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HIPs lite: Countrywide well placed to introduce Scottish Home Reports south of the border

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Countrywide would be well placed to trial English-style Home Reports, the managing director of one of the estate agency’s Scottish surveyor brands has claimed.

Jim Gibson, managing director at chartered surveyors Harvey Donaldson & Gibson, revealed that he has suggested to both Countrywide and RICS that they follow the example of Home Reports in Scotland and set up trials in England.

He said: “There seem to be a tremendous amount of transactions falling through in England and Wales when something unusual pops up.

“The beauty of the Home Report is that everyone goes in with the same information.

“Countrywide would be well placed to trial English-style home reports.

“Whether they do it in isolation or not is another question. It is probably better to be industry-wide through a body such as RICS.

“I have suggested this but at the moment there is a reluctance to make that change. I would love to come down to England to help introduce this.”

Since 2008, houses for sale in Scotland have had to be marketed with a Home Report. This is a pack of three documents – a single survey, an energy report and a property questionnaire.

At Westminster, the Government is supposedly working on a paper about improving the home-buying process in England and Wales, with some advocating a HIPs-lite style solution.

It comes as the survey by HomeReportScotland, a website set up by Countrywide-owned Harvey Donaldson & Gibson chartered surveyors, found almost 30% of sellers cited the potential for their property to be under-valued as their biggest concern with Home Reports.

A further 19% were worried about the Home Report causing them to lose a sale. Another 12% were most concerned about receiving a Category 3 rating, denoting urgent repairs or replacements needed in the property.

Gibson said: “Our research shows that a significant minority of the sellers have misunderstood the point of Home Reports and their value to people buying and selling homes.

“For buyers, the advantages are obvious in that you get one report which shows you the condition of the property. And if you’re selling your house, the Home Report is a good opportunity to showcase the selling points of your home, and ensure that buyers won’t be dissuaded by unforeseen problems that arise during the sale process.”

A spokesperson for the surveyor later added: “Harvey Donaldson & Gibson is part of the Countrywide Group. However, HomeReportScotland is solely aimed at sellers in the Scottish market and Countrywide has no plans to extend the service beyond the current HomeReportScotland offering in the Scottish market at this time.”

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Source:: HIPs lite: Countrywide well placed to introduce Scottish Home Reports south of the border