The Home Information Pack - A Guide For Sellers

Home Information Packs

Home information packs for all properties are due to be introduced from 1 June 2007. This means that nearly all homeowners in England and Wales will have to prepare a Home Information Pack before they can put their home up for sale.

There are companies springing up all over the country which can offer you a service to compile an HIP for your property (over and above agents and solicitors fees). The good news is that estimated prices for this service are coming down. Some companies are offering HIPs for around £400 - which is a substantial improvement of the previously anticipated £600 - £700!

If you need an HIP you can:

  • Use an estate agent.
  • Get a solicitor to do it.
  • Use a specialist Pack provider.
  • Do it yourself.
  • Enlist the help of other businesses, such as financial advisers.
  • Recently, even some supermarkets have also said that they might provide Home Information Packs.

Before you start however, you must decide if you actually need an HIP.

You will not need a Home Information Pack for:

  • Properties where there is no marketing (e.g. sale to member of the family).
  • Non-residential properties.
  • Seasonal and holiday accommodation.
  • Mixed sales (e.g. shop with flat).
  • Right to buy sales.
  • Sales of portfolios of properties.
  • Properties not being sold with completely vacant possession.
  • Unsafe properties and properties to be demolished.

In all other cases- which, lets face it will include nearly all home sales, the person responsible for selling or marketing a property must have a Home Information Pack in their possession while the property is on the market.
They must also provide any potential buyer with a copy of the Pack, or any document from it, on request. This must be within 14 days of any request which is known as the 'permitted period'.
If an estate agent is responsible for selling your property, these duties do not apply to the seller.

The Government say that the Home Information Pack has been designed to bring together all of the necessary information needed by buyers and sellers in order to complete the home-buying process.

With that in mind all Home Information Packs must contain at least these documents:

  • A contents sheet.
  • A sale statement.
  • Evidence of title (for registered properties).
  • An Energy Performance Certificate.
  • Searches plus leasehold/commonhold documents (or proof that these have been commissioned).
  • Evidence of title (for unregistered properties).
  • Searches.
  • Leasehold/commonhold documents.

The last three documents are compulsory, but can be added to the pack later if there are delays in getting them:

  • If any documents are missing, this should be explained why in the index.
  • In the case of leasehold or commonhold documents that are not available, or are missing, the seller must show evidence that an agreement has been made to provide the documents as soon as possible.
  • Within 28 days. In exceptional circumstances, if this takes longer than 28 days, the seller must show that they have made all reasonable efforts to obtain them

A Home Condition Report - is not a required element of the HIP but this could help you sell your property more quickly if it shows that your home is in good condition, or it may draw attention to any problems for potential buyers which will avoid nasty shocks later in the process.

If a property is marketed continuously, there is no duty to update the Home Information Pack. It has been left for the market to decide whether the documents remain acceptable and up to date.

Remember - whilst the process of getting an HIP for your property may seem daunting, there is plenty of help available to you. There is, of course, a cost in all of this but at the end of the day HIPs should speed up the selling process and ultimately take out some of the stress of moving house.

More Home Information Packs Articles

The Home Information Pack - A Guide For Buyers
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