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The Home Report – What Is It?
The Scottish Home Report
Are you about to put your home on the market? If so, you’ll need to get a Home Report. This legally required document contains valuable information for prospective buyers – and can be easily arranged via your estate agent.
If you’re feeling a bit confused by it all, here’s a useful guide to help you.
What is a Home Report?
A Home Report is a series of documents which tell potential buyers about your property. It consists of three parts:
- The Single Survey. This document features an official surveyor’s assessment of your property, with details about its condition, accessibility for people with particular needs, and a valuation. Here’s a sample of what a single survey looks like.
- The Energy Report. The energy report, also carried out by a surveyor, outlines the energy efficiency of the property. It also contains recommendations, identifying how to improve energy efficiency. You can find a sample energy report here.
- The Property Questionnaire. This document is completed by you. It contains other information that may be useful to prospective buyers, such as Council Tax bands, parking arrangements and alterations that have been made to the property. Here’s an example of what a property questionnaire looks like.
Do You Need to Provide One?
In the majority of instances, sellers must provide a full Home Report. Failure to do so may incur a fine of up to £500. However, some properties are exempt from doing so. These include:
- New-builds. If you’re a developer, selling the property for the first time.
- Newly converted homes. If the property has been converted for residential use and has not been used before its conversion.
- Holiday accommodation. Any property which cannot be lived in all year round, such as a holiday park home, is exempt. However, please note that some holiday homes and second homes will need reports.
- Right-to-buy. If the property is bought through the right-to-buy scheme, the landlord is not obligated to supply a Home Report.
- Commercial properties. If the property is also used for commercial purposes – for example a shop with a flat above, it won’t need a report.
- Unfit for purpose. If the property is unfit for human habitation or is due to be demolished.
Home Report Costs
On average, you can expect to pay between £500 and £700 (plus VAT) for your Home Report. Exact costs are dependent on the value and size of your home. Whilst this is an extra expense when selling, it’s important to bear in mind that you’ll no longer need to pay to have it surveyed, as this is now included in the report.
Your estate agent will arrange your Home Report for you. They’ll also be responsible for distributing it to prospective buyers. The report must be given to anyone who expresses an interest in purchasing your property – unless you have good reason to believe that they’re not serious about buying. Be aware, if a buyer believes you withheld the Home Report without good reason, they have the right to complain to Trading Standards.
Does a Home Report Expire?
After having a Home Report completed, you then have 12 weeks to get your house on the market. Once you’ve done so, there’s no expiry date on your report. Of course, if you do any major renovations, or your property remains unsold for a long period of time, you may want to get a fresh report – but there’s no legal requirement to do so.
You can find further information about the Home Report on the Scottish Government site.