“No such thing as a free HIP”

Homeowners have been warned to look at the small print when offered either a free or subsidised Home Information Pack.
Next week, the law requires a Pack to be ordered for all properties being marketed with four or more bedrooms. Smaller homes will be included by the end of the year. A crucial part of the Pack will be the Energy Performance Certificate or EPC.
Some estate agents have offered to subsidise the cost of a Pack for home sellers which could cost over £1000 for some leasehold properties. However, Henry Pryor, founder of the eBay style HIP Exchange has warned sellers to look at the detail. One agent required a seller to sign up to a 12 month agreement and others have suggested that a subsidised Pack could tie a vendor to an estate agent as ownership of the Pack resides with whoever paid for it.
“The Government had hoped that Home Information Packs would help to smooth the house selling process but it’s important to check the small print if you are offered a free Pack” said Pryor. “Some estate agents are hoping to get more business by offering free or subsidised packs but vendors would be wise to remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If you order and pay for your own Home Information Pack you retain control of the sale and of which agent you can appoint. A reputable agent will advise you where to order a Pack and may even have an arms length agreement with a provider to speed the process up.”