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• What is HIPs


Home Information Packs

On the 1st June 2007 the government backed HIPs scheme begins. What is HIPs you might ask. Well HIPs stands for Home Information Packs. The Home Information Packs will be created by Home Inspectors on behave of a property seller. Yes that's right, a property seller.

The traditional method of buying & selling UK property
Traditionally the onus has been on the buyer of a property to get a comprehensive survey carried out by a RICs qualified surveyor. In Currently, this may led to surveyor finding building or structural complications. Consequently, this may result in a number of scenarios:

1. A pullout from the buyer
2. A reduction in the price offered on the property
3. Tradesmen being called in to carry out work on the property

All in all this leads to a protracted buying and selling process.

How will HIPs change this?
From 1st June 2007 the onus will be on the seller to arrange a home inspection by a qualified Home Inspector before the property goes on the market. This means that major work and repairs will be completed before a property reaches the market. It also means the property will go on the market at a price that is more or less representative of the property in good order.

Access to the HIPs report
Perhaps crucially the Home Inspection Pack for a given property will be in the public domain. This means that estate agents will hold HIPs reports on properties they are selling. It also means that a prospective buyer can review and access the condition of a property before viewing, simply by reading the HIPs report in the estate agent's office.

What all this means
Opinions about the benefits of the Home Inspection Pack reports are mixed. Well-known TV property experts Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer are anti HIPs. They argue that anybody will be able to ask to see a property's HIP report, irrespective of whether they actually wish to buy the property. They also argue that 30 per cent of sellers will be deterred from selling their house because of the cost of the average Home Information Pack. "It could ruin the property market and will fail to significantly improve the home buying process," they added.

However, undeterred HIPs supporters have argued consistently that the market will benefit from increased transparency after June 2007, with fewer transactions collapsing as a result of misunderstandings or building complications. With the average Home Information Pack expected to cost around £635 but considerably higher in cities, however, it is likely that many more people will look to sell property privately online next year as a means of significantly reducing the fees involved in the transaction.



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