide you on what's sold in the vicinity recently and for what price and they will help you determine what offer to make.

Veterinari Tue 03-Dec-19 12:41:33

Ah yes if you’re looking for a naive house in East Lothian then check out simpson&marwick, coulters and other individual agents

solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 12:58:40

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MakeMineALargeProsecco Tue 03-Dec-19 13:55:53

East Lothian is lovely. Some areas will go above the asking price & to a closing date eg North Berwick.

Places like Dunbar are cheaper & less likely.

The market here is a bit subdued, to say the least. A year ago it was really busy but things have changed.

solera2015 Tue 03-Dec-19 14:51:59

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MakeMineALargeProsecco Tue 03-Dec-19 15:15:10

According to the estate agent I spoke to recently, it's been a combination of low supply, uncertainties about Brexit plus the usual quieter time of year.

user1487194234 Tue 03-Dec-19 23:12:51

In property hot spots most property goes over Home report value but for most parts of Scotland it does not
Perfectly normal to offer subject to sale of own property,TBH the differences between Scotland and England are becoming increasingly difficult to spot

Seeingadistance Tue 03-Dec-19 23:52:15

From what I’ve seen on MN it seems that English estate agents do more than Scottish ones do, with offers being made to the estate agent. In Scotland, the estate agents really just deal with the marketing of the property, acting as point of contact for vendors and potential buyers, eg, liaising with both to arrange viewings. Offers made in writing by your solicitor to the vendor’s solicitor, and by that point the role of the estate agent is pretty much done.

Whether or not a property goes to a closing date and sealed bids will depend on the local market. The first couple of times I bought I had to offer over, but that was over 20 years ago in a sellers’ market. More recently I’ve bought for less than the asking price.

It’s interesting to look at the sold prices on Rightmove. If you monitor the market over time you start to see that properties can sell for under, sometimes substantially less, than the asking price.

The Home Buyers Report is valid for a limited time, 3 months, I think.

solera2015 Wed 04-Dec-19 06:11:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MakeMineALargeProsecco Wed 04-Dec-19 07:03:09

Just be aware of LBTT (Scottish stamp duty tax). I'm not sure how things will work if you own a property in England, but there is an additional tax called ADS additional dwelling (or similar) which you have to pay if you are buying an extra property & not selling your primary residence.

It can be quite hefty.

Redglitter Wed 04-Dec-19 07:10:10

The EA Marketing the house I bought emailed me the home report. I put in a verbal offer for 10% over the asking price which was accepted. My solicitor then did it formally. It was all done & dusted and I had the keys 4 weeks later

Babdoc Wed 04-Dec-19 07:14:36

OP, how urgently do you need to move? The housing market will be quietening down now towards Christmas and there may be few properties to choose from.
It all picks up massively towards spring, so if you can hang on a few months you’ll have a much better choice.
My DD bought last year in Edinburgh, and 2 bed flats were going for £40,000 over the asking price. One even went for £70K over.
East Lothian is in commuter reach of Edinburgh, and prices reflect that in areas with good transport links to the city.
If you offer under the asking price you are likely to be repeatedly disappointed.

solera2015 Wed 04-Dec-19 07:33:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gingersstuff Wed 04-Dec-19 11:39:21

I live in East Lothian and it’s fantastic. Dunbar is lovely - lots of new builds which take a while to shift and don’t go for over asking price really, but anything older with character gets snapped up and sometimes way over the AP. Just depends on what and where really. Anywhere with a decent sized garden seems to go really fast.

venusandmars Fri 03-Jan-20 12:12:28

@solera2015 If you're looking for something with a large garden, not a new build, access to good local amenities, good transport links then you're likely to be up against a lot of competition. Properties in this category sell FAST, and often for significantly more than the offers over price or the home report valuation.

Also the Scottish system means that being 'chain free' isn't really an advantage. Usually once you've put in an offer (and it's been accepted) there's no backing out, so chains don't exist. Occasionally buyers will put in an offer 'subject to sale' (of their own property) but they're rarely accepted and very unlikely in the sector of the market that you're interested in.

Friends have recently moved to East Lothian, from Newcastle. The period of searching was incredibly frustrating for them. Houses would appear on the market and be 'under offer' within a couple of days, before they could even get a chance to view them. There is not generally a gazumping culture here, so once something is under offer they are just haggling on minor details and it's pretty much off the market. It took a year for friends to find the right home for them, and in the end to get the high spec interior, and the garden space they had to compromise on location and are a bit more rural than they would have ideally liked.

solera2015 Fri 03-Jan-20 13:08:58

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venusandmars Fri 03-Jan-20 13:52:05

Between £750K and £1.5m - retirement house so flexible on price and rooms.

Here are some recently sold properties in the same price range:

user1487194234 Sat 04-Jan-20 10:54:57

To PP chains very much exist in Scotland now
Certainly across the central belt

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