If you are a First Time Buyer or buying for the first time in Edinburgh, the notion of noting interest will not be familiar to you and so this article will explain all about it.
Also if you have been looking to buy in Edinburgh this year, you will know that properties are selling very quickly – often within the first week of being on the market – and at prices well over their Home Report values. Sometimes buyers get a little frustrated that the property has been sold without them getting a chance to offer. So, it is perhaps worthwhile explaining what noting interest means and the part it plays in the property purchase process.
What is Noting Interest?
When you view a property you would be interested in buying, you would give us a call or send us an email with the details of that property and one of the things we then do is to give the selling agents a call and note your interest. Noting interest is simply us, as your solicitors, advising the selling agents that you are interested in the property and wish to be advised of a Closing Date for Offers. We do a little more for our clients than that, and this will be explained in more detail later on.
Can you note interest yourself?
Yes you can. You can call the selling agents and ask for your interest to be noted without going through a solicitor and this is often referred to as an informal note of interest – simply because you have done this yourself and not through a solicitor. However, you will need a solicitor to make an offer.
What is the legal status of noting interest?
This is sometimes confusing for home buyers. Simply noting interest in a property with the selling agents has no legal status. It does not mean that sellers or the selling agents are required to set a Closing Date and it does not prevent sellers from considering and accepting an offer made at any time without referring back to you to allow you to also make an offer. Although usually if there are three or more notes of interest, the selling agents will recommend to the sellers to set a Closing Date but that is not always the case. At the end of the day, the seller is free to set a closing date or not and free to accept or decline any offer. It is their choice. But if there are a number of buyers interested in their property, it is probably in their best interests to set a closing date as this is the best way for a seller to get the best possible price for their property.
What we do for our clients when noting interest:
Step 1: We take a look at the property brochure and a quick look at the Home Report. We phone the selling agents to note your interest, ask if there are any other notes of interest and whether or not a closing date has been set.
Step 2: We email you to confirm your interest has been noted, summarising the information available about the property and generally update you. We shall also give you an indication of what we think in the current market the property might sell for at a Closing Date, based on our recent experience of the property market in Edinburgh. We shall ask you to consider if you wish to make a verbal offer at this stage although that is not always appropriate and will not be appropriate if a closing date has been set.
Step 3: We shall let you know once a closing date has been set and explain what we need to do if you decide to make an offer at the Closing Date.
Do we charge a fee for noting interest?
No. This is part of our home buying service and included in the fee for our service quoted to you.
Taking the next step of making an offer
As mentioned above, simply noting interest does not require the seller to set a closing date or prevent the seller from considering and accepting an offer from someone else. It is sometimes sensible therefore to consider making an offer at this stage before a closing date has been set. The result of making an offer at this stage will be either (1) the offer is accepted or the offer price negotiated and then accepted, or (2) the offer in itself triggers the setting of the closing date.