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Georgesons Estate Agents
22 Bridge Street
Wick KW1 4NG
T: 01955 602222
F: 01955 603016
19 Traill Street
T: 01847 892225
F: 01847 892235
22 High Street
T: 01862 892555
F: 01862 894861
Frequently Asked Questions
The information contained on our pages is necessarily general
and no Solicitor/Client relationship is to be held as created.
Common sense will dictate that you should not act upon the
information contained in these pages without obtaining specific
legal or other expert advise before hand.
do I make an offer?
A formal offer in Scotland is submitted in writing by your Solicitor.
You give him instructions and he signs the offer on your behalf.
You sign nothing at all except, perhaps, loan papers. For further
information try Making
an offer and Homebuying
I make an offer before I have sold my house?
It is possible but probably not advisable. In Scotland a Contract
is formed within a relatively short time. If your offer is accepted
you may find yourself in a position of having to pay the price
on a particular day without having sold your house. This is particularly
so if you live in a jurisdiction such as England where you can
be let down by a buyer at the last minute.If this is a difficulty
for you, you should not make an offer until you are certain of
a sale. It would be equally unwise to enter into an arrangement
for bridging finance unless you were 100% certain of your sale.
I wait until I have had a survey carried out before submitting
that we have a system of Home Reports, most people
do not have their own survey carried out. On our
website, the Home Report can be seen by clicking
the link on the particular property page. With other
agents, you may have to ask, specifically, for it
to be e-mailed/posted to you.
unusually, you should want to have a survey carried out,
normally this would be carried out before the offer is submitted
but if a closing date has been set (a deadline for offers
to be received) then you may not have time.
Solicitor can often find out, informally, if the price you
want to offer would be acceptable. This course would, probably,
be the best course if you are wanting to offer less than
the asking price as it might save you the cost of a formal
there freehold and leasehold in Scotland?
Scotland there is a concept of “Absolute
ownership” similar to freehold. Leasehold
is fairly rare for domestic properties in
When a Solicitor submits an offer for you he does so in letter
form. The acceptance is also a letter. These letters form the
missives. Sometimes an offer is accepted subject to certain conditions
that the seller wants in the contract. This is called a qualified
acceptance. Once all matters are agreed we say the "bargain
and a contract is formed.
foreigners buy Scots property?
There is nothing to stop a foreigner buying Scots property. There
is no residence requirement and the property taxes are the same.
Many foreigners own property from the smallest crofthouse to
the largest of hunting Estates. Similiarly there is no reason
why a foreigner cannot obtain a loan here, secured over the property,
to fund part of the purchase. Please contact us for further information.
is a croft?
Land which is registered croft land is available for anyone to
purchase but under the restriction that an administrative body
called the Crofters Commission regulate the occupation of crofts
and may, if the land is not being properly utilised impose a
tenant upon the owner. That tenant would have rights to buy the
land (but not the house if you were occupying one on the croft)
usually for a very small sum.
The Crofting Acts were social engineering designed to ensure
that there was land available for small scale agricultural enterprise
and to ensure that rural areas remained populated.
Buying land which is registered croft land, if it is not to be
used for traditional activities such as keeping of cattle and
sheep or growing crops could result in dispossession of the land.
Anyone buying and carrying out the traditional type activities
should not have a problem.
If all you want to do is buy a house without anything beyond
a garden and it is described as a croft there really is nothing
to worry about.
Be sure to select a Solicitor from the North of Scotland if you
are buying a croft or crofthouse as they tend to have more experience
in this subject.
There are taxes on profits made on sale of any property (land
or buildings) which is not your main residence (Capital
There is a tax relating to residential property as opposed to
bare land. This Council Tax is
payable whether the house is occupied or not and is levied on
a sliding scale depending on the value (banding) of the property.
The scale is different in each district and it therefore not
possible to indicate the taxwithout knowing the property. Generally
it is in the region of £1000 - £2000 per annum but
this is a very rough guide only.
There is a tax on buying your property which is called Stamp
Duty Land Tax ("SDLT").
For purchases of domestic properties (houses) the rates of this
new tax are currently the same as under Stamp Duty. For commercial
properties, there is a change in that the nil band is up to £150,000.
The rate is as follows:-
||Rate of Stamp Duty
|0 - 120,000
|120,001 - 250,000
|250,001 - 500,000
However, a major change is that the Purchaser (or each purchaser
where more than one) must sign an SLDT return form - this cannot
be signed by us as your agents.
The form, together with any tax payable, must be submitted to
the Inland Revenue within 30 days of the earliest of either the
payment of the price or entry into the property, whether or not
any tax is due. Failure to submit the form will incur an automatic
fixed penalty and additional charges - again even if no tax was
payable. Also your title deed cannot be recorded in the Land
Register without an SDLT certificate, so you could even risk
losing ownership of the property.
Therefore (unless you instruct us otherwise in writing) we will
prepare an SDLT form as part of our normal conveyancing service
and supply it to you for signature and return. We will require
a note of your National Insurance number for this form (unless
you do not have one).
If you are purchasing with a secured loan (mortgage), we must
have the completed signed form before the date of settlement,
and funds for any tax no later than at settlement. Otherwise
we can not use the loan funds to settle your purchase, even if
this leads to you paying penalties to the seller or being homeless.
If you are not using a loan in your purchase, we recommend you
let us have the form and funds before settlement, but we will
settle without these. However, we will not pay the tax on your
behalf unless you have let us have the funds for this, even if
this means you will be charged penalties.
There is a charge made for recording of
your deeds on the Government land register which is charged at
the rate of £11 per £5000 of value of the property.
kind of surveys are there?
There are 3.
The first is not a survey at all but a Valuation.
It cost usually about £90 but is very limited in scope.
It is usually prepared for a lender. If it is wrong you may have
The second is a Homebuyer's Report
and Valuation. This is much more detailed. It costs about £300
to £400. It is the one that we recommend. You have a direct
relationship with the surveyor and if the survey is incorrect
in a major way then you will have an opportunity to make a claim
on the insurance of the surveyor.
The third is a Structural Survey but
this is only normally instructed if the first survey indicates
a serious problem. A structural survey can be quite expensive
depending upon the problem
|If your question has not been answered why
not ask a question.
You will not only help yourself but others too as we add the
most frequently asked questions to the above list.