Those selling their house in Scotland will have to commission a form of sellers’ pack from December 1, the Scottish Parliament has announced. The packs, termed Home Reports, will consist of a single survey, an energy report, and a property questionnaire containing information on details like parking and property alterations.
The packs should cost somewhere between £300 and £600, and are designed to provide information for those looking to buy a property.
Communities and Sport Minister Stewart Maxwell said: ‘The Scottish Government has accepted what consultation has established – that the Home Report will make the housing market fairer, greener and much more informed.
‘Buying a house is for most people the largest investment they make in their lives and we believe that the buyer should have good, professional information about its condition and value before making an offer.’
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Those wondering how the new scheme will work will be looking to England and Wales, where the equivalent – Home Information Packs (HIPs) – are now mandatory for all properties. Opinion is split on the effect they had on the market. Some blamed the introduction of HIPs south of the border for upsetting the market last Autumn, although others argued that they had no effect on house prices.
A spokesman for CKD Galbraith, a Scottish property consultancy said: ‘Whilst we are broadly supportive of the proposals, we still have some misgivings over the single survey and its relevance in particular to high value residential and rural properties where comparable evidence may be limited.
‘Ultimately, as market conditions slow it will become even more important than before to take proper professional advice when considering a sale.’
Conservative MSP David MacLetchie voted against the move saying it was the wrong time to introduce such packs: ‘At this time of difficulty for home owners, a market slowing down, capital values falling, it is quite disgraceful that this government should be trying to put this regulatory cost burden on the buyers and sellers of properties in Scotland,’ he said.