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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 11:29 GMT
MSPs support single survey plans
For sale signs

Plans to introduce a single survey system for Scottish house sales have been backed by MSPs.

Under the new scheme, which will come into effect on 1 December, the seller will pay for a three-tier home report.

This will include a surveyor's analysis, an energy efficiency report and a property questionnaire.

Only the Conservatives objected to the move, which the Scottish Government says will make the housing market fairer and more efficient.

Under the current system, each prospective buyer has to pay for a survey of a property.

Housing Minister Stewart Maxwell dismissed claims that people would not trust surveys they did not pay for themselves and refuted suggestions that the system was too complicated.

'Biggest purchase'

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said he saw no reason why people would not trust a survey paid for by the seller.

"Surveyors are a very professional body of people who are providing a detailed report on the condition of a house. I think that is to be trusted," he said.

"We're pressing ahead because it's a good system. It will benefit all buyers and sellers, because any buyer will be provided with detailed information about the biggest financial purchase they ever make in their life.

"And as most sellers are also buyers they won't have to pay for a valuation on any new property."

Sellers will have to spend between 350 and 600 for a survey before they can put their home on the market.

The scheme had originally been proposed by the previous Scottish Executive.

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