How to use a Home Report

In Scotland, sellers are legally obligated to provide potential buyers with a Home Report before putting their property on the market. This is a comprehensive document that plays an important role in the buying and selling process, offering invaluable insights into the condition, value, and energy efficiency of a property. If you are embarking on a journey into the property market, understanding how to use a Home Report effectively is essential to help you make informed decisions. 

What is in a Home Report? 

A Home Report has three key components: 

Single Survey: This is a detailed assessment of the property’s condition conducted by a qualified surveyor. It covers aspects such as the structural integrity of the property, any significant defects or issues, and recommendations for repairs or maintenance. The Single Survey aims to provide buyers with a clear understanding of the property’s current state, helping them assess its suitability and potential costs of ownership. 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): The EPC evaluates the energy efficiency of the property and rates it on a scale from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G the least. It includes information on the property’s energy usage, carbon dioxide emissions, and recommendations for improving energy efficiency. The EPC is valuable for buyers seeking to understand the environmental impact of the property and its potential utility costs. 

Property Questionnaire: The Property Questionnaire is completed by the seller and contains additional information about the property, such as its council tax band, parking arrangements, and any alterations or improvements made. It provides insight into practical aspects of living in the property and can help buyers assess its suitability for their needs. 

How to use a Home Report effectively 

Scrutinise the Single Survey: Pay close attention to the findings of the Single Survey. Look for any red flags regarding the property’s condition, such as structural issues or significant repairs. While some minor issues may be acceptable, it’s crucial to assess whether any major concerns could potentially impact your decision to proceed with the purchase. 

Assess the Energy Performance Certificate: Evaluate the property’s energy efficiency rating and accompanying recommendations. Properties with higher energy efficiency ratings typically incur lower utility costs, making them more economical to maintain in the long run. Consider the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of implementing any suggested improvements to enhance energy efficiency. 

Review the Property Questionnaire: Take the time to review the information provided in the Property Questionnaire. Pay attention to details such as the property’s council tax band, parking arrangements, and any alterations undertaken. This information can offer valuable insights into the practical aspects of living in the property and help you determine whether it aligns with your requirements. 

Seek professional advice: If you are unsure about any aspect of the Home Report or require clarification on certain findings, don’t hesitate to seek advice from qualified professionals, such as solicitors or surveyors. They can offer expert guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, ensuring you make informed decisions throughout the buying process. 


Consider negotiation opportunities: Depending on the findings outlined in the Home Report, you may have grounds for negotiation with the seller. For instance, if significant repairs are required or the property’s energy efficiency rating is low, you could negotiate for a reduction in the asking price or request that certain repairs be addressed before finalising the purchase. 

A Mortgage Valuation Report 

A Mortgage Home Valuation Report is essential in that it provides an overview of the property, but from a purchasers’ perspective. It confirms if the property is suitable security for a lender and is based on each individual lender’s criteria. 

Home Reports are indispensable for both buyers and sellers, providing transparent and comprehensive information about a property’s condition, value, and energy efficiency. By understanding how to interpret and use a Home Report effectively, buyers can make informed decisions that align with their needs and preferences. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned property investor, the insights gleaned from a Home Report can help you navigate the complexities of buying property with confidence.