Navigating legal jargon for a seamless Spring transaction

Navigating legal jargon for a seamless Spring transaction

As the property market enters the busy Spring season, more buyers and sellers will enter the market, many for the first time and others that haven’t done so for several years. At Gilson Gray, we aim to make your property transaction as straightforward as possible – that often means simplifying the legal jargon so that you can be confident every step of the way.

With that in mind, we spoke to Jennifer Leslie, Associate and Conveyancer within our Aberdeen office, to break down some of the keywords and phrases that you’ll come across in your buying and selling journey with us.


An offer is the sum of money someone is willing to put forward to purchase a property. This is submitted formally through a solicitor to the selling agent for the home that is for sale. If you’re the one selling, your agent will notify you via phone call that an offer has been received – you can then choose to accept or decline. Once your offer is accepted or have an offer accepted, a formal written offer will be submitted. This is the first stage of the contract or the ‘missives’ as the contract is also known.

Qualified Acceptance

Next in the process is for the selling solicitor to issue a Qualified Acceptance which is the next stage of the missives. If Gilson Gray is acting for you in your property sale, we will obtain detailed instructions from you on the Offer so that we can issue the Qualified Acceptance on your behalf. In the Qualified Acceptance, the date of entry will be confirmed as well as the items that are included in the sale, such as lighting and integrated appliances. The ‘title deeds’ are normally exhibited at this stage along with relevant searches that need to be obtained for all property transactions. If we are acting for you in your purchase when we receive the Qualified Acceptance we will send a copy to you and then arrange to discuss this with you.

Missive Letter

A missive letter would next be issued to either make any amendments to the Qualified Acceptance or it may simply conclude the missives. This is the point at which the contract becomes legally binding! The missives will be negotiated back and forth until both the seller and purchaser are happy with the terms of the missives and are happy to conclude. We will only ever progress the missives once you confirm that you are happy for us to do so. Normally for a purchase, we will only progress the missives once we have received your mortgage offer.


For a sale, there is also the Disposition, which is the deed that transfers ownership from the Seller to the Purchaser and is provided to the Purchasers’ solicitor on the date of entry, in exchange for the price being paid. The Disposition is prepared by the purchasers’ solicitor and then approved by the seller’s solicitor. We need to get the Disposition signed by the Sellers before the date of entry and then returned to us.

Standard Security

For a purchase where you require a mortgage, you will also need to sign a Standard Security before the date of entry. A Standard Security is the deed that is prepared for the lender (the bank that is issuing your mortgage) and after the transaction is completed will be registered against the property with Registers of Scotland to secure the mortgage against the property.

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT)

For a purchase, you will need to complete a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Return and, depending on the purchase price you, will need to pay LBTT. We will prepare the return for you to approve and if you have to pay LBTT, this will be included in your cash statement and we shall submit the payment on your behalf.

The Spring market is a fantastic time to move if you are thinking of doing so and Gilson Gray is here to support you on your journey. Feel free to stop by your local office for a chat or get in touch!

For further information please contact;

Jennifer Leslie

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