What actually happens?
From a legal point of view, it is fairly simple. We send the seller’s solicitor the funds to pay the purchase price and in return the seller’s solicitor send us the signed Disposition (the title transfer document) and the keys. Nowadays it is usual for the price to be paid by bank transfer and the Disposition & the keys are sent by post to arrive with us first thing in the morning.
When does settlement take place?
We usually aim to complete settlement in the morning. We will let you know as soon as this happens so that you know when you can come to our office to collect the keys.
You may need to wait until the seller moves out
If the seller is also moving out of the property on the same day, you will probably need to wait for them to complete their move. The usual thing is for the seller to move out by 1pm but we will check this with the seller’s solicitor and let you know if it is to be later.
About the keys
It is normal for us to get only one set of keys. The sellers usually leave all other keys in the property. We recommend that you check the other keys are in the property and also check to make sure (1) you get all the keys you need and (2) that they work.
Keys to the back door, leading to the back green
If you are buying a flat in a traditional tenement building then it is not uncommon for you not to get a key to the back door leading to the back green. This is because few people nowadays use the back green. If this happens, then the seller isn’t responsible for getting you a key. The easiest and most practical thing to do is to ask your neighbours and borrow their key to get a copy cut.
What else do we do on the Settlement Date?
Amongst other things, we will go online to complete the LBTT Return and submit this to Revenue Scotland and if there is any tax to be paid, we pay the tax.
We also the prepare and submit the application forms and the Disposition and other documents to Registers of Scotland to start off the process of registering you as the owner of the property and the Standard Security in favour of your lender for the mortgage.
On the Settlement Date or within a few days, we will send you a Statement of Account summarising the funds received and paid out in the course of the purchase of your new home and our receipted fee invoice.
The practical things to do when you move in
There are some practical things for you to do once you move in:
You should take meter readings and then contact the utility companies with those readings, to arrange for the utilities to be transferred into your name.
You should inform the Council that you are the new owners for Council Tax purposes. This can usually be done online at the Council’s website.
You should make sure that everything is working properly, particularly the boiler, heating and water heating systems & the shower. In terms of the Missives (the Purchase Contract) we only have five working days to initiate any potential claim with the seller’s solicitor. Hopefully everything will be fine, but if not, let us know as soon as possible.
Factored Buildings and Developments
If the property you are buying is in a building or development that has Factors, then the Factors will be aware that you are the new owners and will be in touch with you to let you know what it is they do, and if there is a deposit to be paid, to give you details of how to pay the deposit.