Friday 13 February 2009

Oven-ready chips? Exchange-ready HIPs!

In an earlier post, I commented that the latest "improvements" to HIPs would not in fact make them more useful. What is needed (IMO) is a cultural change, so that sellers, agents and solicitors accepted that, however badly-thought-out (by civil servants and poloticians) HIPs are, the property professionals can make them work and use them to benefit buyers and sellers

If, instead of going for the cheapest HIP - which probably adds alsost nothing to the efficiancy of the conveyancing process - sellers could be persuaded to commission a HIP that would contain everything that a buyer could reasonably want before exchanging contracts, the only things that would prevent immediate exchange of contracts (and certainty) would be (a) the buyer getting a mortgage offer, (b) the buyer selling his or her own home (if needed) and (c) the seller having somewhere to move to

Exchange-ready HIPs would have -
  • official search results, not personal ones which are not acceptable to all lenders
  • a comprehensive set of property information, not the half-baked pointlessness that is the Property Information Questionnaire
  • even a seller's survey by a real surveyor

If done properly, that would cut out delays, removing the opportunities for gazumping and gazundering, and actually achieve the objective the government said it had when it originally introduced HIPs

Will it happen? Only if enough people insist on quality work rather than the cheapest possible price

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