Beware of online Home Report Scams
DM Hall one of Scotland’s largest independent firms of Chartered Surveyors has issued a warning to people selling their houses in Scotland to be guarded and cautious of internet based offers of cut price Home Reports.
A number of recent instances in Scotland have come to light where scammers impersonating reputable firms of chartered surveyors have been offering vendors Home Reports at attractively low prices over Facebook and other social media platforms.
Home Reports are required by law for anyone selling their home in Scotland. They are intended to provide potential purchasers with the relevant information needed about a property when they are considering making an offer and it allows sellers to decide whether or not they should make home improvements before they put the property on the market. Home reports are also relied upon by lenders when deciding on mortgage funding.
The price of a Home Report prepared by a chartered surveyor starts at around £300 plus VAT based on the value of the property.
The scam warning has been made by Eric Curran, the managing partner of DM Hall and the chair of the Residential Property Professional Group of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). He 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.”
Mr Curran says the scammers typically offer a Home Report at half the going rate and demand to be paid in cash. He went on to say “Wise homeowners should have nothing whatsoever to do with them or accept that they are about to become a victim. Alternatively they should seek the guidance and advice of a firm whose members are regulated by the code of conduct of the RICS.”
At the Estate Agency Department of Mitchells Roberton we only recommend the leading surveyors. If you are looking to instruct a Home Report please contact Bridie Gillan on 0141 552 3422 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org