Myth-busting 101 – The dreaded Category ‘3’

Myth Busting 101: Category 3 Ratings

Jim Gibson, Managing Director at HomeReportScotland.Scot

So, you’re selling your home and you’ve tackled the first hurdle of sorting out your Home Report. Now you wait in anticipation for the results of the Single Survey. At the back of your mind is the dreaded Category 3 rating – any home sellers’ worst nightmare.

The Single Survey provides a detailed report on the condition and value of the property, and is intended to provide both the seller and purchaser information about the property condition and value before offers are submitted. The key things which will be assessed include problems with utilities, damp, cracking, issues with the roof, and timber defects. The condition of the property is split into three categories.

A Category 3 rating means that urgent repairs or replacements are needed immediately. Failure to deal with them may cause problems to other parts of the property or cause a safety hazard. Pretty scary, right?

When we carried out some recent research, we found that nearly 15% of sellers in Scotland are worried about getting a Category 3 rating in their Home Report, and that got us thinking. Yes, a Category 3 stamp can be a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be as terrifying as you first thought. We’ve pulled together this short guide to help explain what to do and think if your property does receive a Category 3 in the Home Report:

Don’t panic. Category 3’s are a fact of life – properties cannot remain perfect forever. Although property maintenance is essential, wear and tear is inevitable. Think that beautiful thatched cottage in the Isle of Skye never received a category 3? Think again.

Acknowledge the information. You might not have realised that your current roof covering is deteriorating or that the guttering is blocked. The Home Report is a useful and transparent document and helps to highlight issues that may save you hassle further down the line.

Decide if you are going to fix the damage. If you do go down this route, make sure to do your research, get multiple quotes and hire a trusted tradesman to do any work.

Or, alternatively, you could proceed without alterations to the property. However, be aware that there may be the potential that you receive lower offers as the Home Report takes repair charges into consideration.

On the other hand, a surveyor may still value your property at the same price, despite one or two Category 3’s. A Home Report provides the seller and buyer with a realistic idea of the value and condition of the property. Surveyors often encourage buyers to take out further reports so one Category 3 in the Single Survey isn’t usually enough to deter a potential buyer.

Remember, no one expects your property to be faultless. Home Reports are compulsory in Scotland so uncovering Category 3’s is inevitable. All in all, it is better to identify any urgent repairs than turn a blind eye – at least this way potential buyers know exactly what they are dealing with and have no nasty surprises once they have moved in.

We hope we have busted some of the myths associated with Category 3 ratings, but if you have any questions or worries then don’t hesitate to contact us at HomeReportScotland.Scot where we can hopefully turn you worst nightmare into a dream sale!

Property & The Power of Social Media

Picture Perfect: Property and the Power of Social Media

Jim Gibson, Managing Director at HomeReportScotland.Scot

Social media has infiltrated just about every aspect of our lives. It is now almost impossible to brunch with a friend without having to wait a few moments once your meal has arrived to allow them to snap the perfect Instagram post. Only once they have finished hashtagging #eggsbenny can you proceed to tuck in. So, why should property be any different?

Believe it or not, people are starting to use social media to buy and sell property, and it looks like this is just the beginning. We’re not just talking about the plethora of Pinterest pages full of shabby chic, upcycled, chest of drawers, with dedication to DIY and all things home improvement. Today we’re seeing Instagram posts advertising impeccable new listings, celebrity endorsed property sales and the viral power of a Facebook share or Twitter retweet.

With research showing that 93% of property searches begin online, it makes sense that buyers and sellers alike are using the global power of social media platforms. Never has the mantra of ‘picture perfect’ rang so true now that Instagram filters and editing apps have become a normal part of photograph sharing. A quick search on the photo-posting site Instagram reveals that the word ‘property’ has been hashtagged over 1.8 million times and the figure continues to rise on an hourly basis.

Picture Perfect

Twenty years ago, property searching was about kerb appeal: if you stood on the street, it was the garden, the porch and the visible furnishings that lured you into the house. Now however, flawless lighting at the ‘golden hour’ of the day and meticulous attention to detail are essential to capturing knockout property shots. Enticing could-be-buyers through social media platforms means that quality photography has never been so important. If you want to sell your property, you have to show it at its best – garden shots when the sun is shining and foamy bubbles and candles in the candid bathroom snap. Property images must now capture the lifestyle that goes with the shot too – allowing the viewer to fully imagine what their life might be like if they lived there.

With Pinterest and Instagram heralded as ‘the big 2’, let us not forget about Facebook and Twitter. For many home-sellers, capturing an award-winning photograph is not always realistic, but sharing a post that contains wow factor photographs of their property is. The power of viral is a force to be reckoned with – retweeting and sharing your property ad once it has been posted by your estate agent is the fastest way to capture your circle’s interest. Your contacts can then share it with their circle and their circle’s circle and so on. If online shopping has become more popular than traditional high street shopping, it is only a matter of time before property viewing takes place solely in the comfort of one’s own home.

Social commerce isn’t the only thing on the rise either. Mobile browsing now sees 78% of buyers using this method to look for comparable home prices, with a further 45% searching for their next home. To not tap into this unprecedented world of property hunting would seem a waste.

The future?

Whilst we might still be a little way off exchanging housing contracts via an Instagram post, it is a no brainer that exploiting the world of social media to browse for your dream property, or to entice potential buyers is the way forward, and this is hugely exciting. Now, excuse me whilst I work out how best to capture the contrast between this solid oak flooring and my minimalist inspired kitchen.

Some of our favourite property accounts include:

Instagram: @daniel_daggers

Self-proclaimed ‘Mr Super Prime’, Daniel uses Instagram to promote property ‘to the super rich across the world’. He has previously been featured in Tatler and British GQ.

Facebook: Rightmove

RightMove know exactly how to make best use of the world’s most popular social media platform. Daily posts allow followers to search for their dream home.

Twitter: @UrbanSpacesCity

Understanding the art of living, Urban Spaces provides interesting and insightful posts on all things property related as well as showcasing the best properties in London.

[1] http://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-house-social-media-can-done/

[2] https://www.ukcredit.co.uk/money-life/easylife/how-to-use-social-media-for-home-inspiration/

[3] https://econsultancy.com/blog/11017-e-commerce-now-more-popular-than-high-street-shopping-report/

[4] http://www.mercurynews.com/2014/07/09/more-buyers-turn-to-social-media-in-home-buying-process/