HIPs to speed up housebuying process

Carolynn Dyson, partner at Berwins law firm says that the introduction of Home Information Packs in 2007 could minimize delays and abortive transactions and thereby cut the cost of selling a house in spite of a possible up front charge of up to 600 plus VAT.

Berwins says costly delays in selling your home are set to fall next year.

Dyson says: “Home Information Packs (HIPs), which will become mandatory
from June 1, 2007, are aimed at easing the process of selling a house.

“Currently, 1m a day is wasted on failed transactions as buyers often spend
hundreds of pounds on valuations, legal advice and searches in transactions
that ultimately break down.

By providing key information at the beginning of the process, HIPs will prevent waste and significantly cut the number of sales that fall through.”

Berwins warns that from early 2007 all home owners in England and Wales will need to arrange for a HIP to be prepared before putting their homes on the market.

“HIPs will cost 600 – 700 on average but this is not all new costs (although the responsibility for some of these has been shifted from buyer to seller) .

Most of the items in the pack have to be obtained at some stage under the present process.

The only new item in the pack will be the Home Condition Report, and this will have to be provided by a qualified Home Inspector regulated by an approved certification scheme.”

“The jury is still out on whether HIPs will actually improve
the housing market in the UK but anyone looking at selling their house in
the New Year will need to be prepared for the new regime

“At Berwins we expect most packs to be compiled within a matter of days and
whilst a pack may take a few days to compile, time will be saved by faster

“In any case, following reasonable efforts, properties will be
able to be marketed after 14 days if a particular document cannot be sourced
at the beginning.”