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    • KarenT1978
    • By KarenT1978 11th Jun 17, 1:06 PM
    • 20Posts
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    KarenT1978
    Options In Scotland For Getting A Property Valued For Probate Purposes
    • #1
    • 11th Jun 17, 1:06 PM
    Options In Scotland For Getting A Property Valued For Probate Purposes 11th Jun 17 at 1:06 PM
    Hello,


    My mother has recently passed away leaving me as executor of her will. There is a house for which the intention is to sell and to split the proceeds up with my family as per the wishes of my mums will. Last week we had an initial meeting with my mums solicitors after which I came away with some reservations.


    The solicitors were very keen to push themselves as selling the house on our behalf including carrying out a survey to establish the house's value so we can start the probate process. The house is in Scotland so the solicitors representative spoke about getting a home report survey organised. They then produced a list of fees for the home report survey, their marketing fees to put the house on sale, and the commission fees they would take once the house was sold. I have just sold a property of my own and in all cases the fees being quoted by the solicitors representative were nowhere near as favourable as the ones I had obtained when selling my own property. I have told the solicitors I will think about their offer pending obtaining further information.


    I would like a better understanding of what is involved here. I believe we have to get a formal valuation on the house in order to begin the probate process. Is a home report survey the best way to go here? Would another type of survey be a better option at this point. The solicitors representative told us it is likely to be six months minimum for the probate process to take place. It occurred to me only after the meeting with the solicitor that a home report survey would expire after three months and we would continually have to pay to have it renewed so that it was valid at the point where we are in a position to sell the house. Given we will have to get a home report survey anyway when we come to sell are we as well cutting our losses and paying for the home report survey now?


    Any advice on my options in terms of surveys and the likely costs would be greatly appreciated. Mums solicitors quoted £350 plus vat for a home report survey. I have no idea what it would cost to have this continually renewed when it expires after three months and we have to wait a minimum 6 months for the probate process to take place.
Page 1
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 11th Jun 17, 2:01 PM
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    sheramber
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 2:01 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 2:01 PM
    We recently investigated selling our house in Scotland.

    The estate agent advised us that the home report does not need to be renewed every three months.

    Here is what is said on the website of D M Hall
    http://www.dmhall.co.uk/services/residential/#tab-dcec8bafa24427af750
    One of the regular concerns we hear about the Home Report is that it needs to be replaced after three months of marketing the property. We are more than happy to dispel this. The legislation for the Home Report does not impose a set shelf life or validity period. However, lenders do require a revaluation if the Home Report is older than three months. Importantly though, it is only required at the time of the sale – not every three months that the property is on the market.

    The estate agent gave us a scale of charges form the surveyor they use. The price depends on the value of the house. a scale of charges depending on the value of the house. A local surveyor should be able to tell you what they charge.

    We consulted three estate agents and each had different charges for the home report depending on what surveyor they used, the selling fee which was usually a percentage of the price achieved and the solicitors fees if we used the solicitor they worked with.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Jun 17, 2:05 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 2:05 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 2:05 PM
    ("confirmation" rather than "probate" in Scotland, btw)

    You can go for a cheaper valuation if you want, but I doubt that's going to be any cheaper than updating a Home Report. The HR does need to be no more than 12 weeks old when you put the property on the market, but doesn't need to be continuously renewed, the norm is just to update it (if necessary) once you have an acceptable offer.

    There's no need for you to use the same solicitors for the sale (and/or marketing).

    Also note that for Inheritance Tax purposes it's the ultimate sale price which matters, so if that's different from your initial valuation then there's an adjustment for any tax under/overpaid.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 11th Jun 17, 2:57 PM
    • 200 Posts
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    ProDave
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 2:57 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 2:57 PM
    You have to have a home report to sell a property in Scotland so that will give you a valuation.

    We changed agent after a year and they did not insist on the HR being refreshed.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Jun 17, 3:09 PM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:09 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:09 PM
    Are the solicitors named as Executers by the will?

    If yes, there's little you can do as they, as Executers, control the Estate, and it's disposal and distribution.

