If it had happened five days earlier you could have been forgiven for thinking it was an April Fool’s joke but April 6 marked the day when legislation came into force making it illegal to even mutter to someone down the local that you’re selling your house without having a HIP in place.
Also introduced were Property Information Questionnaires. These documents have to be filled in by sellers and are meant to help would-be buyers make more informed decisions.
To be fair, they may be quite useful as buyers can see what a property’s Council Tax band is, how easy it is to access and any structural changes that may have been carried out.
Having made such immense preparations in the run-up to HIP Hooray Day I can’t imagine any large estate agency groups had much of a problem with the change but with property transactions at an all-time low you have to wonder whether this is the right time to tinker with the sales process.
Conservative estimates suggest the legislation will add five days to the average sale time. In a market as slow as this, that’s hardly what’s needed. In fact, it’s likely to make the process even more of a headache than it is now.
There are more rogue estate agents than mortgage brokers so a better way to improve the buying and selling of homes would have been to get these spivs out of the market through proper regulation. Then we’d all sleep a little easier, wouldn’t we?