New rules on Home Information Packs

From 6 April, new rules on Home Information Packs (HIPs) will mean that a pack must be completed before a home can be put on the market. Up until now, it’s been possible to market your home as soon as a pack has been commissioned but this will no longer be the case.

Packs will also require the inclusion of a new Property Information questionnaire completed by the seller. As a result of these changes the cost of preparing a pack may increase and home owners are advised to take action before 6 April if they are thinking of selling.

Simon Trigg, Director at local estate agents PropertyLine said, ‘It will take time to adapt to the new system for the Home Information Packs, but I do feel in the long term it will benefit the buying process and speed it up.’

‘I would advise people who are contemplating selling their home to think about putting it on the market immediately or at least before the cut off date of 6th April 2009. This will not only save you money, but will mean that your property can be marketed to buyers straight away. At PropertyLine Estate Agents we have seen a rapid increase in buyers registering with us in March 2009, so I do believe that the market could be starting to pick up.’

Mike Rolt of hc solicitors’ conveyancing department commented “These changes are going to mean that the speed of preparation of a Home Improvement pack will be more important than ever as sellers won’t want to be held up waiting for their house to go on the market due to a delay in their HIP preparation. We recommend if you are selling your house that you shop around carefully to make sure that you get a conveyancer who can move quickly to provide your HIP. You should also check that you are not paying too much. We have heard stories of some national HIP providers charging over £400 + VAT to provide a Home Information Pack when the same product is available locally for less than £200 + VAT.”

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.