By Lesley Gardner
Home Reports are an everyday item for surveyors, but the same cannot be said for most homeowners. With people in Scotland likely to move home only a handful of times in their lives, it is no surprise that homeowners can be a little confused when it comes to the details of what is involved.
Let us just say it pays to get organised. If you are planning to put your Renfrewshire home on the market this Spring, you might be tempted to rush off and organise carpet and window cleaning, invest in some smart home accessories and clear out cupboards.
All these things will undoubtedly help your upcoming sale. But when you have made the decision to sell, you will soon discover that a Home Report is a legal requirement, and it is at that stage you realise that every major physical aspect of your home will be scored on an official 3-point scale by your surveyor.
A Category 1 score means that no immediate action or repair is needed, a Category 2 score that there are repairs or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised, and a Category 3 rating denotes that urgent repairs or replacement are needed now.
How well you have maintained your home will have a significant bearing on your Home Report scores and any valuation provided.
While a mix of scores is not unusual, you need to minimise any category 3 scores. Our highly experienced surveyors regularly identify issues that if managed effectively make the difference between scoring a 1 or a 3 in your Home Report.
It is these scores which your buyer’s lender will look at closely. If the property requires a significant amount of upgrading, a buyer may have money held back from their mortgage to deal with significant repairs which are affecting the market value.
This may delay or discourage viewers who are seriously interested in buying. And if you have your eye on your dream home, you really do not want your sale to be held up. All it takes is a little advance planning.
Here are our Seven Top Tips to help you achieve the best Home Report scores for your property.
- Repair damaged rainwater goods (gutters, downpipes and so on).
- Replace loose/broken slates & check flat roofs for damage and leakage.
- Check any rendering is in good condition.
- Check your windows, doors, and eaves’ joinery is in good order.
- Ask a reputable electrician to check over your fuse box and electrics.
- Have your boiler serviced if it has not been looked at in the last 12 months.
- Ensure your home is clean, presentable and that the décor is in good order.
A reputable selling agent or solicitor will be able to advise you on any other practical and aesthetic aspects of showing your property off to best effect – both for photography, virtual tours and live viewings.
But, if you attend to the above before you come to market, you will stand a great chance of scoring top marks – paving the way to a thumbs up from the bank and a speedy move to your next home.
Lesley Gardner is a Director in the Paisley office of DM Hall, one of Scotland’s largest firms of independent chartered surveyors.