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Homeowners face HIP ache says agents

PUBLISHED: 14:18 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:49 12 August 2010

STRESS is in store for house-hunters because of changes to Home Information Pack (HIP) rules, say estate agents. From May 31 a full HIP costing around £350 must be completed before a home can go on the market, making speculative market entries costly for

STRESS is in store for house-hunters because of changes to Home Information Pack (HIP) rules, say estate agents.

From May 31 a full HIP costing around £350 must be completed before a home can go on the market, making speculative market entries costly for sellers.

Previously home-owners have been allowed to put their property on the market when they order a HIP.

Ertash Ali, partner at Hamiltons estate agents in Station Road, Sidcup, said: "It's another form of stress for our clients.

"Introducing HIPs was like adding a middle man into the situation who's a bit inexperienced.

"With the current levels of service the change is just going to delay things further."

In order for estate agents to put a house on the market, an external provider must be hired to create the HIP.

Mr Ali said he likes HIPs in theory, as they potentially provide useful information to buyers as well as guaranteeing crucial documents.

But he said slow and disorganised HIP providers have caused delays of up to three weeks.

He added: "It creates a bad taste that reflects poorly upon us."

A group called the Splinta Campaign has created an online petition calling for the government to continue First Day Marketing beyond May 31.

The petition has received 8,754 signatures, although creator Nick Salmon hopes to attract 100,000 signatures.

But Jill Jarvis, director of Dartford estate agents Levens Fox and Jarvis, said HIPs have already slowed selling, which won't be change after May 31.

She added: "Our providers think they can turn them around in five days, so I don't think it will make an awful lot of difference.

To sign Splinta Group's online petition visit http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/homeselling.

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