What is a Home Report? Applicable in Scotland only*
A Home Report is a document which every seller of a residential property is required to produce prior to putting the property onto the market.
The Home Report is produced by a Chartered Surveyor who is a member of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and should be a Registered Valuer. The Home Report can be instructed by the seller directly to the surveyor or alternatively through the chosen Estate Agent.
What’s in the Home Report?
The Home Report comprises four separate documents.
1.The Single Survey
This is a report on the general condition of the property and will specifically comment on the condition of the buildings components such as walls, roofs, floors, windows, gutters, etc. The report will also comment on the services (although these will not be tested) and outbuildings. Each component will be given a conditional rating (1)-satisfactory to (3)-essential work required. A valuation of the property in its current condition will also be provided together with a sum for Building Insurance purposes.
2. Energy Report – EPC
This is also carried out by the Chartered Surveyor and provides an Energy Performance Certificate which rates the energy efficiency of the house, provides an estimate for the annual energy costs and provides recommendations for improving the energy efficiency of the property.
3. Mortgage Valuation Certificate
This is a document which provides a summary of the information in the Single Survey and is an indication to a Bank or Building Society how the surveyor would report to a lender for mortgage purposes.
4. Property Questionnaire
This is a document which is completed by the current owner and provides information on the property which only the owner will know. This includes such things as alterations, central heating service plans, planning permission, Rights of Way, council tax bands, parking facilities, property liabilities and any other issues which they are aware of, which a new owner should be made aware of.
The Home Report remains valid until such time as the property is sold as long as the property is continually marketed. If the property takes longer than 3 months to sell then you may be asked to update or “replace” the Home Report so that it can still be used by the purchaser’s mortgage provider.
A “Replacement” Home Report must be carried out by the original surveying firm and will typically cost in the region of £150.
Home Report Cost
The cost of a Home Report can vary from city to city and will be dependent on the value of the property. Typically, prices will start at £300 + VAT for a property under £100,000. Prices tend to increase by £100 + VAT per £100,000 of value although this can be negotiated with the local office particularly on high value properties.
What if I don’t have a Home Report?
A Home Report is required by law. You cannot market a property without a Home Report. If you do so then you (the seller) and your estate agent will be prosecuted by Trading Standards and both will be subject to a significant fine. There are exceptions such as new houses and inter family sales where a Home Report is not required. The seller or their agent must provide a copy of the Home Report to any genuine purchaser who requests it. Failure to do so will also result in prosecution. It is unlikely that a solicitor acting for a purchaser will conclude the sale when a Home Report is not available for the property being sold.