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Selling Your Scotland Property: Home Report FAQs

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Changes in the law were introduced in 2008 that made a fundamental difference to the way we have to go about selling a property that we own, as this was the point where home reports were introduced.

A Home Report is a document pack that is assembled about your property using various resources. It is intended to give prospective purchasers important information about your home such as the state of repair, how energy efficient it is and what they can expect to pay in Council Tax and other bills.

Search for home report services in Inverness or wherever your property is located, to get in touch with a surveyor who can help you to compile the report you need to be able to put your property onto the market for sale.

There are bound to be questions that you will want answers to about the process of compiling the report and also about what your legal obligations are as a home owner, so here are some answer to some frequently asked questions relating to home reports.

What is in a home report?

There are three main sections to a home report and the relevant information is collated into a document pack that becomes the home report you need to be able to sell your property or even put it onto the market.

The report will contain a single survey that covers the condition of your home such as what state the roof and walls are in and whether any remedial work is needed. The survey also provides a valuation based on comparable properties in the area and taking into consideration any factors such as repairs that need doing or other issues that may affect the price.

The report also includes a section that gives a detailed analysis of the energy efficiency of your home and provides a rating based on how well insulated the property and what impact there is on the environment through carbon dioxide emissions and other relevant influential factors.

The third section is a property questionnaire, which you will be required to complete as the current owner. The questions will ask things like how much the Council Tax bill is, whether you have made any alterations to the property and what the parking arrangements are, all of which are questions that a prospective buyer would need and want to know before agreeing to proceed.

Do I need to get a home report?

It is a legal requirement to arrange a home report for anyone who is putting their property on the market, unless the property is a new-build and being sold by the developer or the home is being bought through the right-to-buy scheme.

Problems highlighted in the report

It may be that when you receive a copy of the report, there is a problem that has been highlighted.

It is down to you as the homeowner to take whatever action is necessary to rectify any problem that is identified by the surveyor and it is normally better to find out about an issue at the beginning so that you can deal with it, rather than some weeks into the sale process, which is what used to happen before home reports were introduced.

Is the buyer obliged to accept the report?

Your buyer will be within their rights to either accept the information you have provided or choose to employ their own surveyor to carry out a further inspection.

Who can request a copy of your home report?

If someone interested in your property requests a copy of the home report, you are required to provide a copy to them with nine days of their request.

If you are using an estate agent or solicitor to sell your home for you, they will arrange to send out a copy of the report to any pre-qualified prospective purchaser. If you decide that the person requesting a copy is not serious about buying or you do not think that they have the resources to be able to proceed with the purchase, or you simply don’t want to sell to them, you can refuse to send a copy to them.

You should however be aware that there are discrimination laws in place and if someone thinks that you have withheld the report unfairly, they could complain to their local Trading Standards office.

The cost of a home report might seem prohibitive but you should bear in mind that if you are buying another house after you have sold yours, you won’t have to pay to get their report, so the cost works down the line.

Josh Henderson has invested in several properties over the last decade. He enjoys keeping up with the latest property investment ideas and sharing his insights on the web.