What is a Home Report?

A Home Report is a pack of documents that give potential buyers information about a property for sale. This was introduced in Scotland on 1st December 2008. All properties that are advertised as for sale in Scotland must have a report prior to going on the market.

The report consists of three components:

1. A Single Survey
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• An assessment of the condition of the home (for example, the roof, internal and external walls, plumbing and kitchen fittings)
• A market valuation

2. An Energy Report

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• The energy report gives the home an energy efficiency rating. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the home is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be. It also looks at the impact the home has on the environment, through carbon dioxide emissions. The report looks at features such as how well insulated the home is, and how it is heated.
• The energy report also recommends ways to improve the home’s energy efficiency and reduce fuel bills.

3. A Property Questionnaire

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The property questionnaire contains additional useful information about the property, for example:

• The property’s council tax band
• Parking arrangements
• Alterations that have been made to the property
• Whether there are any extra costs involved in living there (such as charges for the upkeep of communal areas).

How much does a Home Report cost?

The cost of a Home Report is depending on the value of your property and can range from around £400 up to and exceeding £1000.

How do I get a Home Report?

If you are selling your property using an estate agent or solicitor they should arrange for the Home Report to be carried out on your behalf. The single survey and energy report must be carried out by a qualified surveyor. The seller or their legal representative will be responsible for filling out the property questionnaire.

How long does a Home Report last?

A Home Report lasts for the length of time your property is on the market although if the date on the Home Report is longer than 12 weeks the purchasers’ mortgage lender may ask for an updated Home Report. It would be up to the buyer and seller to decide who will pay for the updated report although the expectation often is that the seller will pay for this

What if the survey finds a problem with my property?

It’s up to you to decide what to do if the surveyor identifies a problem with your home. You don’t have to fix the problem if you can’t afford it or don’t have time. However, bear in mind that the defect may affect the price you get for your home, so ask your estate agent for advice as to whether or not it will be worth putting the problem right.

If you have any further questions on a Home Report please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Blackadders Property Team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Nahdean

Nahdean McLarty
Property Manager
Blackadders LLP
@BlackaddersLLP

www.blackadders.co.uk

 

Home Reports: An update

I have been asked a few times over the last couple of weeks about when Home Reports in Scotland are being abolished.  As you may be aware the Coalition Government have now abolished HIPs in England and Wales.   This does not affect Scotland. My information is that the Scottish Government is still very much committed to the Home Reports and that there will be no change.  Given that it was a Labour/Liberal Coalition Government that brought them in and that the SNP are very supportive, I cannot even see the Scottish Elections in 2011 making any difference. 

The points I would like to stress, however, are as follows:-

  1. Costs do vary – cheapest is not always best!  Name and reputation of the firm of surveyors that are instructed might have an impact on the saleability and sale price achieved for your property.  Always speak to your property adviser about this.
  2. There are a number of deferred payment options available, the most common being to only pay when your property sells or after 9 months of your property going on the market, whichever is earlier.  There are, however, new insurance policies and no sale – no fee options. 
  3. Blackadders is currently running a special offer for properties in the Angus area with nothing to pay for the first 3 months.
  4. We run a number of offers throughout the year and you should ask your property adviser for more details.

I hope that this clarifies matters and should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me, either through this blog, via email (lindsay.darroch@blackadders.co.uk) or on the telephone (01382 229222).  I shall keep you updated should there be any change in the Home Report situation.

The dreaded Home Report

I have read with interest some recent articles in the press regarding Home Reports.  Given that they have now been in place for over 12 months I found it very interesting that this debate is still continuing and perhaps more vociferously than it did at the time the idea was first mooted.  As a practising Solicitor with considerable experience in the property market I can honestly say that I have never come across a notion that has been so ill conceived and ill thought out as the Home Report.  It benefits no-one apart from Surveyors – apologies to all my friends who are Surveyors, although I fear that they themselves may come a cropper when the panels or nationals take control of the provision of Home Reports at the same cost to the client, taking considerable profit themselves and squeezing the Surveyors into providing Home Reports for much lower costs.

Home Reports were supposed to speed up the process – they haven’t – it now takes a lot longer to get the property on the market.  They were supposed to give a prospective purchaser more knowledge about a property at an earlier part of the process – they don’t.  Purchasers are people who rely on professionals, i.e. Solicitors and Surveyors, to guide them.  The Home Report is poorly laid out and the Solicitor is at a disadvantage not being able to speak to the Surveyor to get his comments by way of verbal report.  There is still the question of how much influence a seller or selling Solicitor has over a Surveyor.  There is a huge conflict of interest in the process in that the Surveyor is being instructed by the seller who is paying his fees but his report is being relied on by a purchaser.

Never mind the increased cost, the delay, the varying valuations, the Home Report was a concept that was not required.  Offers subject to survey worked fine – everyone knew where they were, prospective purchasers were taking advice from professionals who were able to give them guidance regarding values, banks felt more comfortable relying on surveys instructed after offers and if you were a seller who required to get their house on the market due to financial difficulties you are not being prejudiced by the expense of the Home Report.

A plea to the Scottish Government…

Please take a brave decision and scrap this silly scheme.

Home Reports – Your View: