Seller’s survey introduced

The long, but perhaps not eagerly, awaited system of seller's survey (or Home Reports) was introduced on 1 December 2008 against the background of a stagnant housing market, falling prices and Cassandra or Private Frazer-like wailings from housing market professionals.

The system under which the seller provides a quite detailed (and therefore expensive – between £300 and £800, it is said) report to its prospective purchasers, covering more matters than was usual in the previous system of buyer surveys, is intended to encourage especially the first-time purchaser.  But the professions are worried that sellers will be deterred from putting their properties on the market in the first place, especially if reports have to be renewed to remain current when many properties are taking a long time to sell.

The spokesman for the Scottish Law Agents Society, Ian Ferguson, was quoted as saying "Today is Black Monday. It's the birth of home reports but, quite possibly, the death of the Scottish property market.  I predict that home report costs will become as despised as the Poll Tax."  Whatever, there was no rush to market before the new rules came into effect by sellers anxious to evade the new impost.