Home Condition Reports
Sellers can top up their Packs voluntarily to include full Home Condition Reports; these reports are based on a professional home surveyor and will be authorised documents. Sellers offering full Home Condition Reports will be more likely to benefit from swifter sales and suffer fewer transaction failures, as accepted offers are much less likely to be re-opened as a result of new information coming to light. The Government is working with stakeholders to facilitate the take-up of the full Home Condition Report.
The Home Condition Report will give sellers a competitive advantage and make their own property stand out from the rest of the market
The Home Condition Report acts as a ‘health check’ for your home and it is similar to a surveyor’s report – which many buyers already get, but only after they put an offer in. It is an objective report on the condition of the property that buyers, sellers and lenders will have a legal right to rely on. Home Inspectors, who carry out the Reports, are required to have suitable insurance and be certified by a Government approved Certification Scheme.
By providing this Report upfront, it will not only give sellers a competitive advantage and make their own property stand out from the rest of the market, but will ensure buyers have the confidence to commit to the property the minute an offer is put in – something they are unable to do if they still have to wait for a survey to be completed.
This means that the time taken for a sale to be completed could be reduced, as all of the legal searches will already be in the Pack and the Report will ensure nasty surprises which could threaten the sale later are avoided. And this could save consumers money.
The Energy Performance Certificate
By following the proposals in the Energy Performance Certificate, the average homeowner could save £300 a year on fuel bills
Energy Performance Certificates are energy ratings for homes similar to consumer-friendly 'fridge ratings' which already exist on fridges and other ‘white goods’, such as dishwashers and tumble-dryers. An Energy Performance Certificate will not only outline the costs of heating, hot water and lighting in homes, but will also give practical advice to potential buyers on how to cut these costs and reduce emissions.
If just one fifth of homeowners made the basic changes set out in their Energy Performance Certificate they could cut carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the roads – not to mention make a combined saving of around £100 million a year on their energy bills. In fact, the Energy Savings Trust estimates that by following the proposals in the Energy Performance Certificate, the average homeowner could save £300 a year on fuel bills.