Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc.

Helping To Connect You With Your Heritage

Diaspora - 30 August 2019

Can I Buy a Home in Scotland?


house for sale 2845213 480

But buying a home in Scotland is NOT like buying one in the U.S.  I’ll have to do some research on other countries too, but because I sold real estate in a former life and do have a fairly good understanding of property law here, I think it fair to just speak to purchasing in Scotland.

Several years ago, Randy and Cheryl Mcfarland and Steve and I stayed in Bridge of Allan in a lovely B&B.  The owners told us all about their adventure in purchasing their stately home.  It did not sound anything like a real estate deal in the U.S.

In the U.S., usually, a seller posts their home for sale with a price listed.  The seller can sell the home themselves or go through a realtor. In either case, the seller considers “offers” from buyers.  As soon as the seller finds an offer that is acceptable (even after some good old-fashioned negotiating), the buyer formally accepts the offer, and that deal is binding unless something happens preventing THAT deal from completion.  Watch the movie “My Cousin Vinnie” if you would like to hear a very down-to-earth explanation of “offer and acceptance.”  There might be contingencies such as passing a home inspection, but even if something fails during the inspections, the parties do what they can to get the deal to work and get to closing so that everyone is satisfied.  That is a rather simplistic description of purchasing property in the U.S., but it will work for the moment.

However, we learned that in Scotland, that is not the case.  Found a great article that goes through all the steps.  Wait until you get to step 8:  At any time, either party can pull out of the deal.

And…. There is a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (aka Scottish Stamp Duty).

That aside, I did find a website, similar to Zillow,, or Trulia, for properties in Scotland, if you want to take a look.

By the way, I found many of the properties listed would state “offers over.”  At first, I thought this would mean that offers were no longer being accepted.  It actually means the seller or realtor are hoping to receive offers over the listed price. Don’t you just love language?

Other websites to consider:   

Love this website because it lists properties in both U.S. dollars and Pounds.

So dream on and have fun looking.  I actually found a pub with a 2 bedroom upstairs apartment available in my price range. Wondering how I would feel about running a Pub.  Now THAT’s an interesting idea!  Cheers!