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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
Making an Offer
|Disclaimer: The information on these pages
is necessarily general and commonsense dictates that you should
take legal or other advice before acting upon it. No solicitor/client
relationship is created by the reading of the pages.
Once you have a found a property in which you are interested
you should contact a Solicitor so that an offer can be made for
the house. Formerly all offers had to be made in writing as a
handshake had no legal significance in Scotland, however, this
is no longer the case. Avoid making informal agreements as the
terms of the formal offer we make for you are very important. They
underpin the whole transaction.
The offer will not only state that you wish to buy the property
and that you are willing to pay a certain price for it, it will
also have numerous conditions which are designed to ensure you
obtain a good title, to protect you from claims by neighbours
and the local authorities and to ensure that you encounter no
problems when you move into the property.
Offers nowadays generally run to seven or eight pages due to
the complexities of the law which have greatly increased in recent
In Scotland, once an offer is accepted a binding contract is
formed "Gazumping" has never been a feature of the
Scottish scene because of the speed at which a contract is formed.
As soon as the offer is acceptedwithout qualitfication you are
bound by it and there is no opportunity for second thoughts.
It is for this reason that it is so vital that you ensure that
you have easy access to advice.
If you are buying from a large firm of builders then they may
give you a preprinted form of offer. These documents are generally
biased towards the builder and do not contain all the necessary
conditions to protect your position. Never sign these documents
but instead take advice on them. They will almost certainly be
altered in order to protect your investment.
Included within an offer must be:-
Properties are often advertised in Scotland at "offers over",
"offers around", or "a fixed price". There
are no specific rules governing this and just because the seller
implies that he wants to receive a certain figure does not mean
that he will not accept a lower amount. The property is not necessarily
valued at the price the seller puts in the paper and he may well
be willing to accept a price which is lower than this.
To Survey or not to survey
For the above reason alone, before deciding to purchase a property,
you should consult a Surveyor. He will inspect the property and
after seeing his report you will be in a better position to consider
what price to offer for the property. If you are taking a loan
speak to the lender first as they have lists of their preferred
Surveyors carry out different types of surveys. The first is
known as a Valuation and this is done wherever you are getting
a mortgage. The Surveyor merely looks at the property and decides
whether it is valuable enough to cover the amount of the loan.
Although you will pay for this type of survey it is done for
the lender's benefit and will only protect the Lender's interest.
It is possible for you to get your own survey done and there
are various types of survey which a Surveyor will do over a property.
For more advice on this contact your Solicitor who will advise
you of the different types of survey and what type of survey
is necessary. As a general rule, the older the house the more
complete the survey needs to be.
Working out a price
You must clearly offer a price that you can afford. Look at it
Take the maximum amount of mortgage you are being offered for
this property and add your savings and any loans or other money
available (perhaps from the sale of a house). Then deduct the
money you need for removal costs, furnishings etc and the expenses
of the purchase. The sum remaining is the maximum amount you
Then look at it another way:-
What would you be prepared to offer so that if you are unsuccessful
you would not kick yourself afterwards and say "I should
have offered £1000 more".
The lower these figures is the most you should offer. Remember
that you may not get a second chance to offer.
2. THE DATE OF ENTRY
You will need to specify in the offer the date when you wish
to get the keys and pay the price in full. If you are selling
a previous house, and have not yet done this then you may have
to get a Bridging Loan. This is a temporary loan at a higher
rate of interest than a mortgage. Remember that in Scotland there
is no gazumping and even if you have not sold your own house
then you must pay for your new house in full at the date of entry.
Clearly you wish your offer to be accepted and therefore it is
best to try and fit in with what the seller would like. The seller
may be prepared to take a lesser sum of money if you fit in with
his plans for when you will take entry to the property. Remember
thatthe date of entry is the date when you move into the property
and an early or a late date will suit the seller depending on
when he is due to move into his new house.
When you make an offer for a house you are only offering for
the bricks, mortar and ground. The law on moveables is complex
but basically the position is that any item which is not firmly
attached to the house is counted as a moveable. As this is not
included in your offer then the seller is able to take all moveables
with him. As an example you may move into your new house only
to discover that the bathroom fittings, the cooker, the fridge
and even the electric light bulbs have been taken away by the
previous owner. If you specify in the offer exactly what moveables
you want then these are included in the sale and your Solicitor
will advise you about this. He will also guide you on what is
and what is not a moveable.
There is normally no deposit payable in Scotland (except possibly
for new properties).
Go to Homebuying info
for more detailed information on this.
Council of Mortgage Lenders,
3 Saville Road, London, W1X 1AF. 0171
The Council supply lists of lenders and leaflets for homebuyers
(remember to mention that you are interested in buying in Scotland).
Law Society of Scotland, 26 Drumsheugh Gardens,
Edinburgh. EH3 7YR. 0131
The Society maintains a list of Property centres around the country.
Property Centres have lists of the properties being sold by their
Solicitor/Estate Agents members. Most properties in Scotland
are sold by Solicitor/Estate Agents.
National Association of
Estate Agents, Arbon House, 21 Jury Street,
Warwick CV34 3EH. 01926
The National Association maintains a list of all Estate Agents
in the Association. Not all Estate Agents have joined the National
Royal Institute of Chartered
Surveyors, 9 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7DN. 0131
The Royal Institution maintains a list of qualified Surveyors
If you would like us to assist you in buying a house on your
behalf then contact us by phone, fax or send
us an email and we will be happy to assist you.