As of 6th April, our
'property friendly' government has decreed it will be an
offence for an estate agent (or a private seller not
using an estate agent) to carry out ANY form of
marketing of a property without having the majority of a
Home Information Pack actually prepared and ready for
This could delay marketing for weeks.
As most already know, a seller currently
has to write out a cheque or present a card for an
average of £300 (soon to be nearer £400 thanks to
government mismanagement of Local Authority Searches) to order a
HIP and marketing can then begin at once. It can
actually be done whilst the agent is 'measuring-up' and
immediately the agent gets confirmation when back at
the office that the payment has been made, it's 'all
systems go' right away - just what the seller wants.
HOWEVER come April 6th, paying
for the HIP is no longer enough. Our government decrees that no
adverts can be placed, no for sale boards nailed up, no
flyers printed - not even a verbal mention
of the house made to a potential viewer UNTIL the HIP
is prepared and available for inspection.
Our rulers themselves have
accepted that the required information will NEVER
be back in the first 3/5 days (so no property will ever
go on the market on day one again). Agents can prove
that, on average, the required information actually takes an
average of 9 days to arrive and this was before a
newly added Property Information Questionnaire was invented,
that the government has chosen to add to the HIP documents
(without trial) for the first time on 6/4.
The current HIP already averages
110 pages and some major agents, selling thousands of homes
a month, will attest that purchaser requests to view HIPs
are in SINGLE FIGURES. The newly invented 'Property
Information Questionnaire will add yet more pages and
completing it will further delay marketing . Herewith
the new questions a seller must now answer and send
back to the HIP preparer to be added to the Pack!
Agents know sellers will be
reluctant to fill these in, in the same way they
are, not unreasonably, reluctant to allow their homes to be
intimately searched by Energy Inspectors to
prepare the Energy Performance
Certificate which also has to be in the Pack before
marketing can begin.
It's all quite mad, especially when
the government accepts that 98% of viewers currently refuse
to inspect the multi-page HIP before making an
appointment to view a home, and 95% don't even bother
to look prior to making an offer! On top of this, buyers' solicitors say
they will not accept the answers to the new Property
Information Questionnaire, and already invariably
ignore the Searches too, and insist their clients pay
for a new set themselves.
If there is any justification
for making the marketing of one's home illegal (fine £200 a
day) before a useless and unnecessary HIP has arrived -
will someone please explain it to me? Preferably before the
lights go out on the property market for good.
Former president National
Association of Estate Agents
Property market commentator and
Gerrards Cross 01753 885522