Surveys and reports

Surveys and Reports in Scotland  

The process of buying or selling a property involves a number of different stages. Not only that, it also involves a lot of paperwork for both the buyer and seller. Some of these documents will contain very important information and will have a large impact on how you go about buying or selling a property.

Here we provide an overview of the important documents involved in the sale and purchase of a property. Many people believe that the paperwork related to buying or selling their home is too complicated. We aim to make it easy to understand and set out here a simple guide on what each of the documents is and how they are related to the purchase or sale of a property.

The Home Report

The Home Report is very important. The idea behind it is to provide buyers and sellers with enough information so that any questions that they have about a property are answered.

What is in the Home Report?

The Home Report is made up of three different documents:

  • A Single Survey

The Single Survey is a detailed account of the condition that a property is in. It will take the condition of the property into account and will set out an estimate of the market value of the property at a given time.

It will also detail any part of a property that is in need of repair and the neighbourhood that the property is located in. This can be very important for buyers who are looking at what local amenities will be available if they decide to purchase the property. The Single Survey is quite comprehensive and will also detail the availability of electricity, gas and the quality of drainage for the property.

The Single Survey will have an impact on the price that sellers should expect to be paid for their property. Many sellers may decide to make changes to their property in line with the findings of the Single Survey to maximise its desirability to potential buyers.

The Single Survey must be carried out by a professional Surveyor.

  • The Energy Report

The Energy Report will detail how efficient the property is in terms of its use of energy, e.g. whether or not a property allows energy to escape from it. The Report will also detail any recommended ways to improve the efficiency of the property. This can include:

  • Suggestions that roof insulation is provided to keep heat inside the property;
  • Recommendations that the walls are insulated; or
  • Queries as to whether underfloor insulation should be considered.

The Energy Report will also set out the environmental impact of a property, e.g. its carbon footprint. It will include recommendations for ways to reduce the impact that a property has on the environment.

Like the Single Survey, the Energy Report will also be carried out and compiled by a Surveyor.

  • The Property Questionnaire

The Property Questionnaire is designed to provide buyers with detailed information about the property. It will include details such as the local council tax rate for the property, the arrangements for parking or any factoring costs that a buyer will need to be aware of.

The Property Questionnaire is unique in that it is the seller who will fill it out.

Who is responsible for getting the Home Report?

While the components of the Home Report will be completed by different people, by law it is the seller’s responsibility to organise the compiling of the Home Report.

What if the Home Report identifies problems with a property?

The Home Report, particularly the Single Survey and the Property Questionnaire, may detail some problems with a property, e.g. damp or structural repairs that are needed. By law a seller is not obliged to complete these repairs but their need has to be communicated to potential buyers.

It is also very important that the Property Questionnaire is completed honestly by sellers. Prospective buyers who are considering making an offer on a property are entitled to rely on the Home Report, and any inaccuracies could result in costly disputes.

What is the cost of the Home Report?

The cost of the Home Report will depend on the size of a property, and this will normally be set by Property Surveyors. It is possible to approach different Surveyors to compare costs of the Energy Report and the Single Survey. As the Property Questionnaire is completed by the seller it is unlikely to cost anything.

A Home Report will not cost anything to prospective buyers, as it is the responsibility of the sellers to have it prepared.

What happens when the Home Report is completed?

After the Home Report has been completed and a seller decides to market their property for sale, they will need to have a copy of the report available for prospective buyers who are interested in their property. This will then be provided to buyers so they can appraise the price of the house and decide whether or not they want to make an offer to buy the property.

The Home Report is a very important document for both buyers and sellers in the context of selling a property. It details everything that a seller has done to the property for the period that they have owned it, its value, and all other important information that buyers will need before they will seriously consider making an offer.

Contact our Property Team in Glasgow

At Miller Samuel Hill Brown our residential property team are available to here to help with the process of buying and selling a property. Whether you are considering moving to a new home, or are looking to make your first step onto the property ladder, we can help you. Our Property team will work in partnership with you.

Please contact our property solicitors on 0141 221 1919.

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