Property Buying Guide


Once your Offer has been verbally accepted, there is still quite a long way to go until you can pick up the keys. In Scotland, the contract for your purchase is concluded by the buyer and seller’s solicitors exchanging letters. These letters are called ‘missives’ and the original written offer is the first missive.

The conclusion of the contract is called ‘conclusion of missives’. At this stage, there is a binding contract in place: the seller is legally obliged to sell their property to the buyer and the buyer has to pay the seller the purchase price on a certain date.

Even though missives might be concluded, you still can’t pick up keys until the Date of Entry, the day on which you agreed to pay the purchase price and for the seller to hand over ownership of their house to you.

How long will this process take?

Conclusion of missives doesn’t take a set period of time. Three main things will hold-up conclusion of missives, assuming that the solicitors are working as efficiently as they can:

  1. How many issues the buyer and seller are disagreeing about;
  2. Lack of paperwork relating to alterations; and
  3. Delays or problems with the buyer’s finance.

In theory, if the seller agrees to everything in the buyer’s written Offer, missives can be concluded in the space of two letters. However, this is very unusual and the buyer’s Offer is most often Subject to Survey which means that the seller can’t just accept the Offer in its current form.

Lenders can be slow in producing paperwork for the buyer’s mortgage and also in returning the seller’s Title Deeds and this can cause delays in the conclusion of missives..

The Move

The usual things will apply for any house mover. You’ll need to look at getting your mail redirected, get in touch with any tradesmen that you think will be necessary in advance of you moving in, and arrange a removal van if necessary.

You’ll also need to make sure that you are able to transfer the funds for the purchase to your solicitor’s bank account prior to the Date of Entry. If you’ve got your ‘deposit’ tied-up in a bank account that has a 30 day notice period for you to be able to access the cash, you’ll need to think about that as soon as possible. Your solicitor will guide you through the process.

Once you have moved, check the property is in working order. If, for example, the boiler packs-in the day after moving in, let your solicitor know as soon as possible so that they can get in touch with the seller’s solicitor to make a claim. Depending on the terms of the missives, there will normally be a condition stating that you have a reasonable time to check that the various parts of the property are in working order.

This Guide is as comprehensive as we can make it but we can’t cover all scenarios. If you have any questions about buying a property, please give MOV8’s New Client Team a call on 0345 646 0208 (Option 2). They specialise in guiding potential property buyers through the whole process. They can let you know the pitfalls, the tips and tricks for getting a great price, and give you a breakdown of what it will actually cost to buy a property. Just call 0345 646 0208 (Option 2) or email [email protected].

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