Selling a Property in West Lothian: What is a Home Report?

Published: 25/04/2023

If you are looking to sell your home or any property in West Lothian, or Scotland in general, then you will probably hear about a home report. This is a legal requirement for any property on the market in Scotland, and will be used by potential buyers.

What is a Home Report

A home report is a document that notes the condition of various aspects of a property prior to its sale. It includes a valuation of the property which is used by estate agents when placing it on the market.

Home reports are carried out by a surveyor who will visit the property and make an assessment. Many estate agents will be able to recommend surveyors to their clients, minimising the hassle for sellers.

Once the surveyor has inspected the property, they will compile a record of its condition. This is used to inform the valuation they give.

Stages of a Home Report in Scotland

Home reports have three separate parts.

Home Report Stage 1: Single Survey and Valuation

As mentioned above, the first part of a home report involves a surveyor visiting a property to complete an inspection. They take note of things like the property’s condition, accessibility, and things requiring repairs.

The condition of various features of the property are ranked from 1 to 3. If something scores a 1, then it is considered to be in good condition that doesn’t require attention or work. Scoring a 2 means that repairs may be needed in the coming years, but they are not urgent, and a 3 signifies repairs are required immediately.

Top tip for buyers: Take serious note of the required repairs and factor them into your budget. Make sure that they are affordable alongside your best offer!

Home Report Stage 2: Property Questionnaire

As well as telling buyers about the condition of the property, a home report will also include a questionnaire to tell buyers other useful information. For instance, any extensions or changes made to the structure, and things that have caused problems to the property like flooding or fire damage.

Home Report Stage 3: Energy Report

The final stage of a home report contains information about the energy efficiency of the property; an important consideration for many people in West Lothian today.

This is helpful for buyers to understand things like insulation and how much they should expect to pay for things such as lighting, hot water and electricity.

Do I Need to Provide a Home Report?

In general, all sellers in West Lothian will have a legal requirement to provide a home report to potential buyers. This has to be given within 9 days of it being requested by an interested buying party.

However, there are certain circumstances under which the seller does not have to provide the home report. These are:

  1. The buying party isn’t serious about purchasing the property.
  2. The buyer does not have the required amount of money to purchase the property.
  3. The seller does not want to sell to that particular individual.

Does My Home Need a Home Report?

The vast majority of homes going on the market in West Lothian need a home report. However, if a property meets particular conditions then it may not need one. For instance:

  1. Holiday homes that are usable only seasonally - not all year.
  2. Homes that have been recently converted and have yet to be used.
  3. Homes on the market prior to 1 December 2008.

Uses of a Home Report

Although the primary use of a home report is typically to provide information to potential buyers, it has other uses.

Estate agents will use the valuation given by the surveyor to guide the opening price they market the property at.
Also, mortgage lenders use home reports to inform any lending arrangements. They will use the home report alone to inform all lending with potential buyers.

If you require further information on what’s involved with a home report then have a look at the page on the government website.

If you are putting your West Lothian property on the market and require a home report, get in touch and we would be happy to help and put you in contact with a trusted surveyor.