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  • Andrew MacKenzie
  • March 07, 2018 01:34:23 PM
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A Little About Us

A blog which provides hints and tips and valuable resources about home reports in Scotland. Home reports are mandatory in Scotland when selling your property. The blog discusses all aspects of selling your home and is a valuable resource.

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    The Conveyancing Process Scotland

    Whether you are buying or selling property in Scotland, you will experience a process called conveyancing. It can be a confusing process for buyers and sellers particularly if they are new to buying and selling or if they aren’t used to the Scottish system.  The... The post The Conveyancing Process Scotland appeared first on Home Report...

    Whether you are buying or selling property in Scotland, you will experience a process called conveyancing. It can be a confusing process for buyers and sellers particularly if they are new to buying and selling or if they aren’t used to the Scottish system.  The purpose of this article is to answer some of the questions property buyers and sellers often ask us about the conveyancing process.

    What is Conveyancing?

    Conveyancing is the legal process which takes place after you have agreed often verbally the main details of buying or selling your house. The principle elements are missives, searches and checking title. The various steps in conveyancing ensure that the buyers get what they think they are purchasing, and they help to prevent the buyer from landed with significant costs after they have bought the property.

    Missives

    The contract that contains the terms and conditions of the transfer of ownership from one person to another is called the missives. Missives is an old word for letters and surprisingly it still involves the exchange of letters between the buyers and sellers’ solicitors.

    Searches

    The conveyancing process contains additional searches carried out on the property and on the parties involved in the transaction. It’s the seller’s obligation to prove that they are actually entitled to sell the property. The lawyers check for any outstanding communal repairs and that the property complies with local regulations and wither any alternations are accompanied by the necessary permissions and paperwork.

    Checking Title

    It’s one thing viewing a property and making an offer on it, but how do you know that the property includes all of the grounds surrounding the property. The buyer’s solicitors check the title, carrying out a series of legal checks to make sure that you get what you actually believe you’re buying.

    Stages of the Conveyancing process

    Once the offer is accepted, the buyer and sellers’ solicitors must negotiate the terms of the contract by way of an exchange of missives.  This includes agreeing things like the date of entry and any additional extras like light fittings that should be left in the property.  The seller’s solicitor must send the buyers solicitor the title deeds of the property as well as the search of the land register to show that there is nothing to prevent the seller from selling the property.

    The conclusion of this contract is called the ‘conclusion of missives. The buyer’s solicitor will then ask the buyer to send the required purchase funds to that solicitor’s specific bank account. The buyer’s solicitor will also request any mortgage funds from the mortgage lender where appropriate.

    On the date of entry, the buyer’s solicitor pays the purchase price to the seller’s solicitor. The seller then gives the buyers solicitor the paperwork that facilitates the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. All being well, when the buyer’s solicitor confirms that they are happy with the paperwork, and the seller solicitor confirms they have received the purchase price the transaction is treated as settled. The buyer often picks up keys from the sellers or from the sellers’ solicitors or estate agents and they can begin the process of moving into their new home.

    The final steps in the process are for the buyer’s solicitor to inform the land registers that their client now owns the property and to pay any Land and Buildings Transaction Tax that the buyer has to pay to the government.

    How long does the Conveyancing process take?

    The length of the conveyancing process varies from transaction to transaction and it’s often dictated by the length of time that the seller wants to remain in their property after the agreed sale. On average there is usually six to eight weeks from the sale being agreed to the date of entry. There are some factors which can affect the length of time of the conveyancing process which include:

    The seller not owning the full extent of the property or being legally prevented from selling the property for example if the property is subject to legal proceedings.

    Addition paper work being required in relation to alterations, but being difficult to obtain

    In Edinburgh, Statutory Notices can apply to the property and often require a significant amount of additional legal work to satisfy the buyer and the seller that they are adequately covered in the event of a statutory notice ever being enforced

    Additional anti-money laundering checks being legally required before the property transaction can settle. Occasionally because the buyer hasn’t known or hasn’t disclosed to their solicitor that the source of purchase funds includes coning from a relative or in the case that the seller has decided that the sale proceeds should be paid to a different party.

