Since 1 December 2008, any seller who is marketing a property for sale in Scotland must obtain a Home Report. There are limited exceptions, for example newly-built properties and genuinely off-market sales where the property is not advertised. However, in the vast majority of cases the seller must obtain the Home Report prior to the property is marketed. So what is the Home Report and what is it comprised of?
The Home Report consists of three elements:
- Property Questionnaire
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The Property Questionnaire is completed by the property seller and contains a lot of information that is useful to a potential buyers such as the Council Tax Band of the property and details of alterations that have been carried-out to the property.
The Survey is performed by a Chartered Surveyor (a surveyor regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). It rates the condition of the property as well as providing their assessment of both the cost of rebuilding the property and the market value of the property for mortgage purposes.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can be produced by a person who is licensed to produce EPCs and rates the energy efficiency and amount of CO2 that a property produces.
Many large firms of Chartered Surveyors produce entire Home Reports, providing both the Survey and the EPC elements of the Home Report and providing the property seller with a means to input information into the Property Questionnaire through an online form. They then produce all-in-one documents that contain all of the elements of the Home Report. Other non-RICS registered companies also produce Home Reports, obtaining the three different elements from the various parties and putting them together in one bundle.
Home Reports have divided opinion in the property world, with property professionals, property owners and property buyers differing as to whether their introduction was a good thing. In some cases, if the buyer is getting a mortgage, the buyer’s mortgage lender will accept the Home Report instead of insisting on the buyer obtaining their own mortgage valuation from a Chartered Surveyor. As a result they can save the buyer money and make the property more affordable for that buyer. The flip side of course is that sellers have to pay for them.