We asked Lesley Sorridimi the General Manager of Onesurvey to do some myth busting about Home Reports….
If you have bought or sold a property recently then you will have used a home report, however, even if you haven’t bought or sold a property there’s a good chance you have spoken to someone who has needed a home report, and shared their experience with you… and this is where home report myths often begin.
Home reports have been part of the home buying and selling process for the last ten years and were originally introduced to give buyers more information on a property they were looking to buy.
The report consists of i) a Single Survey – a snapshot of the condition of the property and market value at time of inspection; ii) an Energy Report – which measures the energy efficiency of the property and, finally, iii) the Property Questionnaire – a document to be completed by the seller giving information about the property such as the council tax band and energy suppliers etc.
Considering most homeowners only buy and sell approximately every 10 years, there are still lots of people who have not come across the home report, so here is a quick myth busting guide …
Myth buster No.1 – “The report is only valid for 3 months”
Untrue! There is no shelf life or time limit on a home report. You can use the same home report for years as long as you continuously market the property. This myth is borne from the Lenders. Once a purchaser is found, their lender will often ask for an updated report for lending purposes as they will not accept documents over 12 weeks old. This updated report is known as a replacement and is a lender requirement, NOT a legal requirement.
Myth buster No.2 – “I am required, as the seller, to pay for the replacement report”
Untrue! There is no legal requirement for the seller to pay for a replacement report. The purchaser’s lender has requested the update and therefore it is up to the purchaser to pay for this updated report, however, most sellers are so pleased to find a buyer they willingly take on the additional cost.
Myth buster No.3 – “I’m taking my house off the market for a while, I can just use the same home report if I come back on to the market”
Untrue! You can take a break from marketing for up to 4 weeks, if you take any longer you will need a new home report. For example; you cannot take the property off for a few months and then use the same report and neither can the same home report be used once the property has been sold.
Myth buster No.4 – “I don’t need a home report until an interested purchaser asks to see it”
Untrue! You cannot legally market your property until a home report is in place. Even putting a sign in your window constitutes advertising your property for sale and a home report is required. This myth comes from the legislation which states that a home report must be provided to an interested party within 9 days of their request.
Myth buster No.5 – “I was renting the property out previously so I can just use the Energy Report I have”
Untrue! Unless the Energy Report is less than 12 weeks old and was provided by the surveyor who will carry out the home report. All of the documents within the home report cannot be more than 12 weeks old when you go to market. All surveyors will automatically provide an Energy Report within their inspection of the property. This can be annoying if you already have an energy report which is valid for 10 years but the legislation is clear on the initial home report documents.
I hope you have found the myth busters useful for your future selling experience and if you have any questions about home reports, please feel free to call the Onesurvey team on 0141 338 6222, we would be happy to help.
Note: Onesurvey have provided well over 140,000 home reports throughout Scotland since their introduction in December 2008