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Drop dead not so gorgeous...and mind your P's & Q's

Posted by: katalysis

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First a declaration of self-interest – we at Rees Page Solicitors and Estate Agents produce our own Home Information Pack (HIP) in-house as part of our “one stop” Estate Agency and Conveyancing package. So you might expect us to be big fans of HIPs. Well, surprisingly, we’re not! In theory HIPs could contribute to a smoother and less stressful property sale but in practise they have become a political football. This has resulted in a half-baked product that is of little value to anyone except the “factory” operations set up to make a killing out of them at the peak of the housing market bubble. If you think they were bad then they are about to get worse. From April this year a new document called a Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) must be included in the HIP before marketing can commence. It is similar to the Questionnaires that Solicitors ask clients to fill in as part of the conveyancing process after a sale is agreed. Homeowners will have to do their homework in order to complete it. Traditional Estate Agents will be put off from helping because the Property Misdescriptions Act will catch them out if there are any inaccuracies. If that isn’t bad enough then the Government is being lobbied by the big HIP providers to introduce a “Drop dead” date on All Fools Day (1st April to you and me) which, if implemented, would mean that all properties that came onto the market before a HIP became compulsory would need one.
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