30 Sep Scottish Home Report FAQ’s Part 1
We have compiled a list of answers for some of the most commonly asked questions about Scottish Home Reports. Check back next week for part 2.
How long is the home report valid for?
There is no official expiry date on Home Report providing that the home report is no older than 12 weeks old when the property goes on the market.
If the property has been for sale for a long time, the seller may consider having a refresh done, alternatively, buyers are entitled to ask the seller to provide a refreshed Home Report if the property has been on the market for a very long time.
Home report refresh what is this?
The documents included in the Home Report must be no older than 12 weeks old at the time the property is put on the market. Once the property is on the market, there is no official expiry date, however buyers may ask for the Home Report to be refreshed if the house has been for sale for a very long time.
It is up to the potential buyer and seller to agree on who pays for this, but in most instances, it will be the seller. The charge for the refreshed report (if any) can be discussed with your surveyor or Home Report provider.
How will I pay for my home report?
This will depend on the surveyor or firm that is providing your Home Report. Most surveyors will ask you to pay on completion of the Home Report Document and you’ll be sent the report either in the post of electronically on the same day, a copy is usually sent to the firm selling/marketing the property too. The conveyancing solicitor will also obtain a copy of the Home Report when the sale proceeds to that point.
It is best to source a number of providers of Home Reports and compare quotes. Remember to ensure they are RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) regulated and have a good local knowledge of the area where the property for sale is located. Once you are happy with a quote, discuss with them how and when they wish to receive payment. Some providers will also let the payment be deferred until the property has been sold, but usually
Who pays for the home report?
Anyone selling a property in Scotland has to provide a Home Report for the property for sale. It has to be carried out by a surveyor who is RICS regulated and should be no older than 12 weeks at the time the property goes onto the market for sale.
The seller is always responsible for the cost of providing the Home Report. According to the Scottish Government, there is no legislation saying that the buyer should reimburse the seller for the cost of the Home Report, however, it may be that in some instances the buyer and seller will agree on meeting the cost of the Home Report half way should the sale go through to completion.
What documents are included in a home report in Scotland
The Home Report is designed to provide potential buyers with more information about a property they are thinking of buying prior to them submitting an offer. You are required to have a copy of the properties Home Report before the property goes on the market for sale and a copy has to be available to potential buyers.
The Home Report includes three separate documents; The Single Survey, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the Property Questionnaire.
The Single Survey
The single survey document is a real detail survey carried out by a qualified surveyor; one is a regulated by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). The survey documents the condition of each aspect of your property within the report, broken down into 3 categories.
Category 1 = no immediate report is required
Category 2 = repair or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised
Category 3 = Urgent repairs or replacement are required now. Failure to deal with the issues may cause further problems to other parts of the property or cause a safety hazard. Estimates for repair or replacements are required now.
A copy of the Single Survey report can be found here: https://www.homereportcompany.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/single_survey_example.pdf
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The EPC or Energy Performance Certificate provides the buyer with information on how efficient your home, much in the same way that most new electrical appliances display an energy rating. The energy performance certificate is also carried out by the surveyor and additional information on how you or the buyer can improve the energy efficiency of the property will be provided.
The Property Questionnaire
The Property Questionnaire is the third and final document that forms part of the Home Report. The property questionnaire is usually complete by the selling, as it contains information that only they are likely to know.
It contains information for the buyer on information such as council tax band, parking, alterations that have been carried out in the property, access right i.e. do your neighbours have the right to cross your property to put their bins out, along with other things such as additional costs that may be incurred while living at the property such as shared costs for cleaning the stairwells/windows etc.
The property questionnaire is designed to be straightforward so that the seller can complete it, but in some cases where there may have been alterations carried out, the seller should consult the surveyor or conveyancing solicitor to avoid any concerns at the conveyancing stage.