What is a Home Report?
A Home Report is a new document designed to provide buyers with more information about homes they are thinking of buying before they submit an offer. You, or more likely your selling solicitor, will be required to have a copy before your home is advertised for sale and to make a copy available to interested buyers of your home.
The Home Report includes three separate reports; a Property Questionnaire; a Single Survey; and an Energy Report.
The Property Questionnaire
The Property Questionnaire asks you to answer questions about your home that only you are likely to know.
Have you, for example, installed new replacement windows, or added an extension? Do any of your neighbours have the right to walk across your property to empty their bins? As far as you know, has your home ever had a problem with rot? These are the sort of questions you will be asked to answer.
While many of them will be straightforward, you may not be clear about the answers to others. In some cases, your answer could raise questions at the conveyancing stage that should be dealt with now. If, for example, you made an alteration to your home, you will need to show that you obtained a building warrant if one was required and that you got planning consent if necessary. If you don't have these documents, then this is the time to take remedial action. If you are in any doubt, the solicitor you appoint to sell your home will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
The Single Survey
The Single Survey is a detailed survey of your home conducted by a qualified surveyor. It will also provide an estimate of market value.
The survey will list the main features of your home and give an assessment of condition for each one on a scale from 1 = no repairs necessary, to 3 = urgent repairs or replacement are needed now.
If the survey for your home features a category three repair, you might want to consider carrying out the repair yourself before putting your home on the market. However, that may not always be the best solution. You can rely on your solicitor to advise you on whether it is better to repair or to sell your home as it is.
You can also expect your solicitor to appoint a surveyor on your behalf who is familiar with, and sympathetic to, your area.
The Energy Report
The Energy Report provides a measure of how energy efficient your home is, in much the same way that dishwashers and other electrical appliances now display an energy rating.
The report, which will be conducted by the surveyor who provides the Single Survey, also provides information on how you or any buyer could improve the energy efficiency of your home.