A recent report from leading consumer group which showed that Home Information Packs (HIPâ€™s) purchased from estate agents can often cost over twice as much as those bought from a specialist. It reports that the gap between prices can be as much as ÂŁ300, with the highest price for a three-bedroom freehold semi-detached property currently ÂŁ413 compared to a lowest available fee of just ÂŁ189.
The Home Information Pack (also known as the HIP) is compulsory for most homes on the market in England and Wales. From 6 April 2009 important changes were made to HIPâ€™s which means better information is available from the first day a property is put on the market.
If you are a buyer you are entitled to the pack free of charge (admin and copying costs are discretionary), however, if you are the seller you must cover the cost of having a Home Information Pack made up. There are many Home Information Pack providers providing a choice of products so consumers are advised to shop around, but also to be aware that cheap doesnâ€™t always mean you get the best value for money. Be aware of companies selling non-compliant or substandard goods, online, under the guise of a inexpensive Home Information Pack, so always check your Home Information Pack provider is signed up to a code of practice such as the HIP Code.
Home Information Packs have a list of obligatory information the seller must provide including the following. Certain important documents must also be no more than three months old when the property was first marketed for sale.
Home Information Pack Index
The new Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ), from 6 April 2009
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA)
Sustainability information (required for newly built homes)
Evidence of title
Standard searches (local authority and drainage and water)
All the compulsory documents above
A copy of the lease
There are also optional documents you can include which are not compulsory but can help to speed up the sales process. These include:
Home Condition Report
Home use/contents form
Other documents like specialist searches
Your Home Information Pack should only contain official information. There shouldn't be any marketing or advertising material included. Once the seller has purchased their Home Information Pack, they legally own it, not the estate agent or anyone else managing the sale of the property.
About The Author:
The author is a specialist in house survey, house conveyancing and
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