    How long does it take to conclude missives?

    Since conclusion of missives involves the buyer being contractually bound by the property, the buyer’s solicitor cannot conclude missives until they can be sure that the buyers are able to pay for the property for sale. Most property purchases involve a mortgage. It’s not possible to submit a full mortgage application until the seller has accepted the buyers offer. If the buyers mortgage lender takes six weeks to process the mortgage application and to send out the mortgage offer, it’s highly unlikely that the buyer’s solicitor will be in a position to conclude missives until they have the mortgage offer in their possession.

    If you’d like to more about the conveyancing process in Scotland or have any questions relating to buying or selling a property give us a call on 0131 608 0175 or email us at info@homereportcompany.co.uk and we’ll be delighted to help.

    The post The Conveyancing Process Scotland appeared first on Home Report Company.


    Buying a House in Scotland

    Buying a house or flat may be the most important financial transaction you’ll ever make. It can be complicated but throughout the process your solicitor can help guide you and offer expert advice. There are 7 steps to buying a property in Scotland, though these... The post Buying a House in Scotland appeared first on Home Report...

    Buying a house or flat may be the most important financial transaction you’ll ever make. It can be complicated but throughout the process your solicitor can help guide you and offer expert advice.

    There are 7 steps to buying a property in Scotland, though these steps can vary for example with new build houses.

    Step 1 – Your Finances

    Even before you begin searching for a property it is recommended that you speak to a mortgage lender and agree how much you can borrow. Once you have an idea of the price range that you that you are interested in, you’ll have to arrange a loan. A formal offer can quickly lead to a binding contract, so it is essential that your loan arrangements or other funding are in place. Your solicitor will ensure you understand what it is you are agreeing to before any contracts are concluded. Some solicitors are also mortgage brokers and can assist in arranging a mortgage.

    Step 2 – Finding a Property

    Your solicitor can provide general information on property in the area and use local knowledge to help find a property to suit you. You can also look online, in newspapers or simply spot a for sale sign in the street.

    Step 3 – Noting Interest

    Once you’ve found a property you like, ask your solicitor to note interest with the selling agent. This lets the seller know that you’re interested in the property. It doesn’t restrict the sellers or oblige you to buy but ensures that you are kept informed. Once you’ve noted interest in a property, you’ll be provided with a copy of its home report. This will contain a property questionnaire, a report on the condition of the property and an energy performance certificate. You may also wish to have an independent survey of the property you’re considering, or your mortgage lender may require one. Your solicitor will inform you on the best type of report for the property you’ve chosen.

    Step 4 – Making an Offer

    Your solicitor may be able to advise you of local information and recent sale prices in the area to help you decide how much to offer for a property. They will also prepare the formal offer, sign it on your behalf and submit it to the selling agents. If there are other people interested, the sellers may set a closing date when all interested parties must submit their best offer. If you are the only person interested or if the property is advertised for sale at a fixed price, it may be possible to put in an offer right away. If your offer is accepted verbally it will be followed by a written acceptance by the seller’s solicitor. The written acceptance may contain a number of points about the property which your solicitor will discuss with you in depth.

    Step 5 – Agreeing the Contract

    It may take some time but once all points have been agreed in writing, a binding contract calling ‘concluding missives’ will have been formed. Although you will not have been asked to sign anything at this stage, you will still be bound by the terms of the contract. Your solicitor will make sure that the contract reflects exactly what has been decided and that you understand what you are agreeing to.

    Step 6 – Documents of Ownership

    Your solicitor will check the documents of ownership or ‘title deeds’ and report to you on the description of the property, any rights relating to it and any conditions that will have to be observed by any owner. These conditions can include parking restrictions, a ban on putting up a satellite dish or obligations to pay common repair costs. A new title deed called a ‘disposition’ is required to transfer the title of the property into your name. This is prepared by your solicitor, checked by the seller’s solicitors and signed by the seller. If you have a loan arranged, you’ll sign a mortgage document which gives your mortgage provider certain rights over the property including the right to take ownership if you fail to meet your repayments or other conditions. Your solicitor will advise you about the implications of the mortgage agreement.

