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A Simple Guide to Conveyancing in Scotland

  • The Law Society of Scotland

Are you buying or selling a house? When it comes to the conveyancing stage, knowledge is power. Cut through the legal jargon and remain in charge of your property transaction with our simple guide.

Key terms

Missives: the formal letters exchanged between the solicitors of both sides to negotiate the terms of the contract.

Title Deed: the legal document that identifies the owner of a property.

Title Burdens: the responsibilities of the property owner found in the Title Deed.

Disposition: the document that transfers the legal ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.

Home Report: a report that must accompany all properties for sale in Scotland, providing potential buyers with important information.The Home Report consists of three sections- The valuation report, the property questionnaire and the energy performance certificate

Standard Security: the legal contract between the buyer and their mortgage lender, giving the lender the right to reposes the property if the mortgage terms and conditions are breached. 

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing describes the process whereby the legal ownership of a property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. It involves the lawyers for both sides communicating back and forward (by missives) until the terms of the sale are agreed. Once the missives are concluded, a legally binding contract is in place and neither party can withdraw without liability.

When does conveyancing start and end?

The conveyancing stage begins when you decide to make/accept a formal offer on a property and ends when the keys are handed over to the new owner.

What are the different stages of conveyancing?

  1. Your lawyer will provide advice on accepting/making an offer.
  2. Letters will be exchanged between both sides to determine the price, date of entry and other important conditions. In the meantime the buyer’s solicitor will:
  • carry out certain checks, such as the title deeds for legal ownership and that any alterations made to the property have the right approvals.
  • draft a disposition for the seller to sign.
  • draw up a standard security for the buyer to sign.
  1. Once all the terms are agreed, the missives are concluded.
  2. On the date of entry, the funds for the sale will be transferred from the buyer to the seller.
  3. The keys will be given to the new owner.
  4. The buyer’s solicitor will pay the land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) and register the title in favour of the buyer with the Registers of Scotland.

How long does conveyancing take?

We are asked this question a lot and, unfortunately, it’s not an easy one to answer. Each transaction is unique and the length of time depends on the circumstances involved. It pays to work with an expert conveyancing lawyer who has the skills to identify and tackle potential problems before they can escalate, helping to get you a quick conclusion. Find out more with our guide to the most common problems that occur during the conveyancing stage and how to fix them.

Contact our Conveyancing Lawyers, Scotland

The best solution is to work with conveyancing specialists who keep their clients up to date and in the driving seat throughout. At Claphams, we promise to remove all confusion and worry surrounding the conveyancing stage. As part of our partner-led personal conveyancing service, you will have access to an expert conveyancing solicitor, who is contactable whenever you need them during your conveyancing transaction. Contact us for help with your property purchase or sale in Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Netherlee, Giffnock, Southside Glasgow or anywhere throughout Scotland on 0141 620 0800.

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Please note we are a firm of Scottish Solicitors helping clients across Scotland and cannot help you if you are based in England.