The purchase of a property is the most significant financial decision most people are likely to make. Prior to going on the market, a property will require a Home Report* and this is the responsibility of the seller. So what is a Home Report and what can a potential buyer take from it?
What is included in a Home Report?
A Home Report should be prepared by a qualified surveyor registered with RICS, who is independent, and contains the following elements:
1. Property Questionnaire
This is completed by the seller or their agent and asks about the present ownership of the property.
2. Single Survey
An assessment of the property’s condition, carried out by an independent RICS registered Surveyor. Repair work will be categorised on a scale of 1-3 which are:
Category 1. no immediate action or repair is needed
Category 2. repairs or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised.
Category 3. urgent repairs or replacement are needed now.
3. EPC – Energy Performance Certificate
An assessment of the energy efficiency of property and recommendations to improve thermal value.
With the sellers consent, all DM Hall Home Reports include a generic Mortgage Valuation Report (MVR). This is not mandatory, however at DM Hall we believe this is the necessary bridge which allows the purchaser’s lender to use information extracted from the Home Report when providing mortgage funds.
Interested in a property – what next?
If you are interested in a property, you can ask the person responsible for marketing it for a copy of the Home Report. They must provide a copy of these documents within nine days. There is no legal requirement to provide the agent with any information in order to view the Home Report although you may need to provide an email address to view the document online.
I have received a copy of the Home Report – now what?
The Home Report provides potential buyers with objective information on the condition of the property for sale. As mentioned above, you will be able to review the property’s condition via the categorisation in the Single Survey, identify the energy efficiency of the property and review the responses to the Property Questionnaire.
I like the property but need extra assurance.
If you are looking for extra information or added assurance, there are a couple of avenues you can do down:
1. Homebuyer Survey and Valuation (Scheme 2)
While this survey is non-intrusive, a Homebuyer Survey and Valuation (Scheme 2) is a more detailed physical inspection and focuses on significant and urgent issues within the property that could affect the market value. You have direct contact with surveyors and they have the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience by providing advice and opinion.
2. Building Survey
Building surveys are particularly useful if you’re buying an older or unusual property, or one that’s in a poor condition. A building survey provides a detailed review of the condition of the property prior to purchasing and it can also provide a planned maintenance programme to ensure maximum performance from the property.
If I purchase the house, will I require any extra reports?
There are a couple of examples where additional reports may be required. Some Home Report providers may not include a Mortgage Valuation Report (MVR). In this case, lenders will request one is done for the purposes of providing mortgage funds.
In addition, mortgage lenders will have a list of approved surveyors who provide Home Reports. If the firm who carried out the Home Report is not on the list, the lender will request an additional survey is carried out by a surveyor who is approved on their list.
A DM Hall Home Report will contain an MVR with the sellers consent and we are widely accepted by lenders.
*in certain cases, a Home Report will not be required. Examples include unsafe properties, Right to Buy homes, Properties to be demolished, Off-plan new builds.