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Home Condition Reports – What’s the Point?

Some years ago, as part of the Home Information Pack (HIP) debacle, the Home Condition Report (HCR) was created. The intention, at that time, was for this report to form a fundamental part of the HIP and effectively provide property buyers of residential properties, an MoT type report detailing serious defects which as a buyer they may well be interested in.

Unfortunately the HCR was dropped from the HIP and this was the start of the demise of the whole system in my view. However the HCR is not dead and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have latterly launched the RICS Home Condition Report which is intended to fulfill the same role as that which was included within the HIP, however it is not mandatory to have one. In essence though, in our view, this product remains to be a very useful tool for property sellers and indeed buyers and below we provide some reasons why.

FOREWARNED IS FORE ARMED

The HCR is commissioned by the seller and should provide them with some very useful information in advance of them marketing their property. The report can help them in the following ways:

a) The seller can address the defects found and ensure they are repaired before a Buyer’s Surveyor points them out. This can help prevent a lot of lost time and effort, both on the part of the seller but also the buyer. There’s little point in putting your property on the market, spending lots of time and effort, not to mention monies, only for 3 months down the line a Surveyor to find a problem which can lead to a lost sale and wasted effort to that point. Get the report, undertake the works, keep the receipts and guarantees, provide all this information & evidence to your buyer to show good faith.

b) You can adjust the marketing price to reflect the works required, rather than undertaking them yourself. Again being open and honest at the outset with buyers, providing them a copy of the report and explaining why (for instance you thought they may prefer to complete the works to their own style/taste) you didn’t repair the defects found.

c) Lastly, not something we recommend, you cover up the defects found in the hope that the buyer will not spot them and hopefully neither will their Surveyor. This is a risky strategy and can result in your having a lot of problems down the line, in particular if it can be proven that you purposefully misled the buyer.

Attached is a link to an RICS Home Condition Report so you can see what you would be getting. Remember, always seek the advice of a suitably qualified property professional, such as a Chartered Surveyor, before making any decisions in respect of buying and/or selling property. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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