Home Reports – Do I need one to sell my home in Scotland?

Most residential properties being sold in Scotland will require a Home Report.

If the property is being marketed (including through social media) and the sale is public knowledge, then a home report is required by law.

The Home Report is produced by an independent Chartered Surveyor.

However, in most cases the surveyor will be appointed through the solicitor or estate agent selling the property.

Whilst the Home Report is commissioned by the seller, the Chartered Surveyor carrying out the survey also has a duty of care to the purchaser as well as any bank or building society providing mortgage funding for the purchase of the property.

The Home Report is divided into three sections:
  • The Single Survey, incorporating a valuation of the property
  • The Property Questionnaire
  • The energy report (EPC)
  • Single Survey and Valuation

This survey, based on a visual, non-disruptive inspection of the property by a Chartered Surveyor who must be a RICS registered valuer. The report provides you with information about the condition of the home, its accessibility and any repairs that may be required.

It also gives a valuation of the property (an opinion on how much the home is worth in the current market).

If any of the repairs are identified by the surveyor, these will be categorised in terms of urgency as a Category 1,2 or 3.

Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

If an element of the building fabric has been identified as Category 1, then this suggests that no immediate action or repair is needed. It should be noted that normal maintenance is not treated as a repair for the purposes of the Single Survey. When a Category 1 rating is used this means that the building must continue to be maintained.

A category 2 rating suggests repairs or replacement requiring future attention. It is advised that estimates be obtained by the buyer prior to entering into agreement to purchase the property.

Where a category 3 rating is given, the surveyor has identified something in the property where urgent repair or replacement is required. Failure to deal with these issues may cause problems to other parts of the property or cause a safety hazard. Estimates for repairs or replacement should be obtained prior to entering into agreement to purchase the property.

The single survey also includes a mortgage valuation certificate, which provides the surveyor’s professional opinion of the market value of house or flat and an estimate of the rebuilding cost for insurance purposes. There are one or two exceptions, but in most cases, where the property is suitable security for lending,  the valuation certificate from the home report will be accepted by the purchaser bank or building society for lending purposes and the surveyor will complete a bank transcription form when the mortgage application goes through.

For this reason, it is important to ensure that the Chartered Surveyor preparing the Home Report is a RICS registered valuer and that the company preparing the report is on the lender’s panel of accepted valuers.

Property questionnaire

This section of the Home Report is a questionnaire, completed by the seller and covering 16 different categories. This is designed to give you more information about the home, including things such as: the home’s council tax band, any issues that may have affected the home in the past, any alterations or extensions that have been made to the home, details of any specialist work or guarantees and details of any notices that might affect the home.

Energy Report

The Energy Report provides information on the home’s energy efficiency in the form of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The EPC is produced via The Energy Savings Trust, based on information provided by the surveyor and provides an indication of how much energy the property uses and the environmental impact of the house in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

On Line Survey Platforms

As you will no doubt have worked out, the Home Report involves several documents and quite a bit of paper work. There are a number of on line survey platforms such as Onesurvey or Move Machine, that will take all of these documents, together with any additional information, such as drawings or reports and will collate them into a single, user friendly package, that can be accessed in paper form or over the internet, thereby saving the seller, purchaser and agents considerable time and effort in bringing together all aspects of the Home Report.

© Jin Harold 2023

“There’s no substitute for using a good local firm as you get what you pay for.”Rob Armstrong

Hastings Legal are trusted and long-established Solicitor Estate Agents in the Scottish Borders.

•   Selling your property with a Solicitor Estate Agent means you have control of the process from start to finish.

•   Our Virtual Viewing Video Tours are the New Normal for a first viewing and are included for no extra charge.

•   Our extensive database of purchasers who are looking to buy their dream home in this area is at your disposal.

•   Our advertising reach is both local and national including our High Street Offices, exclusive ESPC* and  Rightmove

•   Professional photographs as standard

•   We regularly achieve more than the Home Report Value for our Sellers, often at Closing Date

See our guides: • Buying a House and • Selling your House Legal Process

It’s never too early to call Hastings Legal, Solicitors and Estate Agents in the Scottish Borders

* only Solicitor Estate agents can advertise in ESPC – the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre

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