Home Report Explained
A Home Report is a document which provides the reader with information about the value and condition of a property. In Scotland, a home report must contain three sections following government legislation. These are
When was this introduced?
As of December 2008, legislation was introduced which made it mandatory for sellers of property to produce a home report when selling a residential property. The report is to be paid for by the seller.
The purpose of a home report is to make the process of buying a new home more transparent by removing much of the uncertainty over the valuation of a property. It provides the seller with a rough price to accept, and provides the buyer with a rough approximation of what to offer.
A Home Report includes a property questionnaire prepared by the seller of the property, along with a single survey, and also an Energy Performance Certificate prepared by a chartered Surveyor.
Elements of the Home Report
The single survey is a report which provides an account of the condition and value of the property. The intention is that the survey provides both the buyer and the seller with information about the value and condition of the property before offers are intimated.
Condition of the property is split into three categories:
Category 1 – No immediate repair is needed
Category 2 – Repair or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised.
Category 3 – Urgent repairs of replacement are needed now. Failure to deal with them may cause problems to other parts of the property or cause a safety hazard. Estimates for repair or replacements are needed now.
EPC-Energy Performance Certificate
An EPC states the level of energy efficiency of a building. CO2 ratings are provided in bands from A-G. The most efficient being A. The performance of the measured building is benchmarked against recent building standards.
The seller or their agent completes this questionnaire. It provides useful information about the property such as council tax band, along with personal ownership questions such as length of ownership, existing service providers, parking facilities and such like information.
When selling privately, do I need a home report?
If the property has been sold completely off market, i.e. where no advertising has taken place, then a home report is not required. This type of transaction usually arises where a property is being sold among two family members.
However, a private sale is not simply one that doesn’t involve an estate agent. Home report legislation stipulates that ‘when a property is advertised for sale by any means, be it a sign in a window or a board in the garden, then this constitutes an advertised sale for which a Home Report is required by law.’
What is a Refresh Home Report?
A refresh is an updated home report, which is carried out to provide a fresh account of the condition, history and market conditions of the property as at the refresh date. Usually this is necessary when a property has been on the market for some time, and a buyer needs an updated home report to obtain mortgage finance.
When is this required?
Generally, when a home report is more than 12 weeks old, the valuation figure will often not be an accurate representation of the value of the property for the purposes of obtaining finance. There is no legal obligation to do this, but it is generally accepted practice that the seller will organise a refresh home report when required by the buyer.
What is a Replacement Home Report?
A Replacement Home Report is the same as a Refresh Home Report.
A lender will not accept a Home Report more than 12 weeks old, do I have to refresh it every 12 weeks?
There is no legal requirement for a home report to be refreshed every 12 weeks. Technically, a home report does not have a ‘use by’ date, and as such it is not a legal requirement for the property to be inspected evert 12 weeks.
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