What is a Home Report?

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Our brief explanation of Home Reports if you are selling your property in Edinburgh.

If you are selling your property in Edinburgh, you will need a Home Report.

So what is a Home Report?

Put simply, a Home Report is a pack of documents that gives your potential buyers information about your property.

The Home Report consists of three parts:

What’s in the Home Report?

The Single Survey
The Single Survey contains (1) an assessment of the condition of your property (for example, the roof, internal and external walls, plumbing and kitchen fittings); (2) a valuation of your property in the current market; and (3) an accessibility audit for people with particular needs.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The EPC gives your home an energy efficiency rating. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient your property is and consequently the lower the fuel bills should be. The EPC also looks at such things as how well insulated your property is, how it is heated and finally gives recommendations of ways in which to improve the energy efficiency of your property.

The Property Questionnaire
The Property Questionnaire is a form completed by you and contains additional information about your property which is going to be important to potential buyers such as how long you have owned your property, the council tax band, parking arrangements, whether there have been any alterations and whether there are additional factoring costs.

Do I have to have a Home Report?

Yes. They are a legal requirement if you want to put your property on the market for sale.

How much do they cost?

The cost of a Home Report varies depending on the value of your property. Typically if you are selling your first home with a value of between £100,000 and £200,000 the cost will be around £480.

You can get them cheaper than this and if you are cost conscious there are surveyors who will give you a Home Report for less than that. However, not all of those surveyors are on the panel of approved surveyors for lenders (banks and building societies) and so you if you go down that route you may, once an offer has been accepted, be asked to pay for the buyer’s lender’s valuation report.

When do I have to pay for the Home Report?

If you are organising the Home Report yourself, then you will need to pay the surveyor when you instruct the surveyor. If the estate agent is arranging the Home Report for you, then the cost of the Home Report is paid a little before the start of marketing as part of the upfront marketing costs.

Some surveyors do offer a payment method by which you can defer payment of the Home Report for about six months but there would be additional costs to you for setting up the finance agreement which is required for such deferred payment schemes.

How do I get a Home Report?

As mentioned above, you can instruct a surveyor yourself and simply Google "Home Reports Edinburgh" and you will find surveyors who will be able to prepare your Home Report. However, usually, your estate agent in Edinburgh will be able to arrange this for you and they usually will have a preferred surveyor who they will choose.

Do I get to approve the Home Report?

Although the Home Report is paid for by you, it is mainly for the benefit of the buying public and as such the surveyor who prepares the Home Report is independent of you and your interests. So, whilst the draft of the Single Survey and the EPC will be sent to you, it will be more to check for inaccuracies. The surveyor will agree to make corrections for inaccuracies but will most often not make changes if they feel that these are not justified. For example, the surveyor will not add another £20,000 to the value simply because you want that and will not omit reference to evidence of dampness where dampness has been found.

What if the Home Report highlights a problem with my property?

This is up to you. The Home Report does not impose any obligation on you to fix a problem highlighted in the Home Report. But some problems are more significant than others and may affect how long it will take your property to sell and at what price it will then sell for.

This is best illustrated by a couple of examples.

If the problem highlighted in the Home Report is that there are significant structural issues with your property then perhaps obviously, those issues are going to be important and are likely to put off the majority of buyers and might lead to interested buyers having problems getting a mortgage. In that case, then you are probably best to hold of marketing your property until the structural issues have been addressed.

If the problem highlighted in the Home Report is a small area of dampness in the bathroom (a common enough thing) then you can either do nothing in which case in a strong selling market that is unlikely to put off many buyers. However, for peace of mind, in that case you are likely to be recommended to get a Damp Specialist Report to give you (and buyers) more information as to the extent of the problem and the costs of carrying out the required treatment.

Who gets to see the Home Report for my property?

Any potential buyer is entitled to be sent a copy of the Home Report for your property and since the Home Report is usually available as a download from the property marketing portals (such as the ESPC) more or less anyone can download a copy of your Home Report (including your neighbours).

Does the buyer have to accept my Home Report?

No. The buyer is entitled to have their own surveyor carry out an independent survey and valuation carried out but this is rare in practice. However a small number of lenders (banks and building societies) insist that as part of the mortgage application process insist on their own independent valuation. If that is the case, then the valuation will be paid for either by the buyer or their lender and not by you.

 


Passionate about property and providing great service at value for money

Cameron Stephen
Partner with Cameron Stephen & Co solicitors and estate agents Edinburgh
cameron@cameronstephen.co.ukDirect Dial: 0131 555 1296

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