    Step 7 – Completion

    Your solicitor will ensure there are no issues with the title of the ability of the seller to sell the property. Then they will request the funds from the mortgage provider to pay the purchase price to the sellers’ solicitors. It’s important to note that there are other costs involved in buying a property in addition to the purchase price such as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). These costs are depending on the value of the property and your solicitor will calculate them for you. The transaction is completed on the date of entry, when the deeds are delivered to your solicitor. The price is paid to the sellers’ solicitors and you get the keys to your new home. Your solicitor can help deal with everything involved in finding a new home from the start of the transaction to the moment you move in.

    So, if you’re thinking of buying a house or a flat the best advice is to see your solicitor before you do anything else.

    Alternatively, if you are looking to sell your property, the first thing you’ll need is a Home Report. We are RICS Charted Surveyors specialising in Home Reports across Scotland from as little as £85. Get in touch today to arrange a time to suit you. We offer early morning or evening and weekend appointments. Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email us at info@homereportcompany.co.uk

    The post Buying a House in Scotland appeared first on Home Report Company.


    Property Selling Tips

    If you’re planning to put your property on the market, you’ll need to get your home looking its absolute best. Follow our simple tips to get it looking ‘sale-ready’ in just a few hours: Declutter Decluttering your home will make a huge difference. It will... The post Property Selling Tips appeared first on Home Report...

    If you’re planning to put your property on the market, you’ll need to get your home looking its absolute best. Follow our simple tips to get it looking ‘sale-ready’ in just a few hours:

    Declutter

    Decluttering your home will make a huge difference. It will allow potential buyers to visualise how they might live in the space. Get rid of piles of boxes, file away paperwork, and make sure all surfaces are clutter free.

    Consider built in storage

    Think about extra cupboards or shelves. Even if you are not particularly DIY savvy, a shelf is a simple option that can help keep spaces ordered and tidy.

    Store items you don’t use

    Pack away toys and clothes into storage boxes. Clearly label each one and place them in the loft until viewings are finished.

    Give your home a deep clean

    Never underestimate the importance of a deep clean. It can make a drab bathroom feel fresh and inviting and give kitchens a new lease of life.

    If you are looking to sell your property, the first thing you’ll need is a Home Report. We are RICS Charted Surveyors specialising in Home Reports across Scotland from as little as £85. Get in touch today to arrange a time to suit you. We offer early morning or evening and weekend appointments. Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email us at info@homereportcompany.co.uk

    The post Property Selling Tips appeared first on Home Report Company.


    Property prices on the rise in East Central Scotland from February to April

    The property market in East Central Scotland saw prices rise by almost 4% in the three months to April with sales also up, rising 8% year on year, the latest figures show. The buoyant market took the average selling price to £245,208, a rise of... The post Property prices on the rise in East Central Scotland from February to April appeared first on Home Report...

    The property market in East Central Scotland saw prices rise by almost 4% in the three months to April with sales also up, rising 8% year on year, the latest figures show.

    The buoyant market took the average selling price to £245,208, a rise of 3.9%, while the number of homes being put up for sale increased by 3% compared to the same period in 2018.

    Selling times

    The data from Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) also shows that the median time to sell in east central Scotland was 26 days during these three months, which was four days slower than last year.

    Sales volume and properties coming to market

    Over the last three months there was a 3% year on year increase in the number of properties coming to market in east central Scotland and a 1.1% increase in Edinburgh. In east central Scotland, there was an 8% increase in sales volume compared to last year, while in Edinburgh there was a 12.9% increase.

    Average selling prices in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders

    In Edinburgh, the average selling price increased by 1.9% to £261,713. One bedroom flats in Abbeyhill and Meadowbank recorded the biggest increase in average selling price, rising by 16.6% to £171,223.

