Sunday, January 13, 2008

HIP's with the Tories

Over the course of 2007 from June onwards HIPs (Home Information Packs) have been introduced to the UK property market and now every property marketed must have one.

I have always been a supporter of HIPs (unlike a lot of estate agents) but in their original ‘pure’ form with compulsory Home Condition Reports as well as the domestic energy assessment and legal documentation. The purpose of this Blog entry is not to argue the rights and wrongs but to draw the public’s attention to the Tories’ ‘Home Buying Review’. They are anti-HIP but are looking at ways of improving the current process.

This is an opportunity for everyone to have their personal say about the home buying and selling process. The review is being conducted by Grant Shapps, Kirstie Allsopp (from Channel 4’s ‘Location, Location, Location’) and Owen Inskip (a chartered surveyor and former estate agent)

Among the areas where views are specifically sought are:

· Professionalism of estate agents: should there be a requirement for training, qualifications and regulation?
· Professionalism and attitude of solicitors: In particular the way they communicate.
· Can and should the makingand accepting of an offer be made legally binding?
· Is the ‘buyer beware’ system of buying appropriate to buying homes?
· E-conveyancing.
· De-mystifying the home buying and selling process for consumers.
· Sellers solicitors to be instructed and ready to issue a contract before the sale is agreed and when the property is marketed.
· Buyers to ensure they have a mortgage agreed in principle before they begin looking.

The consultation is online at and I urge everyone who has had a moan about HIPs to visit and make their views known.
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