Benefits of Home Information Packs (HIP)

Recently it was reported that industry professionals are recognising the benefits of Home Information Packs (HIP). This is against the general negative slant the main stream media seem to want to promote. have been providing Home Information Packs for over 18 months and have witnessed numerous situations where Home Information Packs have benefitted the home buyer, home seller and the process itself. Without Home Information Packs; sales would have quite likely fallen through and at best would have held up proceedings to an extent the majority of people would be very unhappy with.

Periodically, there are calls to scrap HIPs which are often justified by statements such as ‘that it will help a slow market.’ This is contrary to our belief and a growing number of others consisting and including those professional involved with HIPs and consumers who have experienced first hand the benefits Home Information Packs bring to the table.

It is noteworthy that Grant Shapps has recently indicated approval of an ‘exchange ready’ HIP which is a much softened view of conservatives past stance, showing an understanding of the true benefits and the future possibilities for improvements.

Also, SPLINTA a group formed to rally support against the HIP recently ran a survey amongst agents and other property professionals whether they would support a partial or total boycott of HIPs, and whether they would join an anti-HIP demonstration in London. The feedback was not as the group had hoped and was mainly positive pro- HIP responses. Due to these responses SPLINTA claimed that it had been ‘hijacked’ and closed the survey. This is slightly more trivial, though it does indicate on another level the growing support for the Home Information Pack. as others, believe it could actually cause futher harm to the UK Property Market and the home buying and selling process by sacrifing the benefits we have gained through the HIP implementation.

At this point it is worth remembering that the majority of the Home Information Pack information has always been required for buying and selling a property. There are some new documents such as the Property Information Questionnaire but the main difference is that the information is required at the start of the process rather than once a sale is agreed. This one point can bring massive benefits to all those who are involved.

The following is a recent example of how Home Information Packs can practically benefit the Home Buyer, Home Seller, chain and the market.

On preperation of a number of  HIPs it was discovered that a development of appartments had been originally registered incorrectly. i.e. number 1 was registered under the name of the owner at number 3; number 3 was registered under the name of the owner at number 5 etc. This may comes as a shock to some but as we all know mistakes can happen. However, early identification does provide breathing space for these to be recitified and not hold up or cease a potential sale.

Fortunately, this issue was highlighted due to our thorough procedures and appropriate steps were put in place to rectify the error. However, this took some time for the original conveyancer to co-ordinate which would have held up the sale if the error had been identified in times gone by; when the documents would have been prepared only once an offer had been accepted.

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13 Responses to “Benefits of Home Information Packs (HIP)”

  1. Intersting read but unrepresentative of the profession-Our experience is the reverse with repeat searches being required and the PIQ unworkable-get real and leave the legal work to those qualified to interpret the information. Most good law firms were already providing documents to enable quick exchanges even before HIPS became mandatory.Try getting an independant view from the public and those actually working with the fallout of a failed project

  2. Hi Reg,

    Thanks for your comments.

    As you say some good law firms were maybe preparing information to help a quick exchange but many were not. The HIP has allowed this to be aplied accross the board so everyone benefits.

    We regularly speak with the public and clients; whilst not everyone can see or agrees with the merits of HIPs more and more are recognising the value Home Information Packs bring to the table.

    From our experience preparation of the HIP can undoubtedly help speed up the buying and selling process and reduce withdrawn offers. Identification of issues at an early stage is generally welcomed by all involved.

  3. Most Estate agents will say that a significant % of speculative movers will actually go through with the move and I would not directly contradict this. However, to my knowledge no proof has been produced to back this up.
    My own anecdotal experience and when speaking to agents in the summer of 2006 (as a HIP provider) and hearing the speculative sellers were so significant, I would often ask them to get some examples from their drawers of speculative sellers that had actually gone on to exchange. They were few and far between and on further analysis they were often long winded sales (asking prices often much too speculative) that on final analysis gave very little if any profit margin.
    So from an individual agents point of view, this might not have as much impact as they think on bottom line, reality is we don’t know. But from a market point of view, we need higher stock levels and so here I agree that HIPs may have had some negative impact.
    In terms of whether they have added more positive elements in terms of speeding up the process, I would say that in a limited number of cases they can speed up the process (as per your leasehold example) but again there is no ‘independent’ evidence to back this up.

  4. Hi Ben

    I note your comments and your experiences are of interest even if as you state anecdotal.

