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Home Information Packs and Home Buying Companies

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Sell your home to a house buyer and you will not need a home information pack (HIP). This means you avoid the delay, hassle and cost of compiling a HIP. For more info on the HIP regulations read on.

What is a Home Information Pack?

Since 14 December 2007 a Home Information Pack has been required on all homes being marketed in England and Wales.
The pack provides information needed by home buyers at the start of the home buying process.
It includes much of the information usually compiled by a solicitor during the conveyancing process.
The burden is now on the seller to compile the info and produce the pack.

Essential Content of Home Information Packs

Index of Contents
Sale Statement
Evidence of Title
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Leasehold/Commonhold Documents if applicable

HIP's were designed to:

Provide info so that home buyers make informed decisions before offering
Reduce duplicated costs if more than one sale proceeds
Grade the energy efficiency of a home

What are the negatives of HIP's?

Home sellers are now unable to test the market without committing cash
Delays caused because marketing can't commence until HIP compiled
Much of the packs info is out of date by the time the property goes under offer. The buyer then has to repay for updated info.
Some lenders/solicitors will not accept the contents of a HIP and may demand their own information, so duplicating costs.
Cost of a HIP is an added cost to house sale process
If the property doesn't sell the HIP and the money spent on it is wasted

Are there any exemptions?

Yes there are a few limited exemptions to getting a home information pack. The main of which is that if the property is not being marketed e.g. sale to quick sale company, then a HIP doesn't have to be compiled.

You can avoid getting a Home Information Pack in the following circumstances:

When no marketing takes place (e.g. selling to a family member or quick sale company)
Non-residential properties
Homes limited by law to use as holiday accommodation or for limited occupation
Mixed sales (e.g. shop with flat)
Right to buy and similar sales
Sales of portfolios of properties
Properties not being sold with completely vacant possession
Unsafe properties and properties to be demolished

How to pay for pack?

Our research has found that you can pay up to 600 for a HIP. There are several ways of paying for a HIP:

Pay upfront- before marketing commences a HIP is commissioned and paid for
Financing until sold- normally interest is charged so you end up paying more
"No Sale No Fee" deal via an estate agent, where pack cost is included in final fee.

However in current market agents have either withdrawn these offers or require much higher commissions to compensate for extra risk. There are also many restrictions e.g. not able to transfer HIP to another estate agent.

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