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Buying a Property

We offer a fixed fee service for the buying of residential property in Scotland, following an initial discussion or email exchange with you to find out the relevant information. Our typical legal fees for a purchase range from £795 plus VAT for simple transactions to £5,000 plus VAT for larger properties with associated complexities. 

The stages involved in the purchase of a residential property can vary for each transaction.  However, below are the key stages we would typically expect in a standard property sale:

Step 1:  We take your instructions and give initial advice.

Step 2: Once you have found a property, you contact our team and we then carry out some initial research on the relevant property, such as reviewing the Home Report.

Step 3: We discuss and advise you on the terms of an offer and submit that on your behalf. We also negotiate the offer terms with the seller’s agent if required.

Step 4: Once an offer is accepted in principle, we enter into an exchange of contractual letters (known as missives) with the sellers’ solicitor. Those missives determine the terms applicable to the deal, and when all of those terms are agreed, we have a contract (known as concluded missives).

Step 5: We examine and report to you on the terms of the title. 

Step 6: We check and examine searches, and check ancillary documentation such as building control and planning consents, and timber reports and guarantees.

Step 7: We raise any title issues or points of concerns with the sellers’ solicitor and seek a satisfactory resolution to any problems.

Step 8: We prepare the relevant deeds to transfer the title to you.

Step 9: If you are obtaining a mortgage then we will prepare all the necessary documentation and request the funds from the lender for completion.

Step 10: Where Help to Buy is involved, we also liaise with the providers and the solicitors for the Scottish Ministers to prepare and complete all documentation and arrange for the drawdown of funds.

Step 11: We liaise with you to ensure that all relevant documents are signed in advance of the completion date.

Step 12: We confirm to you the additional funds we need to collect from you before completion. These include your deposit, all costs (such as Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), if applicable, and registration dues) and the agreed fee (plus VAT) payable to Thorntons.

Step 13: We arrange for payment of the purchase price to the sellers’ solicitor on the completion date, and make arrangements with them and with you for the handover of keys.

Step 14: Post-settlement, we finalise all the documentation. We make any necessary return to Revenue Scotland, and pay all or any LBTT due. We then deal with the registration of your title in the Land Register, together with your mortgage lender’s security (if any).

Step 15: We provide you with a copy of the updated title sheet, and pass back to you any other relevant documentation. We also pass final details to any mortgage lender. If you wish us to store documents for you, this can be arranged.

We will keep you updated and informed throughout the process.

The length of time it will take from an offer being accepted will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between six to eight weeks.  It can be quicker or slower depending on the number of parties in the chain or the complexities involved.

We will give you a written fee estimate once we have had an initial discussion or email exchange with you to find out all the relevant information for the purchase. If there are any expected complications during the purchase, we will inform you and discuss any potential impact on price before additional fees are incurred.

Additional third-party costs

Typical third-party costs include:

  • Registration fees for the Disposition (Title Document) payable to the Land Register: range from £70 -£7,510 (depending on the value of the property)
  • Registration fee for each Standard Security (Mortgage Document) payable to the Land Register: £70
  • Advance Notice for each Standard Security (Mortgage Document) payable to the Land Register: £20
  • Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) payable to Revenue Scotland will depend on the purchase price – further information can be found at Revenue’s LBTT Property Transactions Calculator page


There may be miscellaneous expenses. For example:

  • Buying a new property can include additional search fees typically costing around £150
  • Cases involving Help to Buy schemes will incur additional land registration fees
  • If the property purchased is a second home, then the Additional Dwellings Supplement Tax may be payable in addition to the LBTT. This tax is charged at 4% of the price of the property purchased, where that price is £40,000 or more.

With offices across Tayside, Perthshire, Angus and Fife, our highly experienced and friendly property teams are on hand to guide you through the whole legal process for your house buying.  We have in-depth knowledge of the local property markets and can take care of the all the legal procedures involved in buying your new home, from making an offer to getting the keys.