Home sellers urged ‘don’t go round the houses’

A Home Report is required by law for almost all residential properties put on the market for sale in Scotland.

The campaign has been welcomed by consumer champion Which? following concerns about variations in price and advice from solicitors and estate agents since the Home Report was introduced in December 2008.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that buyers are sometimes charged as much as 50% more in commission for a Home Report if they get one through their solicitor or estate agent, rather than instructing their own Home Report from a surveyor, but that many sellers are not aware that this is the case.

RICS Scotland has launched a new website, http://www.dontgoroundthehouses.com, which provides a comprehensive guide to Home Reports including advice on how to prepare for them, how much they cost, how they work and where to go get one.   It also provides a directory of surveyors who can provide the service.

Posters supporting the campaign will appear on the backs of buses and on bus shelters in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as in Scottish newspapers, magazines and on property-related websites.

Graeme Hartley, Director of RICS Scotland said:

We launched this campaign because we were concerned about reports from our members telling us that some buyers were paying over the odds for their Home Report with the estate agent or law firm pocketing the difference.

"You wouldn’t employ a decorator to fit your boiler so why go to a third party to arrange your Home Report.  A surveyor who is a member of RICS can provide a Home Report at the best possible price.  Our new website spells out all the advice and information needed and makes it as simple as possible for clients."

Julia Clarke, Principal Public Affairs Officer, Which? added:

Which? welcomes this new website as a chance for the public to benefit from best value when they’re selling their home. People should realise they don’t have to purchase a Home Report from a third party like an estate agent. All Home Reports are carried out by RICS surveyors and we advise people to shop for the best price.

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