What is a Home Report?
The Home Report was introduced in Scotland in December 2008. Anyone who puts their property on the market for sale in Scotland must obtain a Home Report which is available for prospective buyers and their agents for the duration that the property is for sale.
There are some exceptions to the rule; new-build properties and any properties where the sale is off-market (no advertising of the property takes place at all). However, these are generally minority cases and most sellers must have the Home Report carried out and available to potential buyers prior to the property going on the market.
Let’s keep it simple; a Scottish Home Report is a pack which provides information about the condition and value of a property. The Scottish Government set out that it must legally contain three sections.
What’s Included in a Home Report?
An “Energy Performance Certificate”, or EPC, is a certificate stating the building’s energy efficiency.
CO2 ratings are categorised in bands from A to G with A being very efficient, and G being very inefficient.
A “Single Survey” includes a detailed report on the condition and valuation of the property.
It intends to provide information to both the seller and buyer regarding the property’s value and condition before offers are submitted.
A “Property Questionnaire” is completed by the seller or their agent.
It provides a range of useful information including council tax band, length of ownership, parking facilities and more.
Scottish Law and Home Reports
As of the 1st December 2008 it is now mandatory that when selling residential property in Scotland you provide prospective purchasers with a Home Report. This report is instructed by the seller of the property or their agent and consists of three mandatory documents.
“Everyone selling their home needs to provide a Home Report to prospective buyers.”
The video explains what is included and how these are conducted.
Home Reports make the process of buying a new home more transparent by removing much of the uncertainty over what price to bid and accept. A Home Report includes a Property Questionnaire prepared by the seller plus a Single Survey and Energy Performance Certificate prepared by a chartered surveyor.
If you are a buyer, the solicitor doing the purchase may instruct their own surveyor to carry out a valuation of the property. This is a separate document for the purpose of the lender (if the buyer is borrowing funds to purchase the property) to satisfy their needs that the right the right price for the property is being paid. The mortgage valuation report involves a brief inspection (usually less than 20 minutes) and should not be confused with a survey. The report is for the lender and usually only two or three pages in length.
What’s NOT included in a Home Report?
Sellers are often under the impression that the Mortgage Valuation is part of the Home Report, but the Government states that it is not a requirement to provide it if you are the seller, so be sure that (as the seller) you don’t end up paying a higher price for a Home Report which includes a MVR as lenders will more often than not instruct their own surveyor to carry this out.
Who will put together the Home Report?
If you’ve hired a selling agent to help you sell and market your property, they may be able to carry out your Home Report for you. However, the single survey and energy report must be carried out by a qualified surveyor. You will be responsible for filling out the property questionnaire.
If you are selling your property without the help of a selling agent, you’ll need to commission a surveyor yourself. You can find a surveyor through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website, on which we are listed.
What if the Home Report highlights an issue?
The Home Report is intended to let the seller and the buyer know the true condition of the property, the need for repair and its market value. The objective is to remove any nasty surprises or un-budgeted expenses. Ideally, repairs will either be carried out or will be factored into the purchase price. However, legislation does not require that a seller carry out any repairs. The information in the Home Report allows the property to sell with no last-minute problems, it informs the buyer and helps the buyer obtain a mortgage.
This is a detailed report on the condition and value of the property. It is intended to provide both the seller and purchaser with detailed information about the property’s condition and value before offers are submitted. In addition, this document contains an accessibility information section.
The condition of the property is separated into three categories:
Category 1 – No immediate repair is needed
Category 2 – Repair or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised.
Category 3 – Urgent repairs or replacement are needed now. Failure to deal with them may cause problems to other parts of the property or cause a safety hazard. Estimates for repair or replacements are needed now.
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Energy Performance Certificate
An EPC is a Certificate which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way in which a building is used. CO2 ratings are shown in bands from A-G. A being very efficient, G being very inefficient. The performance of the measured building is benchmarked against current Building Standards and recommended cost effective improvements.
The property questionnaire is completed by the seller or their agent asking about their ownership of the property and can be done online or offline. It provides a range of useful information, for example the council tax band, length of ownership, existing service providers, parking facilities and alteration commentary.