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Closing dates – A quick guide

May 2, 2023

Here’s the scenario – you are on the hunt for a property. You’ve viewed something you love and you’ve decided you are really keen. You want to offer – so you phone the estate agents, or your solicitors and tell them how keen you are and what you want to offer. But wait – you are told you cannot offer now. Why? Because there is a closing date.

If you are in the process of looking for a property in Scotland, there is a good chance you are going to be hit by this scenario sooner or later. But what is a closing date?

Essentially, a closing is a tool designed to help a seller get the best possible price that they can for the property they are selling and they operate similar to a silent auction.

Where a property is popular and has a good level of interest (sometimes even just two interested parties) – the estate agents will fix a closing date. This is a deadline – a specific date and time for offers to be submitted by. They will advise all of the interested parties to put forward their best offer by that deadline.

The idea is that in a closing scenario, all interested parties submit their best, full and final offer. The seller will not look at any offers until the deadline has passed, at which point all of the offers will be looked at together. The seller will then choose which offer they wish to accept. (worth noting that in some scenarios – a seller will not pick any of the offers and will continue to market the property).

So what do you need to bear in mind when offering at a closing? Here are a few tips:

  1. If a closing date is set, you should be patient. Your solicitor will usually advise not to submit the offer until just before the deadline. The reason for this is that we do not want to “show your hand” too soon. We do not want to take the risk that another interested party learns what you wish to offer and bases their offer on beating you.
  2. In a closing date scenario, your offer is full and final. Your offer is either successful, or unsuccessful, and there is no further negotiation if the offer is unsuccessful. Therefore, if offering at a closing, you should make sure you make your best offer.
  3. When we say make your best offer – we do not mean stretch yourself or go to the top of your  budget. Don’t think about what other parties are going to offer and don’t stretch yourself simply to make sure you beat the other parties. There is no point in winning if you are going to regret the prize! Think about what you are willing to pay for this particular property at this particular time.

Hopefully this helps give you a little insight into what a closing date is – but if you have any queries or wish to discuss at all, any of our conveyancing solicitors would be more than happy to have a chat with you. Get in touch!

Nicola Burns

Nicola Burns

Director of Operations

Marketing Team

+44 1382 342217

The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.

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