Questions & Answer
Q: The Single Survey is instructed by the seller. Should I get it checked by another surveyor?
A: There are no hard and fast rules here and it is best to ask your solicitor for advice before you submit an offer. There may be occasions when you, or your solicitor, think that another surveyor might have a different view of the property value or condition. In these cases, it could make sense to instruct a survey on your own behalf either before you submit an offer or after your offer has been accepted. If you want to verify the valuation after your offer has been accepted, your solicitor must ensure that that is an explicit part of your offer.
Q: Will my mortgage lender be prepared to lend on the basis of the Single Survey valuation?
A: If the valuation has been done by a surveyor that is on your lender's approved panel, then probably yes. If, however, the survey was conducted some time ago, your lender may require another valuation survey as an 'update'. And if the surveyor is not on your lender's approved panel, you will have to find another lender or instruct a new valuation survey. If the Home Report was provided by your solicitor, it is likely that the surveyor appointed to provide the Single Survey will be on the panel of all the major mortgage lenders.
Q: I'm prepared to pay more for a property than the valuation on the Single Survey. Can I get the valuation revised? And will my lender accept the higher valuation?
A: A surveyor may be willing to revise the current valuation in the light of demand for the property once it has been advertised. However, you may have to instruct a new valuation survey from an independent surveyor.
Q: I don't understand parts of the survey. Can I contact the surveyor and ask for advice?
A: No, the surveyor is obliged to provide exactly the same information to everyone who views the Single Survey. Since the surveyor cannot guarantee that every prospective buyer will get the answer to your question, he or she cannot answer any questions you have.
Q: Can I ask another surveyor to 'interpret' the Single Survey for me?
A: Not exactly. The other surveyor would probably have to visit the property before he or she could advise you.
Q: How can buyers receive a copy of the Home Report?
A: The buyer should ask whoever is advertising the house for sale for a copy of the Home Report. This is usually the selling solicitor, but could be another business or individual.
Q: Will it cost buyers anything to obtain a copy of the Home Report?
A: No, buyers will receive a Home Report free of charge, although they may have to pay a reasonable charge to cover the costs of copying and postage. If the seller isn't using a solicitor, the buyer should be able to get a Home Report directly from the seller.
Q: 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: The person responsible for marketing a house must provide a copy of any or all of the documents within 9 working days.
Q: 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 in the legislation that insists that the buyer of the house should reimburse the seller for the cost of the Home Report.
Q: 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. A seller does not have to give you a copy of the Home Report if they think:
- You could not afford the house;
- You are not really interested in buying the house;
- You are not a person to whom the seller would wish to sell the house (but this does not allow them to unlawfully discriminate against someone).
Q: What can buyers do if a Home Report is not provided?
A: Buyers should receive a Home Report within 9 working days of requesting it. Sellers may refuse to provide a copy in certain limited cases.
Q: Will the risk of flooding be included in the Single Survey?
A: No, but the Property Questionnaire, which will be made available to all prospective buyers, contains a question asking sellers to confirm whether the property has previously flooded. A buyer can find out if an area could be affected by flooding from either a river or the sea by accessing the Scottish Environment Protection Agency website.
Visit www.sepa.org.uk for more information
Q: Does the valuation in the Single Survey effectively fix the price of my home?
A: There is likely to be an assumption on the part of most buyers that their offer for your home should be close to the valuation in the survey. However, some buyers may be willing to offer over that valuation and then ask for an updated valuation. Their offer would then depend on a surveyor agreeing with the value they place on your home.
Q: Can I ask the surveyor to revise the valuation if I think it underestimates the value of my home?
A: No, once the survey is complete, the surveyor can only make factual changes such as house number or postcode. The surveyor is not free to change the valuation. Your solicitor will provide the surveyor with all the evidence possible to justify the estimate of the likely selling price before the surveyor sees your home.
Q: Can I instruct more than one survey?
A: Yes, if you are not happy with your first survey, you can instruct as many subsequent surveys as you like. Bear in mind, however, that there will be a cost involved.
Q: Can I instruct another survey once I have completed any repairs mentioned in an earlier survey?
A: Yes, you should be able to ask the surveyor who conducted your Single Survey to update it in the light of any repairs you have carried out. There may be a cost, however, for a second visit to your home to verify the repairs have been completed.
Q: How much will a Home Report cost and who pays?
A: The cost of a Home Report will depend on the Single Survey. Generally, the cost of a survey is related to the property value, so the cost of a Home Report will vary according to the value of your home.
It is expected that, as the seller, you will pay for the Home Report. You will find that solicitors have negotiated special rates with surveyors to ensure that Home Reports they provide the best value for money in the market.
Q: Can my neighbour see the Home Report for my property?
A: Not necessarily. You are entitled to withhold a copy of the Home Report from people we do not think are genuine buyers. Your neighbour and other surveyors might be typical examples. These, however, will be the exception and you should assume that most people who ask to see the Home Report for your home will receive a copy.
* Terms and conditions apply – please ask us for more information.