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What Are Home Reports and Are They Important?

0141 620 0800

When buying or selling a property in Scotland, you will come across the Home Report. This document gives important information about a property to potential buyers. In most situations, a seller is legally required to provide a Home Report when putting their home on the market.

Whether you are a buyer or seller, you are likely to have questions about the Home Report. Here, we provide essential information about this document.

At Claphams Solicitors, we deliver a high-quality residential conveyancing service to buyers and sellers in Glasgow and throughout Scotland. Both parties to the transaction have an interest in making sure the Home Report is satisfactory. For every client, we will review the document and ensure the required information is included and is accurate.

If you have any queries about the Home Report or or concerns about any other aspect of buying or selling a property, we would be delighted to assist. Please get in touch.

What is a Home Report in Scotland?

There is a limit to how much you can find out about a property from viewing it. The Home Report provides buyers with more in-depth information about a home they are interested in buying, such as how energy efficient it is and if any alterations have been carried out. These vital details give a fair representation of the property and help the potential buyer decide whether to make an offer or not.

The Home Report is divided into three sections: the single survey and valuation, the energy report and the property questionnaire.

The single survey and valuation

A chartered surveyor will complete this section of the Home Report. They will inspect the property – including the kitchen, bathrooms, roofing, flooring, internal and external walls, plumbing, electricity and gas supply – and provide their professional opinion on its overall condition. Where required, the surveyor will offer guidance on any urgent or future repairs needed and whether there are any accessibility issues. Taking all this information into account, the surveyor will provide an estimate of how much the property is worth.

The energy report

The energy report, or Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), is also completed by the surveyor. It provides an energy efficiency rating for the property based on an assessment of the home’s insulation and heating conditions. An estimate of the heating and electricity costs is also given. Further, recommendations are provided on how to improve the efficiency of the property and reduce energy bills e.g. advice to install double glazing. 

The property questionnaire

The seller completes this part of the Home Report. It consists of 16 questions about the property and the seller’s use of it. The questionnaire provides information to the buyer about:

  • the length of ownership;
  • any alterations made to the property;
  • the Council Tax banding;
  • the current utility providers;
  • whether it is a listed building or in a conservation area;
  • any parking arrangements; and
  • the responsibility for common areas.

How important is the Home Report?

The Home Report is very important for both buyers and sellers, so you must take care when arranging or reviewing the contents of the document.

For buyers, the report allows you to make an informed decision about whether the property is right for you. If urgent repairs are advised or accessibility issues are highlighted, this may impact your decision. Vitally, the information provided helps to reduce the likelihood of unwelcome surprises further down the line.

It is important to provide full and honest information in the Home Report when selling a property. This means that any problems can be identified and, where necessary, dealt with at an early stage, and that only serious buyers continue with the transaction. This can significantly reduce delays and stress for you as a seller.

How long does it take to do a Home Report?

You can get a quick turnaround on a Home Report, often within a week. Your estate agent will usually handle this process for you, including arranging for the surveyor to visit your property and compiling all the information into the final report. The timescale will depend on how quickly you can complete the property questionnaire. If you are unsure about how to answer any of the questions, your solicitor will be able to advise or find information for you, for example, by reviewing the Title Deeds.

Are Home Report valuations accurate?

The Home Report must meet certain standards, so you can rely on the information provided. However, there are situations in which you might decide to instruct your own surveyor to view the property too. This could be relevant if the property has been on the market for a long time or if your mortgage provider requires an independent survey. If you are uncertain about whether an additional valuation would be beneficial, your solicitor can provide guidance.

When is a Home Report not required?

There are some properties that do not require a Home Report when they are being sold. These are:

  • Homes that have been up for sale since before 1 December 2008
  • New builds that are sold off-plan or to the first owner
  • Newly converted homes that have never been used in their renovated state
  • Homes used for both residential and non-residential purposes
  • Seasonal/holiday accommodation that can only be used at specific times of the year (not including second homes that can be used all year round).

It is important to note that if your home is exempt, you must still provide an EPC when selling.

Contact our Conveyancing Lawyers for Glasgow's Southside: Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee, Eaglesham, Carmunnock, Stewarton & Southside Glasgow

For more information on the Home Report or on any other aspect of buying or selling a property in Scotland, please contact us today on 0141 620 0800 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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Please note we are a firm of Scottish Solicitors helping clients across Scotland and cannot help you if you are based in England.