Scottish Home Report FAQ’s Part 2

Scottish Home Report FAQ’s Part 2

09 Oct Scottish Home Report FAQ’s Part 2

Last week we compiled a list of answers for some of the most frequently asked questions to do with the Scottish Home Report. Here’s part 2.

How much does it cost for a home report?

There is no set-in-stone answer to this question and it very much depends on a number of contributing factors, including value and location of the property for sale.

When checking out quotes for a home report, it is important to consider the following:

· Ensure the firm or individual surveyor is regulated by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)

· Ensure the surveyor carrying out the Home Report has a good knowledge of the local area

If you can answer yes to the above criteria, then you have certainly chosen a surveyor who has the appropriate experience and knowledge to carry out your home report.

The cost for a Home Report can vary so much as it will for most products and services. It will also vary depending on the location of the property as the surveyor will usually quote based on a number of factors such as the time taken to travel to the property, the time taken to inspect the property, the value of the property and the time taken to create and prepare the Home Report Document. Generally speaking, the cost of the Home Report will be higher if the property is in an extremely remote area, large, old, and of high value. The cost of a Home Report on a fairly close by, small, new, lower value property will be significantly less.

For a more accurate quote, complete the following form and we’ll get back to you asap with a personalised quote or call us on 0131 608 0175.

How long does a home report last?

The documents within the Home Report must not be any older than 12 weeks old at the time that your property goes on the market.

There is no official ‘expiry date’ of the Home Report in Scotland once the property is on the market. However, if the property is for sale for a long period of time, many sellers opt to have a ‘refresh’ of the Home Report carried out. It is important to potential buyers that the information in all 3 of the documents within the Home Report are up to date, accurate and reflect true likeness of what is on offer.

If a property has been on the market for a longer than average period, often a potential buyer will request that the survey is refreshed. In this instance, it is up to the buyer and seller to agree on who pays for the refresh survey to be carried out. The cost of the refresh is normally not the full amount of a Home Report, the charge for a refresh can be determined by the surveyor or Home Report company carried out the service.

It is also possible that the property for sale can be taken off the market for up to 4 weeks, then put back on the market without having to have a new Home Report carried out.

What is a property questionnaire?

The property questionnaire is the third document within the home report. It is usually completed by the person that is selling the property as the information provided is often only known by them.

The purpose of the property questionnaire is to provide the new owner or potential buyers with helpful information that they’ll need to know about the property should they be the new owners.

The property questionnaire was designed to be straightforward enough for the seller to complete themselves, though it is nine pages long, so it is important it is filled in with thought and accuracy for the new owner. There are some questions within the report that the seller may find difficult to answer, such as information on any alterations or extension work that has been carried out on the property. In these instances, the seller should speak to the conveyancing solicitor or the Home Report company for help with completing these sections.

The main topics covered within the property questionnaire are information on council tax bands, parking arrangements, information on alterations to the property, information on the central heating system in the property (if there is one), information on services provided to the property such as gas/electric/telephone/TV/broadband or satellite and water mains providers.

There is also information on responsibilities of shared or common areas at the property such as contributions for shared costs – gardening/cleaning of stairwells/repairs or upkeep of communal areas. There is also information on access rights for instances where you may have to walk through a neighbour’s property to put your bins out or vice versa where a neighbour has to enter your property to access bins/driveway etc. Any details of a similar nature will be documented within the property questionnaire.

The seller will also provide any information on guarantees on work carried out at the property, for example there may be a 5yr guarantee on electrical work that has been carried out, or a 10-year guarantee on damp course treatments.

An example of the property questionnaire can be found here

What is a Home Report in Scotland?

The Home Report was introduced in Scotland in December 2008. The purpose of the Home Report is to provide potential buyers with upfront information about the condition of the property which will enable them to make informed decisions prior to either viewing or putting an offer on for the property.

The Home Report consists of 3 elements;

  • Property Questionnaire,
  • Survey
  • Energy Performance Certificate (commonly known as an EPC).

The Property questionnaire is complemented by the person selling the property and is contains the majority of information that is useful to potential buyers. It typical includes information about:

  • The properties Council Tax Band
  • Details of any alterations that have been made to the property
  • Any parking arrangements
  • Any additional charges that the buyer may incur such as upkeep of communal areas

The Survey is carried out by a Chartered Surveyor who is RICS regulated (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). The survey will help potential buyers find out about the condition of the building and, if there are problems, give them powerful ammunition for negotiating the buying price down or asking the seller to rectify the problems.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can be complied by anyone who is licensed to produce EPC’s. An Energy Performance Certificate is required for properties when constructed, sold or let and provides details on the energy performance of the property and advice on what can be done to improve it.

There are a few exceptions to the duties to provide the Home Report. These include new housing, mixed sales and houses that have been converted. More about exceptions can be found on the government website here:

The majority of larger firms of Chartered Surveyors including ourselves, produce Home Reports. They’ll provide both Survey and EPC elements of the Home Report while the property seller inputs the relevant information for the Property Questionnaire.

Once the individual documents are complete, the surveyors then produce one document that contains all elements of the Home Report. Some non-RICS registered companies will produce Home Reports but they have to obtain the three required elements from different parties before packaging them together into an all-in-one report.

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