Embarking on the conveyancing process can feel like navigating a maze filled with legal jargon and complex procedures. Fear not! Coulters’ partner Jill Andrew and Trainee Solicitor Emma Robertson are here to guide you through this journey, answering your most pressing legal questions.

But first, what does the term Conveyancing actually mean?

If you don’t know what the term “Conveyancing” actually means, you are certainly not alone. In fact, research from Homeowners Alliance shows that 40% of adults don’t know what it means. 

To put it simply, Conveyancing is the legal practice of transferring ownership of a property from one owner to another. 

How long does the conveyancing process usually take? From the acceptance of my offer, to receiving the keys of my new property.

Jill: The timeline can vary, as no two transactions are alike. In Scotland, our completion dates are generally very reliable. This date will rarely slip, or it will be moved with everybody’s agreement. If you are in the fortunate situation to not need a mortgage, you’re looking at an average of about 4 to 6 weeks. However, with mortgage funding involved, this could extend to roughly 6 to 8 weeks, depending on your mortgage provider. You also need to consider that if you have something to sell first, then your purchase will be conditional to that sale so it can add more time to the process.

When will I receive the funds from the sale of my property?

Emma: The speed at which you receive your funds post-settlement can vary, but it's typically the same day or within 24 hours. At Coulters, we prioritize getting your funds to you as swiftly as possible.

What are LBTT and ADS, and when do I need to pay them?

Emma: LBTT stands for Land and Business Transaction Tax, which is due upon the completion of your purchase, based on the price of the property. It is tax that is paid on the purchase of land, buildings and houses. ADS, or Additional Dwelling Supplement, applies if you own another property, requiring a 6% flat rate of your total purchase price. These are essential taxes payable to Revenue Scotland.

Jill: To some older generations, LBTT might be known as Stamp Duty Tax or SDLT in England.

My partner and I want to buy a property together. What do we need to know?

Jill: It’s an exciting step, and always an enjoyable piece of conveyancing to be involved in! Before you think about putting an offer in on a property, it is important to take a close look at your finances and figure out how you are going to fund it. If you’re considering a straightforward 50/50 split, things should be relatively simple. However, for different contributions or earnings, we advise a minute of agreement, similar to a prenuptial agreement, detailing the financial arrangements. This ensures both parties are protected, no matter what the future holds.

At what point should I book my removal service once my offer has been accepted?

Emma: In Scotland, we work with fixed entry dates, so once you have that, feel free to start contacting removal firms. As soon as you receive this date, we recommend pencilling your move in with a removal company and this can then be firmed up once the missives have been concluded. 

Jill:  A tip that I have learned over my many years of conveyancing is that if you avoid moving on a Friday you will most likely save a bit of money, as removal companies can put their costs up slightly for busier days. The other thing to watch out for is if your move falls on a Friday the 13th, as you may find you can get a good deal as lots of superstitious people will avoid this date. 

I’ve found a property that I love. What are the next steps for making an offer?

Emma: First, get in touch with a solicitor to discuss your interest or proceed with an offer. Ensure you have your mortgage agreement in principle ready and consider your current property’s selling timeline. One of our tips would be to make sure you visit the property at different times, as this can offer valuable insights into noise levels, amount of natural light etc.

What do conveyancers find most rewarding about their job?

Jill: For me it has to be securing a client's offer at a closing date for a property they are desperate to get. It is amazing how emotionally involved you become on behalf of your client. It never feels like just another transaction.

Emma: I think it has to be the joy of informing clients they’ve successfully bought their first or next home, and sharing in their excitement.

Why Choose Coulters' Conveyancing Services?

At Coulters, our dedicated team of legal experts is here to guide you through every step of the conveyancing process. With a focus on clear communication, swift action, and personalized service, we aim to make your property transaction as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Whether you're buying, selling, or seeking advice, our team at Coulters are here to help you navigate the complexities of conveyancing.

For more information on our services or to get in touch with our team, visit our website or contact us directly on 0131 603 7333.