Buying a home with us

Buying a property is always a major investment, both financially and emotionally. Harper Macleod estate agents can assist you through this complicated process so that your stress levels remain as low as possible.

We have one of the largest residential property teams in Scotland and more than 25 years’ experience of helping people buy and sell their homes. We can assist with negotiating your purchase and/or sale and advising at closing dates.

If you are considering selling or buying a property, contact your local estate agents for property valuation or advice.

The house buying process in Scotland

There are five distinct steps in the buying process, which we will endeavour to make as simple as possible.

1. Choosing a property

The correct advisers can make all the difference to the process of choosing a property. While many people start by looking online at properties the best person to start with is your estate agent.

Our Residential Property team are specialists with wide-ranging experience and a clear focus on all the issues. We can advise you about the different areas you may be interested in and point you in the direction of estate agents with a strong presence in the area.

2. Property survey

Since 2008 all properties coming to the market require to have a Home Report on the condition of the property. Whilst this can be helpful, house survey reports do not always provide all the information a prospective purchaser requires. We can examine the Home Report for the property you are interested in, and provide you with advice as to whether or not any further investigations into the condition of the property are required. If any further investigations by surveyors, structural engineers or timber specialists are required we can co-ordinate these for you. If the Home Report highlights a need for a structural survey we can co-ordinate this process with local surveyors, structural engineers or timber specialists.

3. Negotiating

There is no magic formula for calculating how much to offer for your desired property, however, we have a great deal of experience to place at your disposal. We can either negotiate a price with the seller (or their solicitor or agent) or advise you on negotiation tactics should you wish to deal with the seller direct. Where a closing date for bids on the property has been set, we can assist by making sure you are aware of which facts to focus on at the closing date and how to convert these facts into a price.

It is always important to remember you are not just investing in bricks and mortar, but you are purchasing a quality of life for you and your family. Only you can truly decide how much that is worth to you. We will provide you with advice on the level at which you should bid, taking into account the valuation of the property, the number of competing bids likely and your own personal circumstances.

4. Financing

How you will fund the purchase and how you wish to arrange your funding should be considered at an early stage. For the vast majority, a mortgage will be required. Whilst you may get lucky sourcing your own mortgage offer either online or with your own bank, it is likely that for a modest fee, a mortgage adviser will be able to obtain a better deal for you. Financial advisers may also have access to mortgages not available to borrowers directly on the web or through the branch of their bank or building society. We have contacts with several mortgage advisers and will be happy to suggest someone who can help you obtain a mortgage agreement.

5. Conveyancing process

As specialist conveyancing practitioners, who deal with the purchase and sale of property day in and day out, we understand that you are not just buying a house, but are perhaps buying your dream home. Subject to your instructions we will negotiate the missive, or purchase contract and help you throughout the conveyancing process. We will forward to you copies of all of the contractual stages of the missive and will keep you advised of all progress made in the conclusion of same. On your behalf, we will:

  • Examine the title deeds to your property.
  • Provide you with a copy of these for your own information.
  • Raise any relevant observations on the title with the seller’s solicitors to ensure that you receive a valid title to the property you are purchasing.
  • Ensure that there are no matters contained with the titles which could materially adversely affect your interest in the property. This will guarantee that you encounter no difficulties when you come to sell the property later.
  • After settlement, a full statement laying out all financial aspects of the transaction will be sent to you and we will attend to the registration of your title and any loan documents in favour of your lender. As soon as the Land Register has returned your title documents to us, we will forward to you a copy of your title and the principal documents, where you have a mortgage, to your lender for their safekeeping, if required by them
Keep up to date with the latest property for sale in Shetland

For full details and colour photographs of all the properties we have for sale or lease, please view our property list.

Useful links

Harper Macleod Personal Legal Services
Details of the other personal legal services we provide

Harper Macleod Services for Businesses & Organisations
Details of our commercial & public sector legal services

Shetland Islands Council - Council Tax
Details of the Council Tax rates in Shetland

Registers of Scotland
Scotland's national land and property registers

The Law Society of Scotland
The governing body of Shetland solicitors

Crofting Commission
Regulators of the crofting system

Estate Agency Highlands
Property in Inverness and the Highlands from our Harper Macleod colleagues

  • Robert, a huge thank you for organising the sale of our property. You made it very easy for us. Andrew Kerr was amazing too.
    Mr and Mrs Wiseman
  • Again thank you for your assistance so far, I couldn’t have asked for better giving the country wide situation so I’m very grateful for works done so far and the speed at which it has happened.
    Mr S
  • We have availed ourselves of services provided by Harper Macleod of Lerwick, both in buying and selling residential property. Our needs on both these occasions were fully met and the service provided by them made our task in these circumstances, seemingly without effort.

    Prior to this we had also received very helpful general advice pertaining to Shetland real estate from them. This was a tremendous benefit to us at the time.

    If you are seeking cost effective, excellent real estate marketing and legal services, we would not hesitate in recommending Harper Macleod of Lerwick.
    David & Jan Elliot
  • Personally I was absolutely delighted with how it was handled from start to finish. Also, As a couple, Beth and myself were hugely impressed with the professionalism, attention to detail and speed your team delivered to us selling both property and buying another.
    David Simpson
  • We were very impressed with your professional manner and always keeping us up to date with progress.
    Lee Thompson
  • Thanks again for your brilliant service with both my property sales over the past years. Your experience in Shetland is much noted with local people.

    Selling my house whilst living in Edinburgh was a daunting prospect but I should not have worried. The communications between both parties was easy and the sale of my property went through without any hitches.
    Diane Legget
  • Many thanks for dealing with our sale so efficiently.
    Mrs Moses
  • Harper Macleod made selling my house very easy. Robert and Kira were really helpful. They made the whole process simple, especially as it was my first time selling a house. They have a great website and good system for seeing how many home reports have been downloaded. I would definitely recommend.
    Jolene Garriock
  • Harper Macleod LLP were excellent in the sale of my house. This was my first house sale and from the beginning of the process to the end they provided brilliant support and guidance. The process was made simple for me and each step was explained fully. They were very efficient and effective with communications.
    Laura Smith
  • We have been very pleased with the professional service we received from Harper Macleod. In particular the sales particulars and marketing of the property.  The advice received during the sale process was extremely helpful and the conveyancing was straightforward and hassle free. Would recommend Harper Macleod.
    HM Client