Estate agents have no idea how to tackle HIPs

Estate agents haven’t got a clue what to do about Home Information Packs warns Caroline Havers, partner at legal firm Salans.

She says that when the legislation is passed next year and final details are available as to what the packs will involve it is likely many estate agents, especially smaller ones, will be forced to outsource business to an HIP provider.

She says: “Until the final details of HIPs are issued next year, estate agents haven’t got a clue and don’t know how they will affect the market.”

It’s hard for agents to prepare for the changes HIPs will bring because of the lack of information available at the moment.

She adds: “I don’t think larger firms will have any problems. They will have plans in place, but many of the smaller ones will have to outsource to a HIP provider.”

Jonathan Cornell, associate director at Hamptons International Mortgages, says reaping the advantages of HIPS will not be a matter of big or small but rather how prepared a company is.

He says: “We are formulating a HIP working panel to decide whether we are going to create our own HIPs or go to an organisation that is already well advanced in the subject.

“A lot of people are seeing the advent of the packs as a threat because they think customers will go straight to the estate agent and miss out the intermediary.”

HIPs are expected to be brought in around January 2007 but Cornell predicts that in reality it will be later than that.

Cornell adds: “They will be implemented in 2007 but probably not as early as January – more likely later in that year.”