guide to selling property in scotland

a property

Since 1 December 2008, you require to have a Home Report carried out if you are placing your property on the market. There are three parts to the Home Report namely, a single survey of the property, an energy report and a property questionnaire. As a seller, you are required to provide potential purchasers with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) free of charge. Since 9 January 2013, the EPC rating must be included in any advertisement for the property. The EPC must also contain details of any Green deal plan in place as the purchaser will have to take on the obligation to make repayments for the Green Deal Loan.

steps to selling
a property

instructing an estate agent

At McSherry Halliday, we have an Estate Agency department who can take care of all the advertising, any negotiation on price and if required show viewers around the house on your behalf. Our estate agents are experienced and have a good knowledge of the local area and can create an advert which effectively showcases your home and highlights local amenities. We can provide you with a free no obligation valuation of your home – our Valuer will provide you with a realistic valuation based on the current market.

We offer a combined Estate Agency and Conveyancing fee package – please contact us for further information on this. As well as a competitive fee, clients who sign up to the combined package benefit from a pre-marketing title examination included in the price, a free Will within one month of completion and no cancellation fee if you decide to withdraw from the contract.

what we provide as conveyancers in your sale

If you decide to take us up on our combined package, as your conveyancer, once your property is on the market, we will undertake a full title examination to ensure that any potential issues with the property are identified and dealt with prior to an offer being received. We will guide you through the process and explain the procedure to you. As your agents we will receive and accept any offers for the property and negotiate the price on your behalf in terms of your instructions. We will ensure that the correct consents are in place, and the deed transferring ownership from you to the new buyer is in order. We will carry out all the necessary official searches to ensure you hold title to the property being sold, and that there are no outstanding legal actions affecting the property which would prohibit a sale. We will ensure that funds are transferred from the buyer through their solicitor timeously and that any outstanding loan over the property is repaid from the sale proceeds as soon as possible. We will make sure all documentation is correctly completed, signed and registered.

deciding on the sale price

Once a valuation has been carried out, you may wish to discuss the figure you would be prepared to sell the property at with our estate agency team. You should also advise whether you wish to advertise the property at a price described as ‘Offers Over…’ or a ‘Fixed Price.’ It is generally the case with an ‘Offers Over…’ advertisement that you are looking for no less than that price but preferably more. Where a ‘Fixed Price’ is advertised this generally means that the first offer of that amount should secure the sale – however in certain circumstances a seller may agree to a sum less than the fixed price.


If your property is proving to be popular and there are a number of parties interested, they may have requested to ‘Note Interest.’ Our Estate Agency department can then set a closing date for the property, this is a date whereby all interested parties must submit their best offers, and often the figures would be over the asking price. Once all offers have been collected you can then choose the Offer you wish to accept. This may not necessarily be the highest one. There are a number of other influencing factors such as a more convenient date of entry for you. Where only one party has submitted an offer our estate agent can negotiate the deal with the buyer on your behalf.

accepting offers

Once an offer is received we will issue this to you together with a client guide explaining the terms. You should read this carefully. The offer will contain a number of basic essential terms being, the price offered, proposed date of entry, any moveables to be included in the purchase price and more technical clauses such as those requiring you to warrant that no alterations or repairs have been carried out on the property without obtaining proper permission. We can assist with any queries you have in respect of the Offer. After you confirm to us you are satisfied with the terms of the Offer we can then reply to the seller’s solicitors with a formal response (known as a Qualified Acceptance). This is an acceptance subject to further qualifications which require to be fulfilled before a concluded missive is formed. During this period of negotiation and exchange of Formal Letters, no legally binding contract exists and either party can walk away from the transaction. Such exchange of formal letters will carry on until the parties are in full agreement that all outstanding points have been dealt with and a binding contract can be concluded known legally as concluded missives. After the contract has been concluded, the buyer and seller cannot break the agreement without paying out compensation to the other party. A note of the compensation penalty will be included in the contract terms.

You will then be asked to sign off a document known as a ‘Disposition’ which transfers the ownership of the property into the purchaser’s name.

completion of the sale

On the date of entry, the sale will complete. This is the date on which you must have removed yourself from the property and passed over all keys to your solicitor. Once we confirm we have received the purchase price from the buyer’s solicitor and all outstanding conditions have been fulfilled, the keys can be released to the purchaser. We will also deliver the signed Disposition to the purchaser’s solicitor which will allow them to register the title which transfers ownership of the property into the new occupier’s name.

discharging the loan over the property

If there is an outstanding mortgage over the property, this requires to be paid off from the sale proceeds. We will deal with this, and obtain a Redemption Statement from your Bank or Building Society to ensure the loan is repaid. Once repaid, we will prepare a Discharge of the outstanding Security over the property and have this executed by the Bank or Building Society, clearing the charge from the title record.