Any house purchase or sale is important, and it’s vital that all the correct steps are followed, to ensure that the sale goes through as expected. If you live in Scotland, one of the steps that needs to be completed when a property goes up for sale, is the compilation of a Home Report.
The Scottish Government introduced the requirement for Home Reports, back in 2008. The aim of these reports is to provide comprehensive information about the property for buyers and sellers, all in one place. Anyone who is selling a property has to provide a Home Report to potential buyers within nine days of it being requested, so it’s important that actions are taken, and information is compiled, in plenty of time.
What is included in a Home Report?
A Home Report consists of three separate elements:
- A property report which contains relevant information about the property, such as which council tax band it’s in and whether any alterations have been made.
- A single survey which has to be completed by a qualified surveyor who is a registered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
- An energy report which details the energy rating of the property and suggests any potential improvements.
What does the single survey involve?
The single survey is a comprehensive assessment of the current condition of the property. This is obviously important information for anyone who is thinking of buying a property, as they need to be aware of any issues. The survey is also important to the seller as they need to be aware of any problems which may affect the selling price of the property. They need to make a decision about whether to carry out work, or to reflect any work that needs to be done in the selling price.
When the professional surveyor has conducted their check of the property, they report any necessary repairs on a scale of 1-3.
- There are no issues that require immediate attention. No repairs are necessary at present.
- Repairs will be necessary in the future and sellers are advised to request estimates at the present time.
- Repairs are urgently required.
What information does an energy report include?
Energy Performance Certificate templates are provided by the government. The energy report has to be completed by a professional energy assessor. They note a rating on the certificate, so that the seller can see what the current level of energy efficiency in the premises is. They also note what effect any CO2 emissions from the property are having on the environment.
As well as indicating the current energy efficiency of the property, the energy report also contains information about how matters can be improved. Suggested improvements could include:
- Fitting of insulation in the loft space.
- Having cavity wall insulation fitted.
- Having floor insulation fitted.
What to think about when looking for a Home Report provider
Any seller needs to make sure that they have an honest and transparent Home Report in place, that has been provided by reputable professionals. There are certain things to think about when looking for a Home Report provider.
- Does the provider have a good reputation? Check for independent reviews online.
- Is the provider able to complete an efficient job in a timely manner?
- What is the cost for the service? It’s important to get the right balance between a high quality report and an affordable cost.
Sellers may also want to think about hiring a professional who has knowledge of the area where the property is located. This type of local information can be useful when the report is being compiled.
Home Reports are a legal requirement for anyone who is selling a property in Scotland. They may seem like an additional burden at what can be a stressful time. However, Home Reports are intended to provide clarity for everyone, including the seller. This is why it’s so important to ensure that the Home Report that is paid for is completed to a high standard. Sellers should plan to have the Home Report completed in advance of putting their home on the market, so that they have plenty of time to choose a reputable provider and have them do the work, before they are legally required to give prospective buyers access to the report.