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Home Report FAQs for Buying a Property in Scotland

home reports for buying property in ScotlandIf you are intending on buying a property in Scotland, you will be able to ask the seller to provide a copy of their home report.

The home report is a legal requirement in most circumstances, where the seller must pay to compile specific information which will help a buyer to confirm whether they wish to proceed with the purchase based on what the report says about the condition, energy efficiency and value of a property.

A home report is compiled using home surveyor services in Greenock or in the area where the intended purchase property is located. There are often a number of questions that buyers will want to ask about the report and its contents, so here are some of the most frequently asked queries.

How is the home report compiled?

The most obvious question that most buyers want to know is what information will be contained in a home report and how it is presented to them.

The home report is an important document that is a legal requirement for most sellers to produce before they can sell their home and there are three key elements within the report itself.

The first part is a single survey. This contains an assessment by a qualified surveyor as to the condition of the property and it also provides a valuation based on current market conditions and the state of repair of the house, if it is expected to affect the value. The report also needs to contain an accessibility audit to cater for any people with special needs who want to access the information.

The second part of the report provides details on the energy efficiency of the property. This includes an assessment of its environmental impact as well as providing an energy efficiency rating, together with any suitable recommendations on ways to improve the current energy efficiency of the property.

The final part of the report is a property questionnaire, which has been completed by the seller of the home. It is intended to cover useful questions and information that should be of interest to a buyer, such as what the Council tax banding is and what arrangements are in place for parking at the property.

What happens if the property has been on the market for a while?

Not every property sells within a few weeks of coming on to the market and some houses, especially those in rural locations, can take some while to attract a buyer.

If you are interested in buying a property that has been on the market for a while, you may want to know how relevant the home report is, if it was compiled some months ago.

In these circumstances, the seller might choose to update the single survey aspect of the report in order to attract a buyer or you might choose to request a refresh of this information, although current legislation does not require the seller to actually update the data if the property is on the market for some time.

Are there any regional differences?

The home report is standard across the whole of Scotland and as from 1st December 2008, any property in Scotland, with just a few limited exceptions such as new-build homes, requires a report to be compiled in order to comply.

There are therefore no regional differences or exceptions and you can expect the same format and contents for a home report regardless of where your intended purchase property is located.

What if the house is being sold privately?

The majority of properties are sold through an estate agent or solicitor, but some sellers choose to advertise their house privately to save on costs.

Section 119 of the Housing (Scotland) Act is very clear about the definition of marketing a house. The act states that  A house is on the market when the fact that it is or may become available for sale is, with a view to marketing the house, made public in Scotland by, or on behalf of the seller. A fact is made public when it is advertised or otherwise communicated (in whatever form and by whatever means) to the public or a section of the public.

What this means is that the seller will still have to produce a home report to comply with the law, so make sure you ask them to provide one if you are interested in buying a home from a private seller.

Buying a property can sometimes be a time-consuming and even stressful event, but with the home report legislation, it has helped to create a system that should make it easier and quicker to get the information you need as a buyer.

Author Bio: Josh Henderson is a property investor. He is always on the lookout for new developments in the real estate field, and when he finds them, he posts about them online. His articles can be found on property investment websites.

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About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

One comment

  1. In the United States, the similar analog is a “home inspection report.” And I could not imagine purchasing a home without having one done.

    However, this is not a legal obligation of the Seller. Rather it is a smart thing to do on the part of the Buyer. A licensed home inspector, selected and contracted by the Buyer, will go through the whole house with a fine tooth comb and generate a written report that details the condition of every conceivable system and feature of the house, and which lists what repairs and remediations are recommended by the Inspector.

    The Buyer then uses that report to (a) decide whether to proceed with the transaction, (b) request pre-closing repairs or asking-price adjustments from the Seller, and (c) further document a mortgage application package.

    Like I said, it’s the smart thing for a Buyer to do. Knowledge IS power.

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