Frequently Asked Questions for Buyers
Q1 - What documents are included in the Home Report?
A - The Home Report will include a Single Survey, an Energy Report (including an Energy Performance Certificate) and a Property Questionnaire.
In addition surveyors may provide a generic Mortgage Valuation Report that answers many of the questions that lenders will have about a property. This is not a prescribed document, but will be offered to sellers by the surveyor who carries out the survey. This may be useful in any discussions with lenders about a prospective purchase.
The successful buyer will also receive a mortgage valuation in their lender's preferred form.
Q2 - How can buyers receive a copy Home Report?
A - A prospective buyer should ask whoever is advertising the house for sale for a copy Home Report. This is usually an estate agent/solicitor, but could be another business or individual. If the seller isn't using an estate agent/solicitor, the buyer should be able to get a Home Report directly from the seller.
Q3 - Will it cost buyers anything to obtain a copy Home Report?
A - There is not a charge for the Home Report, but the person selling the house may make a reasonable charge to cover costs of copying and postage. If a prospective buyer thinks the charges are not reasonable they may complain to their local authority Trading Standards department, which has responsibility for enforcement of Home Report duties.
Q4 – What information will I be asked to provide to get a copy of a Home Report?
A – There is no legal requirement to provide a seller or selling agent with any information in order to view a copy of a Home Report. However, some selling agents may request an email address when viewing a Home Report online. Some selling agents may also request that you book a viewing for the property before they provide a copy but they cannot refuse to provide a copy if you do not agree to a viewing.
Q5 - How quickly must a seller or their agent comply with a request by a prospective buyer for a copy of any or all of the Home Report documents?
A - A person responsible for marketing a house must provide a copy of any or all of the documents within nine days.
Q6 - Can I get a copy of the Home Report electronically?
A - Many sellers and agents will make the Home report available electronically. You will be asked to confirm that you are willing to receive an electronic copy rather than a paper copy.
Q7 - What can buyers do if a Home Report is not provided?
A - Buyers should receive a Home Report within nine days of requesting it. Sellers may refuse to provide a copy in certain limited cases. These are where the seller believes that the person making the request:
could not afford the house
is not really interested in buying the house
is not a person to whom the seller would wish to sell the house (but this does not allow them to unlawfully discriminate against someone
If a buyer believes that they are being denied a copy of the Home Report unlawfully, they may complain to their local authority Trading Standards department, which has responsibility for enforcement of Home Report duties.
Q8 - If I buy the house, do I have to pay the seller back for the cost of the Home Report?
A - This is a matter between the buyer and seller. There is nothing is the legislation that insists that the buyer of the house should reimburse the seller for the cost of the Home Report.
Q9 - Are Home Reports required across Scotland?
A - Yes. All houses marketed for sale in Scotland will require a Home Report, with only a few exceptions.
Q10 - How can I tell if the house I am interested in buying has previously been affected by flooding?
A - You should check Question 9A of the Property Questionnaire in the copy Home Report that you have been provided with. You can also check on the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency's website.