    I do question whether the market needs speculative sellers who are testing the market.If a £300ish HIP (and we also offer a 9mth deferred payment option) puts them off entering the market how serious are they? Does the property market need speculators at present or stability?

    On a basic economics point of view; I would imagine if supply is low as most would agree at present that wil help increase prices or decrease the level of downturn and help with stability in the market which everyone wants.

    As stability returns this will help increase the supply of properties on the market. When the supply increases we need the exchange to take place quickly, efficiently and smoothly. The HIP is helping to secure this will happen in our opinion.

    I find it hard to comprehend comments from some that HIPs are a main contributing factor of the property down turn. Blaming a product which is required and useful to the property market is illogical. Is it not more realistic to look a the financial climate at present and the fact mortgages are much harder to come by?

    As lending resumes to adequate levels we will surely see improved movement and more instructions coming onto the property market.

  5. Yep, I agree, it is illogical to say they are a main contributing factor. As I said, I think they may have had some negative impact but are certainly not a main contribution.

    From what I see, many agents don’t offer the deals you are talking about, largely due to switching off from the HIPs market and so not listening to some of the deals available. Many of them don’t understand the process so don’t go to the trouble of explaining the benefits to their vendors either, which leads to more negativity.

    I also think that agents will be quick to bemoan the lost income if HIPs were to be pulled.

    If the housing market hadn’t had the downturn we are experiencing then it is highly likely HIPs would just be seen as a part of the process by now and we’d all be getting on without the debate

    The sooner they start lending again the better!

  6. I have been reading your blog with interest as I am returning to the UK from Texas next year. I am considering home inspection in the UK but from what I have read on the web it’s a bit of a lame duck if not completely dead. Am I correct?

    We have had Home Inspection in Texas for 30 years and today it is heavily regulated by the state. However, it is not mandatory to have a Home Inspection but 99% of homes bought by families have one. The driving force is the Agents (we call them Realtors) and the Mortgage companies; they insist on Home Inspections to protect themselves from

    (1) litigation if you are a realtor
    (2) the value of the property against which the loan is being offered if you are the mortgage provider.

    Every buyer I inspect for are pleased to have an unbiased opinion of the property which is far more detailed than they would get from a Structural Engineer (surveyor) and lower in cost. I shall watch with interest what is develops in the UK.

  7. […] have promoted ; that Home Information Packs cost sellers more to move (which we disagree with, see Benefits of Home Information Packs for a different view point), how many people will put off placing their property on the market […]

  8. It is “would HAVE”.

  9. Biggest con ever inflicted on the home seller ever invented. Money for absolutely nothing except to line the pockets of a few riding on the back of this scam.

    It certainly put me off selling.

    The sooner it is scrapped the better. Roll-on the election.

    And I agree with Mark Walker. The author of the original post would appear to be of rather poor educational standards. To think I would be forced to pay such people upwards of £300 just to put my house, MY HOME, on the market.

    Completely unbelievable and totally unjustifiable absolute rip-off.

  10. I am completely disgusted that you display that sort of attitude. In fact i am quite shocked the site has actually allowed your quite frankly disgraceful comments to be published, shame on you.

    Have you nothing constructive to add?

    How serious can you be in selling if a £300 HIP puts you off?

    Tyre kickers, are they helpful to the property market.

  11. Wow. they wrote would of once instead of would have, big deal. How about entering into sensible discussions, possible? probably not

  12. Forgive me if I am wrong as this is not my area of expertise but wasn’t one of the ideas behind HIPs the removal of speculative sellers from the market? And if estate agents are not complying with the legal requirement to provide a HIP then are they directly contributing to skewing the true state of that market?

  13. You are correct Sharon, HIPs were supposed to remove speculative sellers and I’m sure they’ve made sellers think twice before actually putting their home on the market. Some Estate Agents are against this of course and a lot of negativity has been written about it (see SPLINTA in the article), even Phil … from “Location Location Location” has raised concerns about it. I’ve never fully understood that argument,and maybe someone can enlighten me, but I would have thought putting time wasters off selling was a positive.

    Personally I think most Estate Agents are complying with the HIP because it’s a valued piece of revenue and nothing more.

    It’ll be interesting next year, with an election in June, and a party saying that they’ll ban HIPs as part of their manifesto, to see how that affects the market. I can see a few sellers holding back until after the election to save £300.00 on a HIP.

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