Buying a home

Finding properties for sale

Buying a home on the open market

You can find properties on websites like S1homes, Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

Properties will be advertised as either:

  • fixed price

  • offers over

  • guide price

Fixed price means the seller will consider or accept an offer of that price.

If it’s listed as offers over or guide price, then you’ll usually have to offer more than the amount advertised. Your solicitor can advise you on how much you might need to pay.

Buying a new build home

New build homes are usually sold at a fixed price. You can buy a home that is:

  • completed

  • currently being built

  • yet to be built, sometimes called off plan

In a new build home:

  • everything should be brand new

  • fire safety standards are high

  • energy efficiency is good

  • the property must be accessible and adaptable to meet your needs

  • it’s unlikely you’ll need to do repairs in the first few years of living there

New build homes usually come with a warranty. This insures them against structural problems for 10 years. Check that the home has a warranty before you buy.

If your home is not ready in time because of unreasonable delays, you can usually cancel the purchase and get your reservation fee back.

Buying a home at auction

The advantages of buying a home at auction are:

  • house prices tend to be cheaper

  • you know how much other people are bidding

  • sales are completed very quickly, usually within 28 days

It can be risky to buy a home at auction. They often need expensive renovation work and large investment upfront.

If you buy at auction, you’ll usually need to pay the balance in full within 28 days.

Before buying a home at auction:

  • make sure you have a mortgage offer

  • tell your mortgage lender you are buying at auction

  • get your own survey carried out on the property

If you cannot find a home that meets your needs

If you're disabled and you cannot find a suitable property to buy, contact Housing Options Scotland.

They can give you advice on buying a home and making any adaptations so that your home meets your needs.

Last updated: 19 January 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England