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The Home Report: Sellers Survey in Scotland

Martha Lott

Written by

6th Apr 2018 (Last updated on 24th Sep 2021) 5 minute read

A Home Report is a document the seller of a property is legally required to produce in Scotland when putting it on the market and must be made available to all potential buyers. It can cost between £585 and £820 according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

When you’re moving to or within Scotland, the process works differently, such as how you make an offer and how that offer is accepted. The conveyancing process in Scotland also differs from the rest of the UK.

Compare My Move has created this guide to inform you of everything you need to know about the Home Report in Scotland before you book your moving date.

This article will cover the following:
  1. What is a Home Report?
  2. Single Survey
  3. Energy Report
  4. Property Questionnaire
  5. Organising a Home Report
  6. What if the Home Report Highlights Problems?
  7. Learn More About Surveying

What is a Home Report?

One of the biggest differences when buying or selling in Scotland is how a property survey is conducted. In the majority of the UK, surveys are undertaken by the buyer, at their discretion and to a level that they deem suitable. In Scotland, the seller is the one responsible for hiring the chartered surveyor.

As of December 1st 2008, obtaining a Home Report became a legal requirement when selling a house in Scotland. The report is designed to provide useful details about a property which will be highly beneficial for potential buyers. The Home Report is made up of three main elements:

  1. A Single Survey
  2. Energy Report
  3. Property Questionaire

Both the Single Survey and Energy Report must be conducted by a RICS chartered surveyor. The Property Questionaire is completed by the seller. Below we look at each part of the Home Report in detail and why they are required when selling a property.

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Single Survey

The Single Survey is completed by a RICS chartered surveyor and looks at overall structure of the building and any potential issues that may be of some concern for the buyer. This is similar to the Level 2 Property Survey (formerly known as the Homebuyer Report).

This includes an assessment of the property’s condition with notes on areas such as:

  • Age of the property
  • Construction and materials used to build the property
  • Windows
  • Gutters
  • Plumbing
  • External walls
  • Internal Walls
  • Kitchen fittings
  • Bathroom fittings.

The Single Survey will also include considerations for accessibility to the property.

Energy Report

The Energy Report is also completed by a RICS registered surveyor and will assess the energy efficiency of the home. As part of the energy report, you will be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

An EPC is a requirement for all homes in the United Kingdom. As the name suggests, this certificate gives details about how well your home uses and conserves energy. This is given in a rating that is both lettered and colour coded. ‘A’ (light green) being efficient, down to ‘G’ (dark red) being inefficient.

The certificate is useful in two ways. Firstly, it allows you to understand exactly how well the property being sold uses energy. This will give you an indicator of the sort of costs you’ll likely experience on things like electricity and gas.

The certificate also indicates what the rating might be if improvements like draft excluders, double glazing and improved insulation were to be applied. This will give you an idea of what you may need to budget for if moving into a property that needs improvement.

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Property Questionnaire

The property questionnaire element of the report will provide further details for the buyer and must be completed by the seller.

Seller's are required to be honest and accurate when completing the questionnaire, providing as much information as possible with regard to the property.

The nine-page document will include infomation relating to:

  • Alterations and renovations on the property
  • Details of planning permission and building regulations for any work completed
  • Council Tax Banding
  • Parking
  • Any history of flooding
  • Any local authority notices
  • Details of ground rent on the property if it is leasehold
  • Charges for upkeep on any communal areas (if applicable)

If you are unsure of any part of the Property Questionnaire, make sure you consult either your conveyancing solicitor or the surveyor who conducted the Single Survey and Energy Report on the home.

Organising a Home Report

The Home Report is a crucial part of the house buying process in Scotland. Failure to produce the report can result in a fine of up to £500 for not complying with these regulations.

Below, we’ve provided you with a few tips and information for undertaking your own Home Report on your Scottish property.

Who undertakes the report?

The Single Survey and Energy Report will need to be undertaken by a surveyor who is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This will ensure a professional approach to the survey as well as making sure that it ticks all the boxes required by the Scottish government.

If you’re working with a selling agent, such as a solicitor or estate agent, then they should be able to organise the Home Report on your behalf. Yet, if you have not taken this route then you will need to ensure that you find a well-qualified and respected surveyor to undertake the survey for you

How much does a Home Report cost in Scotland?

According to RICS, sellers can expect to pay between £585 and £820 for a Home Report, although the true cost will depend on the size and value of the property.

For more information on the costs involved when selling your house read: What is the Cost of Selling a House in Scotland?

How long does it last?

Once you’ve had your home report written up, you must then put your property on the market within 12 weeks. After this time period, the report will no longer be considered accurate and you will have to pay out for the property to be surveyed again.

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What if the Home Report Highlights Problems?

It’s normal for the report to highlight some issues, especially if your property is older than 50 years. It’s the severity of the issues that may be some cause for concern. We've put together a guide explaining a range of common issues highlighted by surveys and the costs involved in fixing them.

Getting quotes on how much the major issues will take to remedy before putting your house on the market will allow you to price accordingly, letting those that make an offer know that they will be responsible for fixing them once they move. Alternatively, you may want to get the issues fixed before putting your house on the market.

You can find out more with our guide on dealing with the results of a bad survey.

Learn More About Surveying

This is part of our guide to surveying. Next we explore the true costs of a house survey, including how much each survey type will be. To learn more read how much does a survey cost.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.