Steps to buying a house in Scotland

The house buying process in Scotland is different to the rest of the UK.

We are proud to offer mortgages provided by Halifax

Our helpful guide breaks the process down in to seven key steps, and takes you through what happens in each of these steps. If you are buying a house in the rest of the UK you can view the home buying process on the Halifax website.

Government schemes

Bank of Scotland supports initiatives including the Government's mortgage guarantee scheme and Shared Ownership. Find out if there’s a scheme that could help you make your move.

Government schemes

You could lose your home if you don't keep up your mortgage repayments

1. Apply for an Agreement in Principle

Firstly, you’ll need to find out how much you could borrow based on your income, outgoings and other financial commitments.

You can apply for an Agreement in Principle (AIP) on the Halifax website. There is no charge for this and no obligation to take out a mortgage.

Apply for an AIP Apply for an Agreement in Principle

2. Appoint a solicitor and start to view properties

In Scotland, solicitors are responsible for submitting the offer and negotiating and checking the contract, so you’ll need to appoint a solicitor before you start viewing properties. View properties within your budget and request a Home Report for the ones you are interested in.

Find out more about selecting solicitors and viewing properties.

3. Make a formal offer

If you want to proceed after seeing the Home Report, let your solicitor know and they can make a formal written offer for you.

4. Had an offer accepted?

If your offer is accepted the seller’s solicitor will issue a qualified acceptance, which confirms the seller has accepted your offer along with any conditions if applicable.

If you have had an offer accepted book an appointment in a Bank of Scotland branch to talk to one of our mortgage advisers and complete your full mortgage application.

Request an appointment
  • You’ll need to complete your mortgage application with a mortgage adviser. This usually takes about 2 hours. If you're applying for a mortgage with someone else, make sure you’re both available because it'll save time.

    You'll need to:

    • Prepare the documents you’ll need such as pay slips, recent bank statements, details of any financial commitments or bonus, and proof of your identity
    • Have details of the property you want to buy.

    Your mortgage adviser will:

    • Review your income and commitments
    • Ask about your needs and circumstances and then recommend the most suitable mortgage for you
    • Give you an Illustration, which sets out the terms of the mortgage product and the total cost of the loan
    • Complete background checks with a Credit Reference Agency
    • Let you know if a valuation is needed.

    In Scotland, sellers must provide a Home Report which includes a survey, Energy Performance Certificate and Property Questionnaire.

    If everything is okay, we'll write to you to make you a mortgage offer.

  • If your bid is successful, the seller's solicitor will reply in writing with their conditions.

    This exchange of letters – or ‘missives’ – continues until everyone’s happy with the conditions.

    The final missive is a binding contract. This means neither you nor the seller can back out without having to pay compensation.

    Your solicitor will prepare several documents. These include a ‘Disposition’ which will transfer ownership of the property to you.

    You need to make sure your solicitor gets all the funds needed ahead of the settlement to cover the whole purchase price, any Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and title registration.

  • 'Settlement' concludes all of the legal activities associated with buying the property. Your solicitor sends the funds to the seller's solicitor.

    Your solicitor in turn receives the signed Disposition, other documents and the keys to your new home!