Scotland introduced Home Reports back in 2008: an initiative implemented by the government whereby a pack of documents are provided to home buyers. If you are selling a property in Scotland, a home report must be completed, and this consists of three components provided to potential buyers:
- a single survey
- an energy report
- and a property questionnaire
For both buyers and sellers, there are benefits for the home report as a legal request. Especially for buyers, these reports can be a more secure way of purchasing a property and being able to see the ins-and-outs of a house. For sellers – whilst there might be some reservations that this full report might slow a ‘quick sale’ – there can be confidence in selling a property and knowing all its potential. Even if any issues are raised, sellers can take assurance that they are being upfront and informative to potential buyers, making a more genuine and trustworthy sale.
Also, at some point, it is likely that the sellers will find themselves as buyers next – and if they’re buying in Scotland – they should remember that the tables will turn very soon! It’s imaginable that anyone as a buyer would want as much detail as possible about their new property!
So, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, there’s some clear benefits to the added cost of a Home Report. Here, we break down some of the ways a home report can help you:
How a single survey helps:
A charted surveyor is required to complete this aspect of the Home Report, and this will include: assessing the condition of the home, providing a valuation, as well as taking out an accessibility audit (for those with particular needs.) This part of the report will allow buyers to truly know the details of the property they intend on calling home.
For sellers welcoming the public to view their home, this type of survey will provide confidence in the details that can be supplied. Additionally, a survey might draw a seller’s attention to certain highlights: things they could put forward as strong selling points. Alternatively, if there’s areas of work that show up, some sellers might choose to solve this prior to a sale, which may be more enticing to a buyer. Sellers can also feel ‘safer’ entering a sale with a potential buyer, if they know that the purchaser has all the information that they need, supplied by a single survey.
How the energy report helps:
Energy reports give homes a rating, to assess how efficient they are. Higher ratings are the more desirable (and they are rated alphabetically: B being higher than C,) because it usually means fuel bills are lower. Higher ratings also mean that the home is likely to be better insulated. An energy report also looks at how a home is heated and the property’s impact on the environment- all useful information to know when purchasing a property.
In addition to this, the energy report gives recommendations for ways to improve the home’s energy usage and reduce the fuel bills- something that new buyers can appreciate when budgeting for the costings of their potential new home.
How a property questionnaire helps:
The final aspect of the home report, the property questionnaire, is filled in by sellers. This is very useful as it is full of information that only the home owner might know. At around 9 pages, this is a large document that asks everything from patches of damp, to whether a property has ever been flooded (for example.)
However, the seller might need to ask some assistance from their surveyor as some questions are quite specific- and the seller might be unsure. Whether the property has had replacement windows, for example, a surveyor might be able to help with.
Completing this questionnaire minimises risk of uncertainties or delays during the conveyancing process, which is, of course, what all parties involved would want to avoid.
Scottish Home Reports are a valuable and informative way of making the home-buying procedure much more smooth, effective and – hopefully- quicker. Not only this, but they provide confidence for a seller, in providing honesty and knowledge about their property. This is more likely to entice more genuine purchasers. For buyers, these reports give security that their potential new home has been thoroughly considered. Also, they can feel more assured that they have a wealth of detail about the home, as well as being able to budget even the smaller details, such as how much their energy bills might cost. This makes for a more realistic approach to the securing the sale.