So, you’ve decided to sell your house – congratulations!  if you’ve been out of the property market for a while, or not sure of the latest processes, what do you do next?

The main priority for you is to commission a Home Report. In a nutshell, a Home Report is the key marketing guide to your house that covers a range of elements, including a general survey, data on household energy consumption, as well as information on additional costs, such as council tax bands, freehold or maintenance charges.

Parts of the report are completed by surveyors or energy experts, but then there is a Property Questionnaire, which focuses on additional charges and has to be completed by you, the seller.


When should I get the report done?

As soon as you decide you want to move, then this is the time to get the report done. In fact, you can’t sell your house until you have the report, so this is your first action. You must be able to produce a copy of your report to prospective buyers within nine days of them asking, so it’s crucial you are prepared.

When your house goes on the market, your report should be no more than 12 weeks old and have the most up to date information on your property. If your report is older than this, it is possible your lender may require a refreshed mortgage valuation.

In an unpredictable property market – or depending on whether you’re after a quick sale or otherwise – your Home Report is your key sales and marketing tool, so if there are any quick or meaningful repairs that may impact your sale, then it’s worth thinking about getting them sorted for the Home Report. After all, we all want to showcase our home in the best possible light.


How long will the report stay valid?

Once the report is done and has gone live, there is no fixed expiry date. However, if your house stays on the market for a while then you may want to commission another report, just to give interested parties a bit more peace of mind.

If you decide not to do this, then it’s worth noting that a potential buyer may want a new report carried out before making their decision. In this case, it’s up to the buyer and the seller to agree who will pay for the report.

It’s also worth noting that you can take your house off the market for up to four weeks, and then put it back on the market, without having to commission a new report. Anything longer than that does mean you’ll need to start the commissioning process all over again.


Why use an independent report provider?

If you’re selling your house through an Estate Agent, then you can have the report carried out by their preferred surveyors or Home Report provider. However, they will have a fixed fee no matter the value of your property.

An independent, online report provider has no shop rental overheads, so therefore have flexibility to charge on a sliding scale. Not only that, but with more people opting to sell their house online through commission-free ‘Estate Agents’, or even taking the ‘do it yourself’ route, an independent report gives you the complete freedom to choose how and where you want to sell your house.

Additionally, an independent provider is more likely to give you a complete report, from the general survey and energy assessment, right through to marketing ‘value-adds’, such as floor plans and professional photos. An affiliate provider may charge extra for this.


What do I need to prepare for the report?

As mentioned earlier, any home improvements that can be done quickly and effectively are always a good idea. It’s also important to make sure you have all important documentation to hand for the report, as well as for potential buyers.

For example, if you’ve had building work done on your home, such as an extension or loft conversion, make sure you have all the right building permissions and control paperwork. Not to mention making sure all your insurance, certificates for treatments such as damp, or other important policies are current and valid.

This may feel like a lot of work, but a good Home Report provider will guide you through the process to ensure you get the best report for your home, as well as a property that is marketed well and, more importantly, sells quickly.