Buying & Selling Guide

Accepting that dealing with property either purchasing or selling is for most people one of the  biggest transactions they will be involved in, then the choice of the property professional to assist is one of great importance.
 
As a firm of Scottish Solicitors, Braidwoods is able to offer the selling client a comprehensive estate agency and conveyancing package enabling the client  to have one point of reference and for the purchasing client, Braidwoods local knowledge is invaluable in assisting the purchasing client to select the right property at the right price.
 
Braidwoods are members of Dumfries and Galloway Solicitors Property Centre, Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre and Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre to ensure optimum exposure of property. In addition our street level premises and quality particulars and our website combine to make sure your property is found by prospective purchasers.
 
Our charges are very realistic and we are happy to discuss your requirements in person, over the phone or by email.
 
In addition to being one of the most important transactions, dealing with property can also be stressful. It is important that your property professional keeps you informed of progress.
 
While not a comprehensive statement the following notes will hopefully assist you with your understanding of the process involved in buying or selling a house.
 
BUYING YOUR NEW PROPERTY
 
Once you have established what you can afford you need to decide where you want to live.
 
There are a number of questions to consider when choosing your new house and location:
 
Is public transport accessible?
 
Are there any local amenities that would suit your lifestyle?
 
If you have children is there a good school or nursery near by?
 
Would you prefer to live in a town or rural area.
 
Once you have decided on your choice of area, you should try to get to know it better.
 
Speak to residents.
 
Visit at different times of the day. This will give you a better idea of noise pollution from traffic or people, and also what kind of people live in the area. (This can also give you a good idea of travelling times and services).
 
Once you have satisfied yourself you will have to decide what type of house you want to purchase. There are a number of factors to consider:
 
Size - How many rooms do you need?
 
Type - Would you prefer an old or a new house? An old house may have larger rooms or period features. A new property may provide modern appliances and special deals.
 
Special Requirements - For example do you need a garage, large garden or downstairs bathroom?
 
Establishing the type of house you are looking for before viewing any properties will save you a lot of time.
 
FINDING THE HOME OF YOUR DREAMS
 

There are a number of ways to gain information about houses in the area.
 
Braidwoods' Property Department
 
We display a wide range of houses of varying types, prices and locations.
 
Unlike many local firms we have invested in a website at a dot com location, which provides particulars and information at the click of a button to a global audience: www.braidwoods.com
 
Solicitors Property Centre
 
As active members, we know that the SPC is also a great source of information relating to properties for sale in the area. The SPC display properties for which the selling agents are local solicitors.
 
There are currently three Solicitors Property Centre "shops" in Dumfries and Galloway:
 
Dumfries: 01387 252684 or 01387 254010
Castle Douglas: 01556 503245
Annan: 01461 204459
 
Alternatively you can access all details of property for sale on their website: www.dgspc.co.uk. There is also a supplement available, which is published every month and can be found in the SPC, Local Solicitors Firms (including Braidwoods), Banks and supermarkets.
 
Local newspapers often advertise property for sale in the area.
 
TIPS FOR VIEWING PROPERTY
 
Ignore décor and furnishings;
 
Check to see if any maintenance has been carried out recently and if so ask about any transferable guarantees;
 
Ask the present owners about the running costs of the house, for example, gas, electricity and council tax;
 
Look for signs of the property's condition;
 
Remember the owners are likely to highlight the property's good points and skim over the bad points. They are trying to sell. Try not to be too easily persuaded by this.
 
HOME REPORTS
 
Since the 1st of December 2008, sellers of property in Scotland have been required by Law to make available to interested parties a Home Report. This comprises of three elements, a Survey and Valuation, a Property Questionnaire completed by the seller giving a range of information about the property including details of heating system, whether it has double glazing, whether any alterations have been made, whether there are any guarantees available for the property etc. The third part of the home report is an energy performance certificate which grades the property in a fashion similar to the certification we are accustomed to seeing on electrical appliances. The home report can be of great value to a purchaser and the purchaser’s lender be prepared to accept the Report without requiring a further valuation and the additional fee to be instructed and paid.
 
The Law Society of Scotland has issued guidance to the effect that purchasers should not rely on home reports which are older than 12 weeks.
 
Apart from the legal fees when purchasing the following costs may require to be taken account of:-
 
Valuation/Survey Fee: This will depend upon the type of survey you choose and also according to the value of your property. We are happy to instruct surveyors to give you a clearer picture of the property in which you are interested. The property may have a HOME REPORT with the possibility of saving the purchaser this outlay.
 
Stamp Duty Land Tax: This is a government tax, which must be paid on properties costing over £175,000.
 
Mortgage Guarantee Insurance: This is charged by the lender if you borrow more than a certain percentage of the purchase price or property value (whichever is lower) to cover the increased risk.
 
Mortgage Fees: An arrangement fee may be charged by the lender to cover administration, this fee can sometimes be added to the mortgage.
 
Hidden costs: Hiring a removal company; connecting services such as gas and electricity; repairs and decoration.
 
SELLING YOUR HOME
 
Braidwoods will provide you with a complete service in connection with the sale of your home including both Estate Agency and Conveyancing.
 
A member of our property department will call and prepare a set of Particulars of Sale for approval by you, including photographs of your property taken on the latest "state of the art" digital equipment. We shall of course advise you regarding the sale price of your property and are able to instruct home reports which are now required when selling your house. We are happy to carry out accompanied viewings of your property should you be unavailable. We will also deal with all your advertising requirements in order to achieve the best possible exposure of your property.
 
Our solicitors will act on your behalf to conclude the contract for the sale of your property and deal with all enquires relating to the title deeds, searches including settlement of any existing mortgage, which you may have.
 
We are happy to provide estimates of our fees in connection with any sale or purchase and will of course keep you fully advised during the course of your sale or purchase of any difficulties which may arise affecting the costs involved in your particular transaction.