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All you need to know about HIPS...

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Home Inspection News

HIPS are a brake on the property market

Whatever the economy is doing, there is always a grey area within the property market. Grey properties are the ones that live in estate agents' bottom drawers; they're half on the market. I came across the term this week, when I was accused of being a "grey market seller". I'm not desperate to sell my flat - particularly now it's lost so much value - but if someone offered me a good price I'd take it.

Except from April, I will need to possess a dreaded Home Information Pack before a potential buyer so much as sets foot inside my flat, and this will cost me about £300. This is in line with government legislation known as the "first day marketing" rule. As it stands, sellers only need have applied for a HIP (a wad of documents including checks on energy efficiency, water and drainage) in order to start marketing a property.


HIPs breaking the back of the housing market

For some, they have advanced consumer protection and shone a light on the dark workings of the property market. For others, they have been nothing more than a monumental waste of time and money – a piece of botched legislation that has helped turn a housing market correction into a full-scale crash. Home information packs are either heroes or villains.

HIPs have been compulsory since December 2007 for all homes being sold in England and Wales. But soon the regulations governing the packs will get tighter; break these rules and sellers and their agents could face fines of up to £200 a time.


Property Information Questionnaire

A new addition to the Home Information Pack is now ready to be added on the 6th April 2009. The Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) intention is to provide extra information to the prospective home buyer. Supporters of the HIP say this will further enhance the existing benefits, the seemingly reducing critics claim it will add further bureaucracy to the home selling process.

Home Information Packs Suspension

The Conservatives are urging ministers to suspend Home Information Packs to help boost the housing market. They say they are deterring speculative sellers, reducing sales, and stopping people from switching estate agents. A clause in the legislation, introduced as a concession to the House of Lords, could be used to suspend them immediately, the Conservatives say.

Review of home information packs

A review of Home Information Packs (Hips) is needed given the housing market slowdown, estate agents say.

Local searches are a requirement in the packs, but the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) says they are out of date by the time a property is sold.


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