Buying residential property in Scotland

Is different to buying here in England. By different I mean ‘better’. The process is much more transparent and, in theory, simpler and less open to abuse.


Firstly, the property sales details are accompanies by the ubiquitous Energy Performance Certificate but also by a formal valuation report – with a figure for ‘market value’ and the cost to rebuild – for Insurance purposes. Whereas here you can put your property on the market for any figure you want – there is no point in Scotland – you know what a property is worth. As one of the agent told me – there’s no point me trying to tell you what I think something might fetch – we wait until the independent valuation is to hand!

The report is also a basic building survey and sets out disrepair elements – categorised 1-3. It shows you the condition. You know what you are buying – warts and all.

Better still the buyer can use the report for a mortgage.

The level of transparency is something we are not used to here in England.

The process of buying is also simpler – you generally make an offer via a solicitor – if the offer is accepted you are ‘exchanged’ and completion is agreed for a future date. Many properties go to best bids. The sale process is known as the Scottish Standard Clauses and the blue says, “One of the main aims of the Scottish Standard Clauses is to conclude the Missives (contract for sale and purchase) as soon as is possible with either a straight acceptance of the offer or hopefully not more than one qualified acceptance before a final acceptance.

My final observation is that the majority of property details have images, a description and a floor plan. The latter is really helpful to me…

Food for thought here?

3 thoughts on “Buying residential property in Scotland

  1. You get the feeling that the UK system is both archaic and convenient – though it works, I suppose.
    But so many sectors are being disrupted by technology, and you do wonder whether local agents realise that?
    Would be a pity to lose some of those wonderfully flowery descriptions, though 😉

    1. The disruptors are here already – aka Purple Bricks – but they have some issues. The principle one as far as I can tell is the lack of human contact! It is all done via secure email and it is hard to have a conversation…

      I did see some house details yesterday with a picture of a chicken on… I kid you not!

      1. Not sure how much market share they’ve taken, especially at the high value end, but is their tech any better?

        If the next iPhone serves up 3D VR, there’ll be a property app the next day…showing what your chickens will look like in this des sem det res…

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