Antons Estate Agents
14 East Church Street, Buckie, AB56 1AE, Moray
T: +44 (0) 1542 834835 | F: +44 (0) 1542 834307

Home Reports

What does this mean?

From Monday 1st December 2008 all properties which go on the market will have to have a Home Report.

The Home Report is a standard style pack, which is made up of 3 sections:

A SINGLE SURVEY which is carried out by a Chartered Surveyor.  This is a very different type of report from a Mortgage Valuation report.  In terms of the new legislation it is in a certain format and contains an assessment of the condition of the property, a valuation of the property and an accessibility audit for people with particular needs.  It will not contain advise, nor will it contain opinion.  It will be completely objective.

An ENERGY REPORT (known as the EPC) this is also carried out by the Chartered Surveyor and is an assessment of the energy efficiency of the property.  It will contain recommendations on improving efficiency.

A PROPERTY QUESTIONNAIRE which is a statutory list of questions which must be completed by the Seller.  It contains factual details, such as information regarding any alternations, the Council Tax band and so forth.  It is essential that the questionnaire is completed honestly by the seller.

The fundamental change in the system is that the Seller will now instruct and pay for the new Home Report.  This must be available when the house goes on the market.  The idea behind it is that detailed information regarding a property will be available to a purchaser at the earliest possible opportunity.  This should hopefully enable purchasers to make a fully informed choice and should reduce their expense.

FAQs

Q. I have my property on the market for sale just now.  Do I need a Home Report?

A. No.  You will not need the full Home Report but you may need to have the Energy Report (EPC) done before the house is sold.

Q. I am thinking of putting my house on the market.  Will I need to get a Home Report?

A. If your house is not within one of the exempt categories, then from Monday 1st December 2008, if it is to be placed on the market it will need a Home Report.

Q. Who pays for the Report?

A. The Seller pays for the Report.

Q. How much will it cost?

A. This may depend on the value of the house.  The details of costs can be provided to you.

Q. How long does the Home Report last?

A. The Report should not be more than 12 weeks old when the house is put on the market for sale.  If the Report is older then it will have to be "refreshed".  This does not mean a whole new Report has to be done but it will have to be updated.

Q. Which properties are exempt?

A. The excemptions are as follows:

(1) New properties (i.e those sold "off plan") to either the first purchaser or the first occupier are exempt.

(2) Newly converted properties (i.e a property which was formerly a farm steading and is now a house) are exempt.  To be covered by this exemption the property would have had to be something other than a residential property in its former state.

(3) Right to Buy properties (i.e a council house purchase or the like).  These are exempt.

(4) Seasonal / Holiday Accommodation.  only properties which are strictly seasonal or deemed as holiday accommodation with planning conditions for occupation for, say, 11 months of the year fall under this category.

(5) Portfolio of residential properties.  If a portfolio (i.e more than one property) is being sold as a whole then it would be exempt.  If however, one property from a portfolio is sold individually, it is not exempt and would require the Home Report.

(6) Mixed Sales.  This relates to residential accommodation being sold along with non-residential property (i.e a farm house along with the sale of the farm, or a Landlords flat along with the pub).

(7) Dual use property.  This relates to a property which has both a residential use and also a commercial use.

(8) Unsafe property.  This relates to property unfit for habitation.

(9) Properties to be demolished.  This relates to property with a demolition order and consents for development.

There is further information available on the Scottish Governments website.

Q. How do I instruct the Home Report?

A. We are here to help you with the process.  We will arrange for the House Report to be instructed when we are preparing the marketing of the property.  Please note that the property cannot be marketed without it.  As the Seller, you will have to complete the Property Questionnaire.  We will provide you with the Questionnaire form and you will have to fill it in and sign it.  We will then input the information from the form for the Surveyor.  The Surveyor will not be able to do the Report without having the information form your questionnaire.

We will then have the Home Report complete as an online document, which can be accessed as necessary by any prospective purchasers on request.  Paper copies can also be provided.

Q. How do I pay for the Home Report?

A. The responsibilty for payment is with the Seller.  You will be given a range of options for payment.  You can choose to pay in full by debit or credit card, or you may wish to pay over a period of time by credit agreement.  The choice is for you to make and for you to agree with the company directly.  Please note that the Surveyor will not release the Report until you as the Seller have setup your payment method.