Sellers Single Survey pilot scheme in Scotland is now halfway
through its trial period. It was hoped to attract 2,000 commissions
over a 12 period with the results to be analysed in July 2005.
While an interim report has not been prepared, the pilot scheme,
which is entirely voluntary, has been used by just 73 people
to date. Most of these surveys were carried out in Glasgow
with just 1 in Edinburgh, 5 in Inverness and 3 in Dundee.
The Single Survey pilot scheme means
that the house vendor pays for a comprehensive assessment
of the condition and valuation of their property with the
eventual purchaser picking up the bill. The sceme was introduced
to avoid multiple surveys on a property but it would also
give sellers the chance to fix problems before the 'For Sale'
board went up and aims to discourage artificially low asking
prices as the valuation will be known beforehand. However
with no shortage of buyers there has been little incentive
for the seller to pay several hundred pounds for a detailed
Professor Stewart Brymer, a Senior
Partner in a Dundee law firm speaking on the issue for the
Law Society of Scotland said 'I think the change to a Single
Survey, in principal, is quite sound. In future we will have
something akin to the Single Survey, whether it will be the
Single Survey in its present format, I donít know.' While
not a great believer in legislation for legislation's sake,
he continued 'However, it may be that if the Single Survey
or some other scheme like it is to be introduced in Scotland
that an element of compulsion will be the only way for it
to work. I think the pilot demonstrates that, given the voluntary
uptake is low and will continue to be low for the remainder
of the pilot. '
John Bennett of J & E Shepherd
in Dundee said one of the drawbacks for homeowners was that
surveys would expose their house to the world Ė warts and
all. He thinks it was a good concept but the scheme appeared
to have been 'rushed'.
This claim was unsurprisingly rejected
by the Executive, which said the proposals had been drawn
up over several years. The forthcoming Housing Bill will contain
powers to introduce a mandatory system of some sort and if
the Executive uses those powers then it would ensure that
housebuyers have access to a Single Survey system.
Ewen Sparks : email@example.com