Selling your home involves various costs and requirements. According to the UK government, the process of selling your home usually takes 2 – 3 months. If you live in the UK and want to sell your property, a crucial and compulsory requirement is obtaining a home report.

A home report provides potential buyers with important information about your property. The information included in a home report consists of three main aspects: a property survey, an energy report, and a property questionnaire.

The property survey assesses the condition of the home – including aspects such as internal and external walls, the roof, plumbing, and kitchen fittings. It also includes a valuation of the property and an accessibility audit for people with particular needs.

The energy report provides potential buyers with information regarding the energy efficiency of the home. The energy efficiency is worked out according to rating bands. The higher a property’s energy rating, the more energy efficient it is. This will mean the property will have lower energy bills and less environmental impact. Along with the home’s energy rating, the energy report will also offer suggestions on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency – which can often be improved by very simple changes.

Who Needs to Provide the Home Report?

Anyone who lists their home on the property market needs to provide a home report to any potential buyers. There are a few exemptions to this though, such as:

  • New homes that are built and sold for the first time by the developer
  • Homes that are newly converted that have not been used before in their converted state
  • Any seasonal and holiday accommodation which cannot be used all year round (personal holiday homes and second homes must have home reports)
  • If a home is bought under the right to buy, then the landlord does not need to provide a home report
  • Any properties that also have a commercial use
  • Any properties that are not fit to live in or that are planned to be demolished.

Who Puts Together the Home Report?

The various aspects of the home report, such as the property survey and energy assessment, need to be carried out by licensed professionals and qualified surveyors. The selling agent and property owner are responsible for accurately completing the property questionnaire.

If you have hired an agent to sell your home (such as a solicitor or estate agent), the responsibility will lie with them to organise the property’s home report. They will also then be responsible for distributing the home report to any potential buyers.

If someone requests a home report, they must be sent one within nine days. You may only not send a home report to someone if you are certain they are not serious buyers. This may be for various reasons, such as you don’t think they can afford your property, you don’t think they are interested in actually buying the property, or you wouldn’t want to sell your property to them.

It is important to remember that you are not allowed to discriminate against certain groups of people when distributing home reports. If an individual feels you have withheld your home report from them without a good reason, they have the right to complain to their local Trading Standards Office. If Trading Standards feels you are guilty of acting unfairly, you could be fined. 

What are the Costs Involved?

The cost of a home report is dependent on the size and value of the property, but it is likely to cost between £500 – £700 plus VAT. As a seller, you are entitled to charge a small sum to potential buyers for the home report to cover the costs of copying and sending the documents. It is against the law to sell your home without a home report. If you are caught doing this, you may be fined up to £500.

For How Long is a Home Report Valid?

All the surveys and assessments in a home report should not be more than 12 weeks old when you list your home on the property market. You can also take your property off the market for up to four weeks without having to redo your home report. Once your home is on the market, then there is no real “expiry date” for the home report. If your property has been on the market for a long time, buyers may request a new, refreshed home report. If this is the case, then it is between the buyer and seller to determine who will cover the costs involved. The price for refreshing a survey will be up to the home report provider or surveyor. Buyers also have the right to employ their own surveyors to look at the property at any point if they so wish.