Open Market Shared Equity Scheme – Buyer Information Leaflet

The Open Market Shared Equity Scheme helps first time buyers on low to moderate incomes to buy a home on the open market (within a certain price threshold) where this is sensible and sustainable for them to do so.

How do I know if I’m eligible? 

You will need to submit an application form to the administering agent.  Contact details for the agent are provided (see section 'How do I apply?') or on PDF page 10.  Your application will be assessed by the agent in accordance with the scheme rules to determine if it qualifies to receive assistance or not.  

If your application is eligible, you will be issued with what is called a ‘Passport Letter’ by the agent which is valid for a 12 week period of time.  Please do not make an offer to buy a property unless you have been issued with a ‘passport letter’.  Your ‘Passport Letter’ will, amongst other things, provide you with important information that will include the following:-

  • The maximum price of a home that you are able to buy.
  • Your expected level of financial contribution
  • The expected level of financial contribution you can expect to receive from Scottish Ministers.

If you receive a ‘Passport Letter’ you may then proceed with finding a home for sale on the open market providing it meets the conditions set out in your ‘Passport Letter’.

When you have seen a suitable property you will be asked to obtain a valuation from an independent professionally qualified valuer who is registered with the RICS this valuation will form part of the Home Report unless the property is a new build in which event you will be required to obtain a valuation at your expense.

You will also have to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf to complete the work involved in buying a home.  The Scottish Government will instruct its own solicitor to deal with its interest in the shared equity documentation. You will pay for your share of the purchase price in the usual way, along with legal costs, and any other costs associated with the purchase including registration fees, and (if applicable Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT).

You should ensure that your solicitor advises you on the terms of all documentation and that you are satisfied with those terms before agreeing to enter into any legal commitments.

The shared equity arrangements will include the granting of a mortgage (or 'standard security' as it is known in Scotland) to secure the rights of the Scottish Government.  You should check that this mortgage will meet your needs if you want to move or sell your home, or if you want your family to inherit it.



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