First Time Buyers

Purchasing your first flat or house is an exciting time; however, it can be a daunting process.  At Watermans Legal, our experienced conveyancers are here to guide you towards your first purchase.


Thinking of buying your first home?

Call us on 0131 467 5566

Home > Services > Estate Agency > First Time Buyers

Buying Your First Home

For over thirty years, our industry experts have helped thousands of first-time buyers get on the property market in Scotland. And we will continue to help thousands more, because we love assisting first-time buyers in their exciting journey to becoming a new homeowner.

Emotional and financial worries can rear their heads during this process to overshadow what should be a joyful part of your life. We are here to ensure that does not happen and that your house buying experience is fully enjoyable and memorable for all the right reasons. With Watermans Legal you are not alone. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will:

  • Help you navigate the property market, from your initial interest to the exchange of keys
  • Update you (via property alerts) of the houses for sale that meet your requirements
  • Assist you in finding the best mortgage and in getting your Mortgage in Principle
  • Provide a free, no obligation quote for a First-Time Buyer Purchase Consultation
  • Give you a detailed overview of all the costs involved when buying your first home
  • Explain the house buying process in Scotland in simple, understandable terms
  • Register a formal Note of Interest and submit an offer on your behalf

And when we help secure your ideal property, we provide a fixed-rate Conveyancing service, with upfront and transparent costs, for the legal exchange of your new home into your hands. In the vast majority of purchases, we can also act on behalf of your mortgage lender too.

Climb the property ladder with Watermans Legal and get a fee quote with fair and transparent costs.

But what is Conveyancing?

A necessary step in the process of buying or selling a property, conveyancing is simply the legal transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer. In Scotland, this stage must be completed by a solicitor. Our house buying service covers conveyancing. Furthermore, our experienced solicitors will use their expertise to secure the best price possible.

Climb the property ladder with Watermans Legal and book a free purchase consultation today.

First Time Buyer Consultation Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

When searching for your first home, check out the available properties for sale with Watermans Legal.

We have made looking for your dream home even easier with our new 360* Virtual Video Tours.  You can peruse our property for sale – view all 360* of every room from the comfort of your own home using your smartphone or tablet.

Keen to see more? Get in touch with the Watermans Legal Sales Team to arrange your private, in-person viewing today – 0131 467 5566 | [email protected]

Check out our helpful information for First Time Buyers in Scotland:

No LBTT Payable for First Time Buyers in Scotland

Land & Building Transaction Tax replaced the previous Stamp Duty Tax here in Scotland in 2015 (please confirm this year, as I didn’t get the chance to check the date). LBTT – as it is commonly referred to, currently offers a First Time Buyer relief up to a price of £175,000.  This means that there is no LBTT payable for First Time Buyers up to £175,000 and anything over this amount is then charged at the specific rate.

To read more about LBTT – click here.

How much can I afford as a First Time Buyer?

We would always recommend that your first step when searching for your dream home is to speak with a mortgage advisor so you can find out how much you can afford. A mortgage advisor is able to shop around for the best rates with all of the available lenders and can provide you with a decision agreement in principle quickly.

Don’t have a mortgage advisor? Get in touch with the Watermans Legal Team and we can recommend the services of a mortgage advisor to you.

How much should I offer?

Properties in Scotland are usually advertised at one of the three main price qualifiers:

  • Offers Over
  • Fixed Price
  • Offers Around

But what does this mean?

Offers Over means that the seller is looking for an offer “over” the stated amount and it’s really important for you to look at what the Home Report Value is.  Many times, the property is advertised at a level just slightly under the Home Report Value using the Offers Over pricing qualifier so that the property will be noticed and will have maximum market exposure.

Fixed Price means that this is the price that the seller is wanting to agree and it’s a “first come, first served” situation whereby the first purchaser who offers the advertised fixed price amount and is in a position to proceed with their offer, provided the various conditions within the offer are agreeable by the seller, the offer is agreed. If you see a property that you’re interested in, which is advertised for sale at a Fixed Price, you should act fast to ensure you aren’t disappointed.

Offers Around means that the seller would consider an offer “around” the advertised amount.  This can sometimes mean that a buyer can secure the property’s purchase for under the amount, although the seller would likely want to accept an offer over the amount.  It’s all about negotiation.

You should speak with a Watermans Legal team member and they can guide you through recent sales information for properties and can help you work out the best purchase strategy to secure your dream home at the right price!

What is a Closing Date in Scotland?

A closing date is set when there are at least 2 or more formally interested parties  in a property (i.e. their solicitor has been in touch with the selling agent to either register a formal note of interest or to submit a formal offer for consideration) and a seller decides that they want to set a deadline for interested parties to come forward with their very best offer for consideration.

The closing date is set for a specific date and time and any interested buyer must instruct their solicitor to submit a formal written offer to the selling agent by the deadline in order for the offer to be considered.

A seller has no obligation to accept any of the offers received at the closing date if they are not at an acceptable level, but usually you will find that the offers are successful.

What is a formal note of interest and how do I register one for a property that I’m interested in?

A formal note of interest is when a buyer instructs their solicitor to let the seller and the selling agent know that they are very interested in a property and they are seriously considering it further. A formal note of interest does not obligate you, as the buyer, to do anything and it also does not obligate the seller to do anything.

If you register a formal note of interest, a seller is able to accept an offer from another purchasing party if they want to.

Usually, buyers register a formal note of interest in a property if they are wanting to arrange a second viewing or still have other properties on their short-list that they want to view before making a decision.

If you have seen a property that you are interested in and want to register a formal note of interest, get in touch with the Watermans Legal team and we can do this for you at no additional cost.

What is an EWS1 Form and do I need one for a property I am interested in?

Have you seen any properties that you’re really interested in, but you notice a Category 2 or Category 3 on the Home Report under Main Walls and it mentions that an EWS1 Form is required?

The External Wall Fire Review, better known as an EWS1 certificate, is a standard-form certificate that confirm that the cladding (or external wall system) on a building does not pose a fire risk. This form was agreed for this purpose by the Building Societies Association, RICS and UK Finance.

Click HERE to see an example of an EWS1 Form.

How do you know if your property needs an EWS1 Form? Your Solicitor Estate Agency should be able to give you advice and guidance regarding this.  But also, the Home Report Surveyor can confirm this, as well.

At only a single page, the EWS1 Form seems fairly straightforward. But, as you’ve come to expect with the Cladding Crisis in Scotland, many feel that the EWS1 Form raises further issues - only some of which have been resolved.

In Scotland, there is a shortage of people with the necessary qualifications who can carry out these specialist reports, and obtaining a certificate is likely to take some time. It can also be expensive.

The EWS1 Form is a requirement to satisfy a buyer and/ or their lender.  Some may think that it is unfair, but it is considered the seller’s responsibility to pay for the EWS1 Form and many Solicitor Estate Agency recommend that sellers have the EWS1 Form in place as part of their property’s marketing for sale.

Read more about Cladding HERE.

What is Cladding?

Cladding is a type of "skin" or extra layer on the outside of a building. It can be attached to a building's framework or an intermediate layer of battens or spacers. The main purpose of cladding is to stop wind and rain from entering the building and cladding can also provide thermal insulation, noise control and it can boost the aesthetic appeal of a building.

The word “cladding” in relation to the Cladding Crisis in Scotland and EWS1 Forms for property sales, re-mortgage and purchase requirements is a general term that encompasses the entire external make-up of a building, which includes balconies and external additions.

Any questions?

Call our Estate Agency Team today on 0131 467 5566  or get in touch with us via our online enquiry form below.