When buying property in Scotland, there are several crucial steps to consider, including settlement and completion. Our comprehensive guide not only covers the settlement process but also explores the subsequent steps leading to completing your purchase. Our aim is to provide you with a thorough understanding of the entire process, ensuring that you are well-informed and prepared at every step.

Understanding the Settlement Process

The culmination of the home-buying journey in Scotland is the settlement stage, a pivotal step where you gain possession of the property, typically on the agreed-upon date of entry.

During settlement, your solicitor undertakes crucial tasks, beginning with confirming to your lender (if applicable) that the property is officially under your name. If you have a mortgage, your solicitor collects the loan cheque from the lender, along with your contribution towards the property's cost.

In exchange for your payment, the solicitor receives the 'disposition,' a document effecting the transfer of ownership from the seller to you, along with the deeds and keys to the property. If a lender is involved, the deeds are handed over to them as security. Alternatively, if there is no lender, you can request your solicitor to safeguard the deeds.

Post-settlement, your information is incorporated into the land register, a comprehensive repository documenting property ownership in Scotland. Your property will have a 'title sheet' on the register containing essential details such as your name as the current owner, the property's price, mortgage particulars, and any conditions affecting the property.

It's important to note the transition from the older Sasine Register, initiated in 1617, to the modern land register through a process known as 'keeper-induced registration.' Consequently, newly purchased homes will no longer be listed in the Sasine Register.

Alongside the fees payable to your solicitor and your contribution to the property cost, there are additional expenses termed as outlays. These encompass fees and taxes payable to the government, such as those directed to the Registers of Scotland, search fees, and the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (formerly Stamp Duty Land Tax). Being aware of these costs is crucial for a transparent understanding of the financial aspects associated with the settlement process.

Important Considerations and Tips for Completion

Coordinating Movements

If you plan to move into your new property on completion day, it is essential to ensure that all your arrangements are in place. This includes organising the removal of your belongings, and setting up utilities.

Notification to Authorities

Notify all relevant authorities of your change of address, including the local council, utility providers, and any other necessary parties.

Transfer of Keys

The estate agent is generally responsible for the transfer of keys. Coordinate with them to collect the keys for your new property.

Post-Completion Procedures

Once completion is finalised, your solicitor will handle the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), if applicable, and register the property in your name with the Land Registry.


Navigating the property journey from contract exchange to completion of your home purchase requires diligence, patience, and meticulous attention to detail. Understanding the importance of each and every stage, being well-prepared with the necessary documents and funds, and closely collaborating with your solicitor and Scotland estate agent are all critical factors for a successful transaction.

With contracts exchanged and completion behind you, you can finally step into your new property as a proud homeowner, knowing that you have successfully navigated the intricate process of buying property in Scotland.