Questions for Buyers

Q: The Single Survey is instructed by the seller. Should I get it checked by another surveyor?

A: There are no hard and fast rules here and it is best to ask your solicitor for advice before you submit an offer. There may be occasions when you, or your solicitor, think that another surveyor might have a different view of the property value or condition. In these cases, it could make sense to instruct a survey on your own behalf either before you submit an offer or after your offer has been accepted. If you want to verify the valuation after your offer has been accepted, your solicitor must ensure that that is an explicit part of your offer.

Q: Will my mortgage lender be prepared to lend on the basis of the Single Survey valuation?

A: If the valuation has been done by a surveyor that is on your lender's approved panel, then probably yes. If, however, the survey was conducted some time ago, your lender may require another valuation survey as an 'update'. And if the surveyor is not on your lender's approved panel, you will have to find another lender or instruct a new valuation survey. If the Home Report was provided by Inksters you can be sure that the surveyor appointed to provide the Single Survey will be on the panel of all the major mortgage lenders.  

Q: I'm prepared to pay more for a property than the valuation on the Single Survey. Can I get the valuation revised? And will my lender accept the higher valuation?

A: A surveyor may be willing to revise the current valuation in the light of demand for the property once it has been advertised. However, you may have to instruct a new valuation survey from an independent surveyor.

Q: I don't understand parts of the survey. Can I contact the surveyor and ask for advice?

A: No, the surveyor is obliged to provide exactly the same information to everyone who views the Single Survey. Since the surveyor cannot guarantee that every prospective buyer will get the answer to your question, he or she cannot answer any questions you have.

Q: Can I ask another surveyor to 'interpret' the Single Survey for me?

A: Not exactly. The other surveyor would probably have to visit the property before he or she could advise you.

Q: How can buyers receive a copy of the Home Report?

A: The buyer should ask whoever is advertising the house for sale for a copy of the Home Report. This is usually the selling solicitor, but could be another business or individual.

Q: Will it cost buyers anything to obtain a copy of the Home Report?

A: No, buyers will receive a Home Report free of charge, although they may have to pay a reasonable charge to cover the costs of copying and postage. If the seller isn't using a solicitor, the buyer should be able to get a Home Report directly from the seller.

Q: How quickly must a seller or their agent comply with a request by a prospective buyer for a copy of any or all of the Home Report documents?

A: The person responsible for marketing a house must provide a copy of any or all of the documents within 9 working days.

Q: If I buy the house, do I have to pay the seller back for the cost of the Home Report?

A: This is a matter between the buyer and seller. There is nothing in the legislation that insists that the buyer of the house should reimburse the seller for the cost of the Home Report.

Q: Are Home Reports required across Scotland?

A: Yes. All houses marketed for sale in Scotland will require a Home Report, with only a few exceptions. A seller does not have to give you a copy of the Home Report if they think:

  • You could not afford the house
  • You are not really interested in buying the house
  • You are not a person to whom the seller would wish to sell the house (but this does not allow them to unlawfully discriminate against someone)

Q: What can buyers do if a Home Report is not provided?

A: Buyers should receive a Home Report within 9 working days of requesting it. Sellers may refuse to provide a copy in certain limited cases.

Q: Will the risk of flooding be included in the Single Survey?

A: No, but the Property Questionnaire, which will be made available to all prospective buyers, contains a question asking sellers to confirm whether the property has previously flooded. A buyer can find out if an area could be affected by flooding from either a river or the sea by accessing the Scottish Environment Protection Agency website.

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