11% of estate agents still unaware of HIPS

With just over a year to go until Home Information Packs become compulsory, 11% of estate agents still do not know what Home Information Packs are, figures have revealed.

Easier2move has conducted monthly surveys tracking estate agents awareness of the HIPS and the issues surrounding them.

The figure is the same as it was in April, when it showed a slight increase in agents’ awareness – possibly as a result of increased media interest.

The survery also shows almost half of estate agents believe that advertising HIP services in branches will attract more customers. However, a quarter of agents feel that in-branch advertising will not attract more customers, as once they go live, all agents will be advertising at a similar level.

Over half of the agents surveyed felt that payment on completion would attract the most interest from consumers, as they have concerns that vendors might be put off by an initial outlay with no guarantees that they will complete their transaction. Only 9% felt that a household name attached to the product would have consumers make a difference and 8% felt the same way about the portability of the packs. Of the remaining 31%, most were unsure about this aspect.

Karen Babington, marketing director at Easier2move, says: It is important that estate agents are educated about HIPs as they will have a major role to play in the sale of them when they go live in 2007.

“That 11% of estate agents are unaware of HIPS is worrying, but is encouraging to see this figure has come down since the index started.”

Almost a third of agents are unsure as to whether advertising HIP services will attract more customers, coupled with a quarter who think they wont attract any more.

“To those agents I would say begin advertising early before HIPs go live in order to have your brand associated with the products in order to make the most of any consumer enquiries.”

Moving house is an expensive process and both purchasers and vendors will be cautious not to spend money unnecessarily. As a result it is not surprising that payment on completion will be an attractive option for many vendors.