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Direct sellers in Scotland risk £500 fine for missing Home Reports

Homeowners selling in Scotland without an estate agent are being reminded that they still need a Home Report.

Scottish surveying firm DM Hall has highlighted a common misconception that Home Reports are not required if you sell your home without the help of an estate agent or solicitor. 

But Steven Dale, a surveyor in the Peterhead office of DM Hall Chartered Surveyors, warns that sellers face a £500 fine if they list a property on the market, even as a private sale, without completing a report.


Since they were introduced in 2008, it has been the responsibility of sellers to provide a Home Report, prepared by a chartered surveyor, before bringing their property to the market.

Dale said: “Apart from the possibility of a swingeing penalty, however, sellers who think it is a smart move to circumvent some of the sale costs may be in danger of, as the old saying has it, ‘cutting off their nose to spite their face.’

“For, while they may consider off-market negotiations will lead to an easy sale, they are discounting the fact that, in most areas of Scotland, lack of supply means that there is intense competition for well-presented and desirable properties.

“So, while they may think they are achieving a good price, what they are actually doing is suppressing competition, especially if the sale goes to a closing date. They will never know what their home could have been worth in open bidding, and could be losing out on tens of thousands of pounds.”

He adds that an agent can help sellers find buyers and get the best price, adding: “Some people may also believe that they will save agency fees by carrying out a do-it-yourself operation, disregarding the fact that these fees are in place for valid reasons such as market expertise, access to pools of potential buyers and local knowledge.

“Whatever the impetus, sellers who are considering going down this route should be very conscious that there is one vital step they must take before starting to put the attractive pictures of their home online. If you are selling in Scotland, you need to ensure that a Home Report is in place.”


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