    However, one bedroom flats in Polwarth, Shandon and Tollcross saw prices fall by 19.6% to £161,943. ESPC said that this was largely due to a greater proportion of higher value homes being sold last year. Properties in these areas still achieved 107.2% of their Home Report Properties in West Lothian saw a significant increase in average selling prices, rising by 16.9% to £227,111 and in East Lothian prices increased by 12.3%. Elsewhere prices increased by 6.4% in Dunfermline and by but fell by 5.1% in the Scottish Borders, largely due to a greater proportion of larger homes being sold last year.

    Top selling property types

    The top selling property type over the three months was two bedroom flats in Leith, followed by one bedroom flats in Leith and three bedroom houses in Dunfermline.

    ‘Over the past three months, we have seen another steady increase in average selling prices compared to last year.

    First time buyer flats in Edinburgh remain in high demand

    We have also seen a significant increase in sales volume which is a result of the increase in properties coming to market over recent months,’ said Jamie Fraser-Davidson, business analyst at ESPC.

    ‘While we have seen a slight increase in the number of homes coming to market over the last three months compared to last year, this increase is much smaller than in previous months. It is possible that the continuing uncertainty over Brexit is starting to affect seller confidence. However, the rising selling prices and sales volume indicates buyer demand is still reasonably strong,’ he explained.

    Highest percentage of Home Report valuation achieved

    ‘One bedroom flats in Abbeyhill and Meadowbank, as well as Leith Walk and the surrounding areas, achieved the shortest selling times and the highest percentages of Home Report valuation. This indicates that first time buyer homes in the city are still in high demand,’ he added.

    ESPC chief executive officer, Paul Hilton, pointed out that the high demand for starter homes makes it tricky for first time buyers to purchase a property in the capital. ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s recent announcement of a new scheme to loan first time buyers up to £25,000 to boost their deposit is welcome news, as any policy to assist people get on the property ladder would be’ he said.

    However, this scheme won’t resolve the issue of the lack of housing stock available to meet the huge demand for homes in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. Increased regulation of short-term lets has also been announced, which might reduce the number of short term lets and demand from investors, making it easier for first time buyers to purchase a property, but it may still not be enough to satisfy the strong demand for homes in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas’ he added.

    We offer a quick and affordable home report at a time which suits you with offices throughout Scotland.  Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email us info@homereportcompany.co.uk.

    The post Property prices on the rise in East Central Scotland from February to April appeared first on Home Report Company.


    What is a Home Report in Scotland?

    The Home Report was introduced in Scotland in December 2008. The purpose of the Home Report is to provide potential buyers with upfront information about the condition of the property which will enable them to make informed decisions prior to either viewing, or putting an... The post What is a Home Report in Scotland? appeared first on Home Report...

    The Home Report was introduced in Scotland in December 2008. The purpose of the Home Report is to provide potential buyers with upfront information about the condition of the property which will enable them to make informed decisions prior to either viewing, or putting an offer on for the property.

    The Home Report consists of 3 elements;
    Property Questionnaire,
    Survey
    Energy Performance Certificate (commonly known as an EPC).

    The Property questionnaire is completed by the person selling the property and is contains the majority of information that is useful to potential buyers. It typical includes information about:

    • The properties Council Tax Band
    • Details of any alterations that have been made to the property
    • Any parking arrangements
    • Any additional charges that the buyer may incur such as upkeep of communal areas

    The Survey is carried out by a Chartered Surveyor who is RICS regulated (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). The survey will help potential buyers find out about the condition of the building and, if there are problems, give them powerful ammunition for negotiating the buying price down or asking the seller to rectify the problems.

    The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can be compiled by anyone who is licensed to produce EPC’s. An Energy Performance Certificate is required for properties when constructed, sold or let and provides details on the energy performance of the property and advice on what can be done to improve it.

    There are also certain types of home that don’t need a Home Report. These include:

    • houses that have been on the market since before 1 December 2008
    • new houses that are being sold off-plan or to the first occupier
    • newly converted homes that haven’t been used in their converted state yet
    • right-to-buy homes
    • dual-use homes used for both residential and non-residential purposes
    • seasonal holiday homes that can only be used at certain times of the year (not second or holiday homes you could use all year if you wanted)

    If a home doesn’t need a Home Report, the seller must still give you an Energy Performance Certificate.

