Since 1st December 2008 all homes for sale in Scotland require a Home report. It is a set of documents providing information for prospective buyers. The Home report consists of three elements:
- A Single Survey
- An Energy Report
- A Property Questionnaire
The single survey consists of the following:
- An assessment of the condition of the property, e.g. the roof, internal and external walls, plumbing and kitchen fittings. The single survey will also grade any repairs that may be required i.e. from no immediate action necessary to urgent repairs required.
- A market valuation of the property
- An accessibility audit, for people with particular needs
The Energy Report provides information regarding the energy efficiency of the property, and giving a rating on a scale of A-G (A being most energy efficient through to G, being the least efficient), similar to those found on new appliances (dishwashers, freezers etc). The features of the home considered are: Home insulation (loft, walls, double glazing etc) and the type of heating installed.
The energy report also gives practical advice on ways to improve the home's energy efficiency and to make ‘green’ choices:
- Recommendations of cost-effective improvements that could be made to the property to improve its energy efficiency.
- The property’s estimated annual energy use.
- The property’s impact on the environment, i.e. Carbon dioxide emissions.
- Running costs (fuel bills) based upon current energy use.
The Energy Report also gives general advice on how prospective buyers can save money and reduce the environmental impact. This part is often referred to as the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).
The property questionnaire contains additional information, and is completed by the seller of the property; it can contain some of these elements:
- The property's council tax band
- Parking arrangements
- Alterations that have been made to the property
- If, any extra costs are involved, e.g. service charges relating to the upkeep of communal areas
- Utility services providers.
By providing this information early on in the property buying process, both buyers and sellers can benefit. For buyers, it can help in what is often a difficult decision of whether or not to submit an offer. For both parties it allows the sale to go through more smoothly, e.g. reducing the risk of delays etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a Home report?
Yes, as mentioned earlier all homes being sold in Scotland since December 1st, 2008 require a Home report.
Are there any exemptions?
Yes, there are some properties that may be exempt from providing a Home report, for example:
- Holiday homes
- Right to buy homes
- New build homes
- Home that aren’t fit for living i.e. to be demolished.
What if I don’t provide a Home report?
Don’t do it! It is not advisable, because it’s against the law to sell your home in Scotland without one (see exemptions). Also, if you provide any false information in the report, again you’ll be breaking the law. In such cases, you could receive a fine up to £500.
Help! I don’t have a Home report and I want to sell my home
Don’t worry, if you want to put your home up for sale, just contact us, and we can arrange to it for you.
The single survey and the energy report require a qualified surveyor to compile it, and we can liaise with independent surveyors on your behalf. We can help you complete the property questionnaire.
At Adams Property, we will arrange for a Home report to be completed before we market your home, and have it ready for distribution to interested buyers, by email or as a printed document. Please contact us for further help.
Who do I give my Home report to?
Anyone who is interested in buying your home, can request a Home Report. If someone requests a Home report on your home, you have nine days in which to send it to them.
For all homes marketed through Adams Property, we do this on your behalf.
Can I refuse to send someone my Home Report?
Not really. But with caution, if you think someone isn’t really serious about buying your home based on affordability you could refuse. You need to bear in mind that you must not discriminate against anyone i.e. disability, race, religion, sexuality, colour etc.
What does it cost?
The cost of a Home Report can vary depending on the market value of your property, and its location. The costs vary, generally around £200 plus VAT for smaller properties valued under £50,000 rising in accordance with the value of your home.
It worth remembering that there is a potential saving for you as a buyer, as you will not have to pay out for a survey on the house you choose as your future home, as the sellers will have paid for a home report on that property.
Also, RICS Scotland (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) have reported that sellers are using the Home report as a marketing tool to attract prospective buyers. RICS Scotland also state that buyers are making the most of having key facts and figures up front, before even stepping inside a property. Back Up
Does my Home report have an expiry date?
Not as such. As long as your Home report’s individual documents aren’t more than twelve weeks old when you placed your home for sale, you are complying with current regulations.
However, if your home has been up for sale for a considerable length of time, it might be worth getting a ‘refresh’ report.
Help! I’ve had a Home report, and it highlights a problem
Don’t panic. You can decide whether to fix it or not. Just remember that it could have an impact on the amount offered on your home. We are happy to discuss such issues with you and offer advice on its impact on the value of your house. Please contact us to find out more.
What if the buyer doesn’t accept my Home report?
Don’t worry, if the buyer wants to, they can employ there own surveyor as well, at their own expense. As mentioned above, other than the Property Questionnaire, the Home report sections are compiled by independent qualified surveyors, so that should give most buyers the assurances they need.
Any other questions? Still need answers on the Home Report, why not get in touch and we will try our best to help.