Find answers to some frequently asked questions regarding Home Reports in Scotland, including how much they cost and who needs to get one.
What is in a Home Report?
The basic Home Report includes a Property Questionnaire, a Single Survey and an Energy Report which includes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Some surveyors may also provide a Mortgage Valuation Report which will be useful background information for the lender.
How soon after putting my home on the market do I need to produce a Home Report for prospective buyers?
You must provide a copy of the Home Report within nine days of marketing your property.
How long is my Home Report valid for? Do I need to arrange a new Home Report after a specified amount of time?
At the moment there is no legislation which imposes a validity period or a ‘shelf life’ for any of the Home Report documents. Decisions as to whether any aspects of the Home Report need to be refreshed/updated are to be agreed between the seller, buyer and their professional advisers, depending on the circumstances of each case. The refresh is usually just a re-inspection, not an additional survey.
My home has been on the market for sale before Home Reports became mandatory on 1st December 2008. Do I have to provide one?
You do not need to provide a Home Report if your house has been on the market for sale continuously prior to December 1. However, if you take your home off the market at any point from 1st December, and then re-market it, you will need to make a Home Report available.
If your home was on the market before 1st December 2008, you should obtain an Energy Performance Certificate due to legislation from the EU to make an EPC available to any prospective buyer of the house from January 4, 2009.
Do I need a Home Report if I sell my home privately?
Yes, you still need a Home Report. . Under Part 3 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, the person accountable for the marketing the property must provide a Home Report to any potential purchasers. To prepare a Home Report you will need to commission a Chartered Surveyor (or a Home Report provider who will engage a Chartered Surveyor) to carry out the Single Survey and produce the Energy Report. The property owner should complete the Property Questionnaire.
Can I charge a potential buyer to see the Home Report?
As a general rule, you cannot charge prospective purchasers for seeing the Home Report. However, you can make a ‘reasonable’ charge to cover costs for copying and postage if a paper copy is requested.
Who is responsible for assembling the Home Report?
Home Reports can be compiled by the seller's agent or the seller. However, a Chartered Surveyor should provide the Single Survey and the Energy Report. The Property Questionnaire should be completed by the seller, who should have the relevant history of the property.
Can I email or provide a Home Report electronically to a potential buyer?
Yes, but only if they specifically agreed to receive it electronically.
Do I ALWAYS need to provide a copy of the Home Report?
If you are selling your home, you need to commission and provide a Home Report. However, if you or your selling agent doubt the buyer’s ability to purchase the home (eg. They have insufficient means available/is not a genuine buyer), then the duty to provide a Home Report does not apply. If a potential buyer considers they have been unlawfully denied a copy of the Home Report, they have the right to complain to the local authority Trading Standards.
Does the seller or the vendor pay for the Home Report?
Sellers must provide the Home Report. There is no rule stating that the buyer has to contribute towards the cost for the Home Report.
How much does a Home Report cost?
You can find the cost for Home Reports here. Each price quoted is for a Single Survey and an Energy Report. The Property Questionnaire should not involve any costs as it is a document completed by the seller.
How 'old' can the Home Report documents be when the house is put on the market for sale?
Government legislation states that the documents in a Home Report should be fewer than 12 weeks old when the property is put up for sale. A house for sale which has a Home Report can be taken off the market for 28 days without needing a new Home Report.
Do I have to pay upfront for my Home Report?
Some Home Report providers will arrange for payment on completion. It really depends on what deals the Home Report providers in your area can offer. Sometimes this credit facility involves an additional payment.
My Single Survey has discovered that I have wet rot. Do I need to rectify this before putting the house on the market?
This is up to you. There is no legislation forcing sellers to repair faults discovered in the Single Survey.