    The majority of larger firms of Chartered Surveyors including ourselves, produce Home Reports. They’ll provide both Survey and EPC elements of the Home Report while the property seller inputs the relevant information for the Property Questionnaire.
    Once the individual documents are complete, the surveyors then produce one document that contains all elements of the Home Report. Some non-RICS registered companies will produce Home Reports but they have to obtain the three required elements from different parties before packaging them together into an all-in-one report.

    The post What is a Home Report in Scotland? appeared first on Home Report Company.


    Top Tips to Get the Best Price for Your Property

    All sellers want to achieve the best possible price for their property, to sell in the quickest time possible and achieve the highest price offered. This means using an experienced selling agent who has extensive market knowledge, access to all the most popular selling platforms... The post Top Tips to Get the Best Price for Your Property appeared first on Home Report...

    All sellers want to achieve the best possible price for their property, to sell in the quickest time possible and achieve the highest price offered. This means using an experienced selling agent who has extensive market knowledge, access to all the most popular selling platforms i.e. ESPC, Zoopla, Rightmove etc and experience to negotiate the best offers on your home.

    There are also a number of simple steps that you as a seller can do in order to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

    Here are our top five simple bits of advice to help you maximise your home’s selling price.

    Create a Great First Impression

    Bit of an old cliché but you really don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. It’s so important that the front of your property looks as open and welcoming to buyers as possible. If you have a front garden, make sure that it’s well looked after, and that the lawn has been recently trimmed. Using flowers to add a splash of colour can really brighten up the outside of your home. Even in winter there are hardy but beautiful flowers like heather, viburnum and pansies which can be used to brighten things up and welcome potential buyers.

    Ensure pathways are free from weeds or trip hazards and that wheelie bins are hidden out of sight. If your front door or window-frames are looking a little worn it’s well worth taking the time to give them a lick of paint. If you’re not too handy in the DIY department, you can spend a few extra pounds having someone come out and do it for you.

    Picture Perfect

    When buyers are looking at properties online or in estate agent’s particulars, they make their minds up in seconds. That’s why having the very best photographs of your home is so important. Get the photos right and it could mean higher offers and a quicker sale. Why? Well, because first impressions count.

    Put Yourself in Your Buyers’ Shoes

    Selling a home can be emotional, especially when you’ve lived in a property for a number of years and you’ve developed a real attachment to it but try not to be too sentimental.  Trying to keep the mindset of your buyer in mind is always difficult, but ultimately you are trying to present an image of the house that your buyer will one day live in and the lifestyle that they will enjoy when they have moved their own furniture in.

    Declutter!

    Once you’ve lived in a property for a number of years, you’ll inevitably find that you accumulate a lot of stuff.  You’re not always going to be aware of how much because it’s become almost part of your home. Maybe you can get a friend to give an honest insight? Hide away lots of belongings by asking a friend to look after them, putting them into storage, or just having a good old fashioned clear out! Charity shops will be grateful of any donations that they can re-sell.

    For larger items or unnecessary items of furniture, put them into storage which will also really help to make your home look more spacious and easier for potential buyers to picture how the space will look with their own belongings in place.

    Freshening up the Interior

    You don’t need to start any major renovation or development to make your home more appealing to buyers. Instead, consider freshening up the interior.

    Make your home look light, airy and warm.  Paint parts of walls or doors that are looking jaded, hang mirrors up to give the feeling of space and strategically place extra lighting, such as a lamp, in corners. Clear bins and drains, air the room of any unpleasant odours or stale cooking smells. Try adding fresh flowers or plants throughout the house.

    Pull the curtains right back to let the light in and switch the lights on in dark areas.

     

    We offer a quick and affordable home report at a time which suits you with offices throughout Scotland.  Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email us info@homereportcompany.co.uk.

     

    The post Top Tips to Get the Best Price for Your Property appeared first on Home Report Company.


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