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!

Home Report Top Tips for Scottish Sellers

A Home Report is a pack of three key documents: a Single Survey, an Energy Report and a Property Questionnaire. We believe buying a Home Report should be simple and affordable. Click here to read more about our Home Report tips.