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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…THREAT TO LOCAL ESTATE AGENTSPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, January 5th 2016
LOCAL property professionals are meeting this month to learn how they can plan and prepare for the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs).

In June 2017, the Government plans to speed up the home-buying process by introducing HIPs, formerly referred to as “Sellers’ Packs”.

The new legislation transfers much of the responsibility that rested with the potential purchaser of a property to obtain surveys, searches and other checks carried out on the buyer’s behalf by solicitors and surveyors onto the person selling the property.

The Property Search Group is holding two conferences on Tuesday, January 10 in Carlisle and Cleator to help local property professionals prepare for the most radical change to the house-buying process in decades.

It is feared that some national firms may see the introduction of HIPs as an opportunity to destroy the local, independent market and cream off the profits by offering “no sale no fee” or “pay on completion” options with which smaller firms would not be able to compete.

It is estimated that the cost of an HIP could be as much as £1,000, but it is uncertain when the pack will be paid for and who will pay for it.

Stephen Kemp, of Keswick estate agent Edwin Thompson, said: “Whatever the objections to the new system, and there are several, we must now prepare for change.

“Under the new arrangements, the process of selling a home will undoubtedly appear more complex. We therefore anticipate that the estate agent, who will normally be the first point of contact, will have an even more important role to play.

“To provide a professional service, the agent will need to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the new regime and its implications for each individual client.”

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