What is a Note of Interest?
A Note of Interest is a way of your solicitor letting the seller’s solicitor/estate agent know that you might be interested in purchasing their client’s property. The intention is that the property won’t be sold in the meantime to someone else before you have had a chance to make an offer on the property.
The Law Society of Scotland has rules about how Notes of Interest should be treated by solicitors at a Closing Date. These only apply to solicitors, however, so if the seller’s agent is a non-solicitor estate agent they are not bound by the same rules.
However, there is an argument that if they are doing their job correctly they will certainly contact anyone who has indicated any interest in buying a property to see if they would like to make an offer, unless their client asks them not to.
There is no guarantee that the property won’t be sold, though, even if you have ‘noted interest’. The selling agent has to take their client’s instructions as to whether the seller wants to go back to the party who has ‘noted interest’ to give them an opportunity to offer.
Do I need to submit a Note of Interest at all?
We would recommend that, if you are interested in any property, you submit a Note of Interest through a solicitor to give yourself the highest chance of getting an opportunity to make an offer on the property.
Do I have to submit a Note of Interest to submit an offer?
No, not at all. In fact, if you are interested in a property and are in a position to make an offer, we’d suggest that you make an offer sooner rather than later. Doing this makes it less likely that someone else will either make an offer or note interest. If a seller receives more than one note of interest, they will often set a Closing Date. If you can avoid that, as a buyer, we’d recommend that you do. Why? See below!
What is a Closing Date?
A Closing Date is a time and date by which offers on a property should be submitted, in writing, by any interested party’s solicitor. The potential buyers submit their offers prior to that time and without knowing what the other parties are offering.
The more notes of interest that there are on a property, the more competition there is likely to be amongst the potential buyers. This can push some buyers to pay more to secure the property than they would if they knew that they were the only person bidding on the property.