If you’re thinking of buying a property in Scotland, you may be asked if you wish to ‘note interest’ in the property and you might be wondering what a Note of Interest is, why you would want to note interest and who can submit a Note of Interest for you.
What is a Note of Interest?
A Note of Interest is a way of trying to ensure that you get a chance to make an offer on a property that is for sale in Scotland. In the simplest sense, it’s a way of telling the seller’s estate agent that you might be interested in submitting an offer on the property. The act of registering your interest in a property is called ‘noting interest’. So, what is the effect of doing this and who can note interest?
Notes of interest aren’t legally binding. It’s important to note that the position is different depending on whether the property is being sold by a solicitor/estate agent or an estate agent that isn’t a solicitor. For more information about the difference between the two, check out this video. Non-solicitor estate agents aren’t bound by Law Society of Scotland rules, so the way that they handle notes of interest may differ from solicitor/estate agents.
What are the Guidelines Around Notes of Interest?
For solicitor/estate agent firms, Law Society of Scotland guidelines state that, if a seller’s solicitor/estate agent decides to set a Closing Date, they have to get in touch with everyone who has noted interest to let them know about the Closing Date and give them an opportunity to submit an offer at the Closing Date. A Closing Date is a time and date, selected by the seller’s estate agent, by which all offers on a property should be submitted, in writing, by any interested party’s solicitor. The potential buyers submit their offers by the allocated time and without knowing what the other parties are offering. The more Notes of Interest there are on a property, the more perceived competition there is between the potential buyers and this can lead some buyers to paying more than they otherwise would have in order to be sure of securing the property.
Do I Need A Solicitor To Make a Note of Interest?
You can try to note interest yourself on a property, but most solicitor/estate agents will insist that a Note of Interest is submitted on your behalf by a firm of solicitors.
It’s best to submit a Note of Interest through your solicitor, particularly if the property for sale is being marketed by a firm of solicitors. It’s more likely to be taken seriously and it means that, if a Closing Date is set, you have already got a solicitor in place to give you advice about your purchase and to submit an offer for you.
Does a Note of Interest Guarantee Me The Chance To Make an Offer?
No, a Note of Interest doesn’t guarantee that the seller won’t sell to someone else in the meantime. If the property seller wants to sell the property to someone else, they are within their rights to do so even if there are other parties who have noted interest.
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