Vendors in Scotland have been warned to beware of internet scams offering Home Reports at ‘too good to be true’ prices.
The warning has been sounded by Eric Curran, managing partner of DM Hall, one of Scotland’s largest independent firms of chartered surveyors.
Home Reports are required by law for anyone selling their home in Scotland.
The price of a Home Report, which should be prepared by chartered surveyors, starts at around £300 plus VAT, based on the value of the property.
Its purpose is to provide potential purchasers with all the relevant information they need if they are thinking about making an offer on a property.
It also provides sellers with information to decide whether or not potential home improvements should be undertaken before they put the property on the market.
The contents of the reports are heavily relied upon by purchaser’s lenders when deciding on mortgage funding.
But a number of recent instances in Scotland have come to light where scammers, impersonating reputable firms of chartered surveyors, have been offering unsuspecting home sellers cut-rate Home Reports over Facebook and other social media platforms.
Curran, who is also chair of the Residential Property Professional Group Board of the RICS, said: “Scammers have been exposed recently for doctoring Home Reports which may have been carried out some years ago and are in the public domain, by re-dating them and passing them off as the recent work of established firms of chartered surveyors.
“They use our name and those of other reputable firms because they recognise that, as panel surveyors preferred by leading lenders, our professional opinion is highly-rated and forms the basis of their lending decisions.
“But when it comes to light that the Home Report in question is fake, lenders will immediately withdraw their offer of finance and the planned sale could collapse, causing serious irritation to everyone concerned; most likely, the house seller will be left out of pocket.”
Curran said the scammers typically offer a Home Report at half the going rate and demand to be paid in cash.
At Scottish Property Centre we only recommend the leading surveyors. If you are looking to instruct a home report for your property get in touch with your local branch today.