Why might someone want to know the value of their home? There are many reasons, but most often they’re deciding whether they should sell it or not. House prices fluctuate, so homeowners can choose the right time to sell their home based on its current market value.
One way that homeowners in Scotland can get an idea of their house’s value is to compare it with similar properties on the market in the local area. By checking real estate advertisements, they can establish a ballpark figure for their property’s value.
However, this estimation would be much more accurate if they asked a real estate expert to perform it for them. Why? Because they have a better understanding of the subtle differences between properties that impact the price, whether positively or negatively.
When the time comes to sell the house, however, a real estate estimation won’t suffice. An official property valuation will be required.
What is an official property valuation?
This is part of the home report that buyers are given before they purchase a property. It is based on the valuation of a chartered surveyor. It’s different from an estimation provided by a real estate agent in that it’s much more comprehensive.
To provide this valuation, a physical inspection is required. Observations made are specific to your property. This is unlike real estate agent estimations, which are usually based on more general information about the area.
The chartered surveyor will consider the structural integrity of your property and include any issues like damp in the valuation. In making the valuation, complex algorithms will be used. It’s a very detailed process, and it has to be!
After all, this is an important document that gives prospective buyers the impartial perspective they need to make informed decisions.
What is a Home Report?
In Scotland, a Home Report is a pack of documents that potential buyers are given to inform them about properties they want to purchase. A Home Report has been required by Scottish law since 2008.
Home Reports help to prevent artificially low house prices and to avoid multiple valuations being performed on the same property. However, their main purpose is to give buyers unbiased information to ensure fairer property deals.
As a seller, if you fail to provide a Home Report, you could be charged a fine of £500.
What does a Home Report include?
A home report includes the Energy Performance Certificate which explains how energy-efficient the property is according to government ratings. This document is a legal requirement for selling or even renting a house.
Properties are rated by a letter between A and G. An A rating is the top of the scale, meaning that the property is very energy efficient.
This pack also includes a property questionnaire that is completed by the seller.
The final document in the pack is the official property valuation, which tells buyers exactly how much the house is worth according to an independent expert.
How can I get a Home Report?
To receive a single survey — the property valuation required by Scottish law — you must approach a surveyor that’s registered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. These are the only people qualified to provide this document.
For an Energy Performance Certificate, you should contract the services of a domestic energy assessor. They’ll attend your house and perform an inspection to assess its energy efficiency level.
You may be able to obtain a cheap home report by approaching companies that offer both of these services together as a package. Prices vary, and some companies are more affordable than others. Bear this in mind before you commit to a service!
What is a private valuation?
A private valuation is different from both a single survey for a Home Report and a real estate agent estimation. It’s a legal document that offers an estimation of the property’s worth based on its condition and its market value.
This valuation is generally used for other legal purposes: taxes, inheritances, shared equity, and divorces, for example. Again, this type of valuation is performed by a Chartered Surveyor. The more general estimate of a real estate agent would not suffice.
- A real estate agent can provide an estimation of house value for people who are considering selling their house.
- A Chartered Surveyor can provide an official valuation, a single survey, for Home Reports. This document is required when selling a home.
- A Chartered Surveyor can also provide a private valuation for separate legal purposes.