House sale help

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Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is backing a matchmaking scheme to cut the number of long-term empty houses in the region.

The idea is to introduce buyers looking for an investment or renovation opportunity – or a place to live – to those wanting to sell empty properties who cannot sell in the present market or have been reluctant to do so, perhaps for sentimental reasons or because they cannot afford the investment needed.

Kristen Hubert, Shelter Scotland’s empty homes co-ordinator, said: “The service allows owners to dip their toe in the water, reassuring them that there are developers and other interested buyers, before taking the next step to sell their property”

The scheme, which involves the housing charity Shelter Scotland, is being introduced all over the country. SBC is one of the first local authorities to join – there are an estimated 1,200 empty homes in the region. The council is involved only in the introductions, not in any negotiations or legal processes.

Potential sellers and buyers should contact the council on 01835 824000 and ask for the empty houses officer