Putney's newest agents SW15.com does not believe that the HIP's address the problems in the conveyancing process
Home information packs (HIPs) are deterring homeowners from putting their property up for sale, stunting market recovery, estate agents believe.
A survey of members by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) revealed that one in ten agents believed that the number of people selling would DOUBLE if HIPs were taken off the market.
A fifth of all agents believed that the number of sellers would increase by 20 – 25 per cent. And a staggering 91 per cent of agents were adamant that customers paid little or no attention to the controversial packs anyway. In April, the average estate agent had 67 properties available to sell, compared with 84 in April 2008 and 100 in December.
Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said:
“The housing market has seen a number of positive signs in 2009, particularly an increased demand for property and more sales being completed. However this will be unsustainable without a steady supply of housing. HIPs are controversial and in the NAEA’s opinion, relatively useless. That is bad enough, but these figures suggest that professional agents believe that they are actively harming the market. The figures are significant because of fears that housing market recovery is being stunted because increased demand for property among buyers is not being matched by a supply of houses for sale."
“The Government should look at scrapping these packs, at the very least until the market has recovered. At that stage they should be reviewed. The NAEA would be happy to offer its professional opinion as to the best way forward.”
Luke Bennett, managing director of the SW Group Ltd who have this week opened a new agency in Putney on the Upper Richmond Road said:
"As far as we know no-one has declined to place their property upon the market when we have told them of the cost of the home information pack but inevitably there must be some people that will not bear this cost. The problem with the home information pack is that it does not and could never address those problems from which the conveyancing process suffers. The home information pack is so ill considered that it could only have been dreamt up by clueless members of parliament ably abetted by professional committee men at the Law Society.
The problems in conveyancing are varied but the home information pack provides no cure for delays in having surveys carried out, delays in mortgage offers being issued, delays in solicitors considering the paperwork, then not reading it properly, and asking mindless questions. The home information pack will not prevent delays caused by solicitors who draft sales contracts where there are endless amendments to the Law Society's standard contract thus causing the other solicitor to take time in reviewing them, amending them and then time wasting to-ing and fro-ing takes place.
Much time is often wasted over leases where there are defects or where landlords or managing agents are slow in producing service charge accounts, the buildings insurance and projections for future expenditure. There is a further problem because of the mindless approach of lenders that solicitors have to waste time seeking confirmation about such things as the presence of asbestos even though a surveyor on behalf of the lender will have inspected the property. None of the aforegoing could be remedied by the home information pack but all of the aforegoing are very common causes of delay."
The reality is that the conveyancing process is not and is unlikely in the foreseeable future to be a quick process but it could be made quicker if everyone was a little more efficient and this is what we need not useless bureaucratic home information packs."
July 2, 2009