Do I need a HCR & What are the Benefits?
The Home Condition Report is not a compulsory part of the Home Information Packs. Therefore sellers do not need to purchase one - and at a cost of anywhere between £250-£1000 you may think anyone who chose to buy the option HCR was mad! According to the Government though there are many benefits to having a Home Condition Report.
What is a Home Condition Report?
A Home Condition Report is a report which details the physical condition of your house. It is presented to the buyer who can then assess whether they want to buy the property, having all the information they need at hand.The problem the Government face is convincing the owners that it is worthwhile paying the extra money for a Home Condition Report - especially since having to pay for the Home Information Pack in the first place is a contentious issue.
What are the Benefits?
The Government claims the seller who provides a Home Condition Report has much more chance of selling his or her house than the seller who chooses not buy one. If the seller can provide a report which states there is no problems with the house the buyer may feel more secure in purchasing it. Without the HCR the buyer may worry there are hidden problems.
The Government also claim there will be less risk of delays or last minute withdrawals i.e. the dreaded gazumping because the buyer will have all the information already. It is unlikely he or she will back out of the deal having discovered something he or she does not like because all the information will have been given the details of the condition of the property at the start.
The other benefit of the Home Condition Report is that it give the seller a 'heads up'. In other words the buyer can have the HCR completed and see what changes he or she can make to the property to make it more sellable. The Home Condition Report can then be updated to prove the house is in tip top condition. This gives the home owner to eradicate problems they may have known nothing about.
Even if you don't have problems at the moment a Home Condition Report can identify possible problems that may arise in the future. This gives the owner the chance to install preventative measures thereby saving themselves the cost and hassle of having to correct the problems when they occur.
Home Condition Reports obviously have there benefits. It cannot be denied that Home Condition Reports will provide transparency for buyers and will help sellers to market their houses clearly. However whether or not home owners will see these benefits as being worth the hefty price tag remains to be seen.
As of December 14th all properties will require a HIP when they are put on the market. At the moment homeowners just need to commission the pack but as of June 1st 2008 the packs must be completed and ready to give to the buyer before the house is marketed. It seems therefore that in the second half of next year we will see whether or not HCRs are being taken up.