Guide

Buying a home: the legal process

Last updated: 18 July 2017

Settlement

The last step in buying a home is the 'settlement'. This is when you get possession of the home, and usually happens on the agreed date of entry.

Settlement means your solicitor will:

  • confirm to your lender (if you have one) that the home is now officially in your name
  • get the loan cheque from your lender (if you have one)
  • get your contribution towards the cost of the home

In return for handing over the cheque for the cost of the home, the solicitor will get the 'disposition' (the document that transfers ownership from the seller to you), the deeds and the keys.

If you have a lender, the deeds will be given to them as security. If not, you should ask your solicitor to put the deeds in safekeeping.

Registration

As part of the sale your details will be added to the land register. This is a register of who owns land and property in Scotland.

Your home will have a 'title sheet' on the register, which lists:

  • the current owner (you)
  • the price of the home
  • mortgage details
  • any conditions affecting the property

There is another register called the Sasine Register, which was started in 1617. This is being replaced by the land register through a process called 'keeper-induced registration', so when you buy a new home it won't be listed in the Sasine Register.

Outlays

As well as the fees you pay to your solicitor and your contribution to the cost of the home, there are also a number of other costs, called outlays.

These include:

  • fees and taxes payable to the government, like fees due to the Registers of Scotland
  • search fees
  • Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (formerly stamp duty land tax)
Buying a home: the legal process
Settlement