Home reports were introduced by the Scottish government back in 2008. The aim of the reports is to provide a level of transparency to the property sale process. If you are selling your home in Scotland, you need to make sure that there is a home report in place.
It’s a common misconception that home reports are not required if you sell your home without the help of an estate agent of solicitor. This is not the case. If you place a property on the market, even as a private sale, you can be fined £500 if a home report has not been completed.
What is a home report?
It may seem as though a home report is just another unwanted task in the home selling process, but it’s actually an important pack of documents that reveals useful information about the property. There are three parts to the pack.
- A single survey which provides information about the current condition of the property and how much it’s worth.
- An energy report which contains information about how energy efficient the property is and how the level of efficiency can be improved.
- A property questionnaire which covers all of the other information about the property, such as which council tax band it’s in and whether there are any other costs related to living there.
When do you need to provide a home report?
If you are placing your home on the market, you need to have a home report in place which can be shown to any prospective purchasers. It’s illegal to not follow this process. Home reports cost approximately £500-£800, depending on the size of the property, and are usually arranged by the estate agent or solicitor you use when you are selling your home.
Who compiles home reports for private sales?
As we mentioned earlier, selling your home privately does not mean that you can avoid the cost of a home report. It’s still a legal requirement. You have to arrange for the report surveys to be completed by a qualified surveyor.
At Home Report For You, all of our surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors approved, so they are guaranteed to complete your surveys, and compile the required report, quickly and efficiently. We have offices across Scotland.
Who should you give a home report to?
Once you place your home on the market, prospective buyers will ask to see your home report. You need to comply with this request within nine days. It’s important to note that the buyer does still have the right to pay for the completion of a further survey themselves.
It’s also useful to know that you do not have to provide a home report if you believe that the person requesting it is not actually interested in buying the property, that they cannot afford the selling price or that you would not want to sell your home to them. You should be careful when refusing to provide a home report for any of these reasons. If there is any suggestion of discrimination, it’s possible that you will be fined by Trading Standards.
What length of time does a home report last for?
Ideally, you only want to have one home report completed for your property, so it’s useful to know how long the report lasts after it has been completed. A home report cannot be more than twelve weeks old when you put your home up for sale. Once this has happened, the report does not have an expiry date. However, it’s useful for the information contained in the report to be as up to date as possible. This means that if your home is still on the market after a significant length of time, it may be a good idea to have a further report compiled.
Home reports are a legal obligation for anyone who is selling their home. They can be useful to the seller as well as to potential buyers. If you have a home report completed, and issues are identified, you may choose to have them rectified before selling. You can also choose to continue with selling your home as is, although this may mean that you need to accept a reduced sale price for the property, as the buyers will need to meet the cost of repair or renovation themselves.