    If you are the Executer(s) and they are not named as joint Executers, then you can do as you wish. You can certainly ask them (or another solicitor) to advise/help you (for a fee)if you wish, or you can apply for Probate and manage the house and Esate as you wish.

    But certainly you need a valuation
    a) for Inheritance Tax purposes (if relevant)
    b) for Probate (without which you cannot sell) and
    c) in order to sell
    Last edited by G_M; 11-06-2017 at 4:05 PM.
    • KarenT1978
    • By KarenT1978 11th Jun 17, 4:09 PM
    • 20 Posts
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    KarenT1978
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 17, 4:09 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 17, 4:09 PM
    I am the sole executor of the will.

    Thanks for all the replies to date I will now be getting a home report survey done based on your advice to date. Good to know I don't have to keep renewing it until the probate/confirmation reaches its conclusion.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 11th Jun 17, 7:49 PM
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    agrinnall
    • #7
    • 11th Jun 17, 7:49 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jun 17, 7:49 PM
    You definitely will need to update the HBR after 12 weeks if your potential buyer needs a mortgage, as no mortgage provider will accept one older than that, although you don't need to do it every 12 weeks unless you actually have a buyer who wants it. If they are a cash buyer then it's up to them whether they ask you for a refresh. I tried to argue with one estate agent that I considered engaging to sell my last property in Scotland that the buyer should pay for the refresh if they wanted it as the legislation was clear that it did not expire but they said that nobody would accept it on that basis.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
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    G_M
    • #8
    • 11th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jun 17, 7:57 PM
    I am the sole executor of the will.

    Thanks for all the replies to date I will now be getting a home report survey done based on your advice to date. Good to know I don't have to keep renewing it until the probate/confirmation reaches its conclusion.
    Originally posted by KarenT1978
    So unless you are desperate for the £, don't push yourself.

    Deal with the Inheritance Tax and Probate at your own speed. You can't sell until that's done so just take things step by step. No reason to use a solicitor unless your mum's finances, or will, are very complex.

    Lots of books available to step you through the Probae process, as well as info online:

    https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/overview

    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/inheritance-tax-forms

    https://www.gov.uk/valuing-estate-of-someone-who-died/forms

    http://www.probateforms.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/PA1-Probate-Application-Form.pdf


    Clearing your mum's house is bound to be difficult, so take your time.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 11th Jun 17, 8:11 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #9
    • 11th Jun 17, 8:11 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jun 17, 8:11 PM
    Though note that these links are irrelevant for estates in Scotland.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 12th Jun 17, 10:16 AM
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    martindow
    I'm in E&W and we determined a house's value more informally by asking a few agents to give their opinions regarding its likely sale price. We took the average to use for probate. There was no issue with the estate being anywhere near IHT.

    Once probate was granted (or confirmation in Scotland), the sale could go ahead and the money can be distributed by the executor.

    Or does Scottish law demand a more formal valuation?
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 12th Jun 17, 11:11 AM
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    sheramber
    A Home report is required for welling a house in Scotland.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Jun 17, 12:48 PM
    • 40,553 Posts
    • 46,397 Thanks
    G_M
    Though note that these links are irrelevant for estates in Scotland.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Ooops - thanks david!
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 12th Jun 17, 1:40 PM
    • 7,375 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    How close are you to the threshold for Inheritance Tax (including any allowance transferred from your mother's late spouse if applicable)?

    If you are very close (or over the threshold and face having to pay tax) then ideally you need a RICS surveyor's property valuation (for which he will charge probably £50-100).

    If IHT isn't an issue then a marketing appraisal letter from an estate agent will usually suffice.

    The value for IHT can be adjusted with the final proceeds of sale if necessary.

    Note you can advertise a property for sale before you get grant of confirmation/probate - you just can't negotiate any offers. This may be relevant if you expect the property to be slow to sell or you want to get it on the market before christmas.

    Probate/conformation doesn't have to take 6 months either. I got mine in 3 months, and that was mostly due to waiting for a final income tax statement from HMRC.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
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