• Compare agents
  • Online valuation
  • Explore my area
  • Home toolkit
  • News & guides
  • Estate agents by area
  • Sold house prices by area
Estate agents by area
Search by Location or Name
  • Selling guides
  • Estate agent guides
  • Mortgage advice
  • Conveyancing guides
  • Property news
  • See All News & Guides
Sign in
Agent shortlist
© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. Selling in Scotland: Home Reports Explained
Help for first time sellers
09 September 2020

Selling in Scotland: Home Reports Explained

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher
A young boy in yellow jumper and green wellies jumps into puddles in Scotland

Table of contents

  1. 1. What is a Home Report?
  2. 2. Why do you need a Home Report?
  3. 3. What's included in the Home Report?
  4. 4. How do I get a Home Report?
  5. 5. How much does a Home Report cost? (And who pays for it?)

What is a Home Report?

In Scotland, a Home Report is a document that provides information about the condition, energy efficiency, and value of a property.

The Home Report is designed to provide all the info a home buyer might need to decide which property they want to purchase.

If you're selling your home you'll need to put a Home Report together as part of the marketing materials. And, if a buyer asks to see it, you'll have to make sure they get a copy within 9 days of their request.

Why do you need a Home Report?

Home reports were introduced in Scotland in 2008 as a compulsory part of the home sale process, in an attempt to provide more accurate and transparent information for buyers. Now, all homes being sold are required to have a Home Report before they go on the market.

If you try and sell your property without a Home Report, you can be fined up to £500.

Some types of properties don't need a Home Report, but these are fairly rare. The exceptions include:

  • Houses that have been on sale since before 1 Dec 2008

  • New homes that are being sold 'off plan', or have never been lived in before

  • Newly converted properties that haven't been used yet

  • Dual-use properties - for example, a shop with a flat above it

  • Seasonal holiday homes that can only be used at certain times of the year

  • A property bought through the Right to Buy scheme

  • Flats that aren't fit to live in, or are going to be demolished

Note: Even exempt properties will still need to have an Energy Performance Certificate done before they can be sold.

You're also able to choose not to give a buyer your Home Report if:

  • You don't believe the buyer is seriously interested

  • You don't believe the buyer has enough money to purchase the property

  • You would prefer not to sell to that buyer

However, you must be very careful about choosing not to give someone your Home Report. You must have a legitimate reason to believe the buyer is not an acceptable candidate. You're not allowed to discriminate on illegal grounds (such as: race, gender, sex, marital status, disability, or religion).

If someone believes you've withheld the Home Report from them without good reason, they are within their rights to complain to their local Trading Standards Office, and you may be fined.

If you're unsure, it's always best to talk to your selling agent first. They'll be able to provide advice tailored to your specific situation.

Unsure which agent to work with? This comparison tool can help. Pop in your postcode to check out which agents are the top-performers in your area. See which agents could get you the best price, along with reviews from people who've worked with them recently. Try it for free now.

What's included in the Home Report?

Home Reports typically include 3 main parts:

  • A Single Survey & Valuation

  • Property Questionnaire

  • Energy Report

Each section provides detailed information about your property, which potential buyers will use to help them make an informed decision about making an offer.

Single Survey & Valuation

The Single Survey section provides information on: the condition of the property, a estimation of how much it's worth, and an accessibility audit for people with particular needs.

The survey should be conducted by a licensed surveyor, and is generally just a visual inspection of the property. From this visit they'll assess the condition of different elements of your house using 3 categories:

  • 1 - No immediate repair / good condition

  • 2 - Will need attention in the future

  • 3 - Urgent repairs needed / risk to safety

If your Home Report returns with any urgent repairs, it may be worth fixing these before you put your house on the market. Some buyers can be put off by large, and potentially costly work on a property, or they might ask for a discount on the asking price.

Property Questionnaire

The second section of the Home Report is the Property Questionnaire, which you'll fill out with the help of your selling agent or conveyancer.

It provides information on 16 different categories, including:

  • The property's council tax band

  • Any issues that may have affected the home in the past, like fire damage, or asbestos

  • Any alterations or extensions

  • Information on any notices that might affect the home

  • Parking arrangements

  • Any charges for the upkeep of communal areas

If you're unsure about what information to provide at any stage, make sure you double check with your conveyancer or selling agent. Information provided in the questionnaire has to be as accurate and honest as possible, or you could face legal issues in the future.

Energy Report

The final section of the Home Report is the Energy Report. This report provides information about your home's energy efficiency, in the form of an Energy Performance Certificate (also known as an EPC).

The higher the rating your property gets on this section, the more energy efficient it is. This is particularly appealing for potential buyers, because a high rating also means lower energy bills.

This section will also provide more detailed info on how well insulated your property is, how it's heated, it's estimated carbon dioxide emissions, and recommendations on how you could improve the property's energy efficiency.

How do I get a Home Report?

If you've hired a selling agent to help you, they'll be responsible for putting the Home Report together, and giving it to any interested buyers.

The Single Survey and Energy Report sections must be carried out by a qualified surveyor, so if you're not selling with an agent, you'll have to find and commission your own surveyor. The first place to look for one is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website (RICS), which provides lists all the registered surveyors in your area.

How much does a Home Report cost? (And who pays for it?)

Home Reports usually cost between £500-£700 plus VAT (depending on size and value of your property), and are paid for by the homeseller.

You are allowed to charge people a small amount if they request to see the report. This is to help cover some of the cost, and it puts off buyers from just 'window shopping'.

If a buyer is applying for a mortgage, they might have to get a new valuation done by their chosen lender. Additionally some buyers will want to have a second opinion survey done by a surveyor of their choice. In these cases, the buyer will need to cover the costs.

Avoid paying more to include a 'mortgage valuation' in your home report. You're not obligated to include one, and most lenders in Scotland will usually want to use their own surveyor anyway, so they won't end up using it.

You'll find more information on selling a property in Scotland on our blog. Head there now.

Thinking about
selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

Thinking about
selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

Ready to compare agents?

It takes 2 minutes. 100% free. No obligation.

Related posts
What does guide price mean?
What does guide price mean?
Selling Tips
What does 'guide price' mean?
What are guide prices and how do different price points influence the offers you get from potential buyers?
Read more
The Estate Agent comparison site
GetAgent Facebook iconGetAgent Twitter icon

For agents

  • Login
  • How to join

Get in touch

020 3608 6556

Our lines are closed

We are a company registered in England & Wales, company number 09428979.

Privacy policyTerms of use

Copyright © 2024 GetAgent Limited