What is a Home Report?
Whether you’re in the market to buy or sell property in Scotland, you’ll have heard about something called a Home Report. It is a legal requirement to produce a Home Report if you’re selling a house. As a potential buyer, you’ll be keen to get your hands on the report before you start thinking about viewings or making an offer. In this piece, our own estate agency team has answered your questions about Home Reports, and what you can expect to find inside!
Do I need a Home Report?
If you’re putting your house on the market in Scotland, you are required by law to produce a Home Report. A Home Report is a set of documents that includes essential information about your property. It’s a pack full of all the information you would want to have about a house, including the property’s value, its current condition, and the property’s energy efficiency.
What’s in a Home Report?
The Home Report is split up into three sections; the Single Survey and Valuation, the Property Questionnaire and the Energy Report. The estate agency team at Watermans have put together a list detailing the information included in each section, so that you know what to keep an eye out for when you are reading through it.
Single Survey & Valuation
The Single Survey section of the Home Report is carried out by a chartered surveyor. The surveyor inspects the property and assesses its current condition and any repairs that need to be carried out. The accessibility of the property is noted here, like whether there is wheelchair access, and any potential to adapt the property to suit this is also recorded. In the Valuation section, the surveyor gives their expert opinion on what they think the property is worth. If you’re selling, your estate agent will work with you to determine an asking price for your property based on the figure noted by the surveyor.
This section of the Home Report can be prepared by the current homeowners or the estate agent selling the property. Roughly nine or ten pages in length, this document provides information on things like
● The property’s council tax band
● Parking arrangements
● The building’s central heating system (if it has one)
● Any structural changes made to the property, like the addition of an extension
● The water mains providers
● Any issues that may have affected the structure of the property like damage from a fire or flooding
● Any additional costs you may need to be aware about, like the upkeep of a shared garden
The Energy Report, as the name suggests, is a report on the energy efficiency of the property, and sets out how much it will cost you to run the property on average. The report also lets potential buyers know about the property’s environmental impact, and advises them on ways to make the property more energy-efficient.
How do I order a Home Report?
In most cases, the solicitor or estate agent who is marketing your property will arrange your Home Report for you. This saves you wondering where to go and who to speak to. Your estate agent will pick a surveyor who has experience of working in the area and who they trust to give an accurate representation of your home. If you’re buying a property, you can request a copy of the Home Report from the property’s estate agent.
How much does a Home Report Cost?
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to pricing a Home Report. The cost charged by the surveyor you choose to complete the report will depend on;
● The surveyor that you or your estate agent choose to carry out the inspection and complete the report (make sure they are regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors)
● The size of your property
● The property location
● How old the property is
In any case, your chosen estate agent should be able to give you a rough estimate of the cost of the Home Report when you request a fee quote for your property sale. As a buyer, you won’t have to pay anything to see the report.
Can I refuse to give a Home Report to a potential buyer?
Although you are required to produce a Home Report by law, there is an exception to openly providing it to the public. If you or your estate agent don’t believe that the person requesting to see it is serious about buying your property, then you don’t have to hand over the report.
If you’re thinking of selling your property, get in touch with our team for your free pre-sale valuation today. Our estate agents can talk you through each section of the Home Report in more detail, so that you know where you stand from the beginning of your property sale.