Easier2move has released the results of its Home Information Pack awareness index, revealing a worryingly lack of HIP knowledge amongst estate agents.
The index revealed that the number of estate agents who were unable to describe with some degree of accuracy what a HIP is rose to 27% up from 20% in June.
The majority of respondents who were unaware of these products indicated that their managers had received training on this issue, showing that agencies are choosing selective rather than blanket education on these products.
Just over half of the estate agents (51%) surveyed felt that environmental searches should be a mandatory inclusion in each HIP.
The general consensus amongst these respondents was that for HIPs to prove useful, they would need to contain as much detail as possible on the property.
Only 17% disagreed that environmental searches should be mandatory, whilst 32% said they weren’t sure.
Karen Babington, marketing director of Easier2move, says: “It is very surprising that over the past few months, rather than HIP awareness increasing, as you would expect, it has been falling.
The feedback that we are getting from agents seems to indicate that companies are educating their more senior negotiators and waiting until closer to the launch before speaking to junior staff.
This is likely to cause problems in the future, as every estate agent will need to have a working knowledge of these packs.
“However, we were pleased to see that the majority of agents believe environmental searches should be a compulsory inclusion in all HIPs.
“When purchasing a house, agents agree that it is important for consumers to have as much information on the property as possible.
“We hope that HIP providers will recognize to this demand and change their offering accordingly.
“Following customer feedback, we have decided to include environmental searches as standard within our HIP offering (Easierhips) and despite the recent government u-turn are also considering the inclusion of Home Condition Reports on a voluntary basis.
We firmly believe that consumers should have access to a wide array of information in order to make well informed decisions.”