Providing clear and straightforward advice
Estate Agents and Solicitor Estate Agents have been in competition of over 50 years.
In 1971 Solicitor Estate Agents founded the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) as a collective marketing centre for all properties sold by all solicitors in the area.
ESPC is by far has the biggest source of property for sale in East Central Scotland with over 85% of all properties on the local market being advertised on espc.com.
Estate Agents who are not solicitors are not permitted to advertise in the ESPC and therefore must only use other property portals such as Zoopla and S1Homes.
When you find a property, simply call us or send us an e-mail with the details of the property address, the selling agent and the price. Here is what will happen next…
When you find a property you like
The first thing we do is note your interest with the selling agent. This tells us whether there is any competition. Noting interest acts as a holding exercise and the Selling Agents will generally notify us of any developments. If the property is on at a fixed price, however, they may sell it to the first party to offer the fixed price and any notes of interest are disregarded.
You have to move quickly with a fixed price property although you can offer less than the fixed price if you so wish. Fixed price properties are not so common when the market is hot, like right now.
We then check out the Home Report (HR). You can download this from ESPC.com or ask the selling agents to email it to you.
The tactics we adopt in submitting an Offer will be determined by a number of factors – whether there is competition, if the property is just on the market or has been on for a while, whether a property is on at a fixed price, whether there is a closing date and most importantly what you can afford to offer.
The Offer is a legal document which forms one leg of a contract for the purchase. It refers to standard clauses, the terms of which have been agreed by Solicitors in Scotland so that the wording of individual clauses is not a matter that causes delay.
The most important parts of the Offer that affect you are the price, the date of entry, and what items are included in the sale. The price is a very important matter that we will discuss with you – the basic aspects are considered on the next page.
The date of entry is the date you get the keys and the date on which you pay the purchase price. This is determined in your case by the speed at which the mortgage can be processed and usually for a First Time Buyer is around 6 weeks from the date the offer goes in.
The items included in the sale are usually the items specified in the sales particulars but if you agree any additional items be sure to let us know so that these can be written into the offer and become part of the contract.
How do we decide on what to offer?
There are various elements of this process:
The Home Report:
This is a very useful document containing an Energy Efficiency Report and Seller’s Questionnaire but most importantly, a full survey on the property carried out by the seller’s surveyor. This is an impartial and detailed survey of the property’s condition and each aspect of the property is scored on a scale of 1 – 3.
- 1 = Surveyor is happy with what he has seen
- 2 = Keep an eye on it and proceed with caution
- 3 = Do more research and further investigation before proceeding
Don’t be confused by the ‘reinstatement value’ this is a technical calculation of the re-building costs if the property was completely destroyed by fire and is used to assess what you need to insure the buildings for at the time you apply for your buildings insurance.
Here is a clever trick – look at the date of the report. Because a seller can’t put the property on the market without a Home Report it tells you how long the property has been on the market.
Look now at the Valuation. This is the Surveyor’s assessment of what the property is worth and your mortgage will be based on a percentage of this figure (or the price if you buy below valuation).
We then decide if we are in a position to submit the offer based on what we established about your negotiating position when we noted interest.
The archives of the ESPC:
When a Solicitor sells a property we notify the ESPC of the sales details. This has created a huge database of up to date past selling prices and details of the properties sold such as how long a property may have been on the market. In some cases we can access the original sale particulars to ensure we are comparing like with like.
We will send you an excerpt from the archives of the ESPC as the basis of our discussion on what to offer.
If the list of properties in the street shows a lot of properties which have failed to sell, the street is not such a hot area for activity as one where the list of sale prices includes many which display unusual or uneven numbers – a sure indication that the property has stimulated competition and the property has been sold at a closing date.
The most important part of our service and our greatest assets are our people and their expertise…
There is, in our opinion, no point in going for the cheapest conveyancing quote you can find if this results in you dealing with someone who lacks the expertise and experience to secure the property you want at the best price. You may save a few pounds in fees yet pay thousands more for the property, or not Offer enough and lose the property
We specialise in residential sales and purchase and you will be dealing with a Solicitor who has many years’ experience of buying and selling property.
Your Solicitor with gather together all the necessary data to determine what to offer and when. If a closing date is set, there is a considerable amount of skill and psychology involved in calculating an Offer at a level which might secure the property without paying over the odds. This is not a job for an amateur, you need an experienced professional on your side.
We will discuss with you what the competition is likely to Offer from a number of sources including psychological drivers so that hopefully you can put in the top Offer at the closing date.
We have been practicing in Edinburgh since 1977 and are now one of the biggest most successful Firms of Solicitors and Estate Agents in the ESPC.
If you decide to instruct Neilsons to act on your behalf you are in safe hands.