An email from Communities & Local Government but can they be serious?

Dear Colleague,


Home Information Packs have now been in place for almost 3 months for homes with 4 or more bedrooms and just over 6 weeks for properties with 3 or more bedrooms. We want to ensure trouble-free and measured implementation and so are carefully monitoring the impact of HIPs in the marketplace.

HIP Providers have reported smooth implementation and good feedback from agents and consumers.  HIPs and EPCs are already increasing transparency, speeding up the process of providing information, and bringing in new competition to help cut costs for consumers.

Delays in transactions in the time between an offer being made and exchange can be one of the biggest causes for failed sales. Feedback from stakeholders points to the benefits of sharing the HIP with your customers and solicitors upfront, mainly:

    * they kick start the legal process early
    * searches help to speed up transaction times
    * defects in title deeds and boundaries can be detected and corrected before they become a problem
    * less abortive costs, therefore lower overheads
    * suggesting that the seller commissions a Home Condition Report gives a marketing advantage
    * greater transparency is reducing the fees for searches (around 100 local authorities have so far reduced their charges)

Being responsive now to changes in the market and consumer expectations can bring clear advantages to your business. Some agents have said that explaining to potential sellers how they intend to use the HIP and EPC ratings for marketing purposes has helped them secure the listing. As HIPs become established, buyers too will increasingly ask up-front for information contained in the Packs.

Improving the home-buying and selling process is in everyone’s interests and we strongly encourage you to make Packs readily available to your clients as well as their solicitors, as soon as they become available.

We want to see a step change in home buying and selling – with real reform in a system that has not changed significantly for a generation or more – by placing the interests of the consumer at its heart. Home Information Packs are the first step in this process and the catalyst for taking us further.

Kind regards,

HIPs Program Team