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Most common property questions answered

Metta Stockman


Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you likely have many questions about the process. From the costs involved to how you can successfully buy in a competitive housing market. In this article, we are answering your most common property questions.


Do first-time buyers have to pay Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT)?

It depends on the property’s purchase price. Currently, purchase prices of £145,000 and below do not trigger any liability for LBTT. First-time buyers in Scotland are exempt from paying LBTT on any purchase price between £145,001 and £175,000.

For first-time buyers purchasing a home above £175,000, or homeowners buying their next property above £145,000, there is liability for LBTT. This is calculated proportionately as shown below:

Purchase Price LBTT Rate
Up to £145,000 0%
£145,001 to £250,000 2%
£250,001 to £325,000 5%
£325,001 to £750,000 10%
Over £750,000 12%


What are the costs when buying/selling a property?

When buying a property, typical costs include the conveyancing fee (which varies from firm to firm), LBTT (if applicable), and registration dues for the title deed and any mortgage deed.

When selling, typical costs include estate agency fees, conveyancing fees, and outlays such as search costs and registration dues for discharging any mortgage security. Estate agency fees and outlays will vary between firms.


Can I place an offer on two properties at the same time?

Only if you have enough money to purchase both!

Until missives are concluded for any purchase, you and the seller are not in a binding contract. However, in Scotland, solicitors operate under rules of etiquette designed to make offering for a property a serious commitment. Any conditions of the purchase, such as needing to obtain a mortgage or sell an existing property, should be disclosed in the offer.

If you want to offer on two properties simultaneously (e.g., if they have the same closing date), you would need to decide which property you prefer. The offer for the second property would need to state it is contingent on your first-choice offer not being accepted. This may not appeal to the seller. Most people choose to make an offer on the property they prefer.


How do I make an offer on a property?

Contact a solicitor estate agent early in the purchase process to obtain a quote and find out who to contact when you decide to make an offer. Ensure you have a mortgage agreement in principle from a named mortgage lender if you need a mortgage to buy. This will need to be declared when the offer is submitted and may affect how your offer is perceived by the seller.

Being able to move quickly is key. If other interest exists in the property, your solicitor may submit a note of interest for you. You’ll then wait until a closing date is set when all interested parties will be invited to submit their best offer.


How can I buy successfully in a competitive market?

In a competitive market, multiple offers on one property are common. This is good news for sellers but challenging for buyers. The best advice is to seek guidance from a solicitor who knows the current market conditions and can provide valuable insights from the estate agent and the Home Report.

Consider being flexible about the types of property and areas you’re willing to consider. This flexibility may improve your chances of having an offer accepted.


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