What is a Home Report and do I need one?
Any property intending to be marketed on the open market requires a Home Report however there are a few exceptions to the rule.
Home Reports were introduced in late 2008. It is now mandatory when selling residential property in Scotland to provide prospective buyers with a Home Report. The Home Report is instructed by the seller of the property or their Estate Agent and consists of 3 mandatory documents (Survey; Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) & Property Questionnaire), together with an optional Mortgage Valuation Report*.
The Single Survey provides the seller with a fairly detailed report on the condition & value of their property prior to marketing. It also gives buyers better information about the condition and value before they make an offer to purchase a home.
The single survey provides a general description of the property and separates the building into areas where comment is made to its condition.
The condition of the property is separated into 3 categories and is rated on a scale from 1 - 3 (No.1 - no immediate repair is needed; No.2 - repair or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised; No.3 - urgent repairs/replacement are needed right away).
It also provides a surveyor’s valuation of the property and reinstatement cost including when the survey was carried out and by whom.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates the energy efficiency and its environmental impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
It recommends ways to improve the building's energy efficiency and gives contact details for further advice & information about how to make a home more energy efficient and save fuel costs. The Energy Report helps home buyers to make "green" choices, by comparing energy costs between homes and giving practical advice to reduce carbon emissions and save on energy bills.
The Property Questionnaire is completed by the property owner and contains useful information for buyers, solicitors and surveyors.
It will include information such as the council tax banding, parking facilities, factoring arrangements, any local authority notices that affect it and alterations that have been made to the home.
This information will prove useful for buyers before they decide whether to submit an offer to purchase a home. The Property Questionnaire also reduces the risk of delay and difficulties in conveyancing.
All major mortgage lenders in the UK require a copy of the Home Report for mortgage purposes and require that the firm of surveyors are chartered (RICS) who appear on the major UK lender’s panel of approved surveyors. If this is not the case, the purchaser may have to purchase another survey by a firm of chartered surveyors who are on the “panel” in order to secure a loan.
*Mortgage Valuation Report (optional) accompanies the Home Report for the seller to pass onto prospective purchasers to enable them to obtain a commitment from lenders in relation to providing mortgage finance over any prospective purchase.
The cost of a Home Report depends on the value of the property with higher end properties usually proving more expensive, however your Estate Agent will be able to advise on cost.