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Sellers' frequently asked questions
When do I have to provide a HIP?
If you are marketing a property which falls within the scope of the scheme (initially those with 4 or more bedrooms) during the temporary period, which runs from 1 August until the 31 December, then the HIP must be commissioned before marketing can begin. During this period the EPC must be provided before contracts are exchanged, although there is no set time limit on when the rest of the HIP should be provided.

If you are marketing a property which falls within the scope of the scheme from 1 January onwards, the HIP including the EPC must be available to anyone interested in the property from the time it is first placed on the market.

How is a 4 bedroom property defined?
A 4 bedroom property is defined as any property being marketed as having 4 bedrooms.

When will my 3/2/1 bedroom property require a HIP?
The phased implementation of HIPs is to ensure there are enough Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) to produce EPCs, which form a compulsory part of the pack. We anticipate needing 2000 accredited DEAs to incorporate 3 bedroom properties and 3000 to cover the whole market. These numbers however, are subject to there being an appropriate regional spread and the data collected from the implementation from 1 August onwards. Current figures for the number of accredited DEAs are available here.

What do I do if my house was on the market before the 1 August?
Properties that are genuinely on the market before the commencement date (i.e. I August for sales of homes with four or more bedrooms) will not need a Pack. This exemption will apply for as long as marketing continues but the Government may appoint a date at which all properties on the market will be subject to the HIP duties, regardless of when they were first marketed.

What goes in a HIP?
The following compulsory documents must be included in a Home Information Pack:

Home Information Pack Index
Energy Performance Certificate
Sale statement
Standard searches
Evidence of title
Additional information for leasehold and commonhold sales, where appropriate.
You can also include other documents such as a Home Condition Report, an environmental or flood risk search and other information that would be of interest to a potential buyer as defined in the regulations.

Who compiles HIPs?
Sellers can hire estate agents, solicitors, separate pack providers, or do it themselves.

Are HIPs required across the UK?
No - only in England and Wales

I'm selling my house privately - do I need a Home Information Pack?
If you are marketing your property, even if it's just by putting a 'for sale' sign in the window, you need a Pack. Sales where no marketing takes place (e.g. to a member of the family) won't need a Pack.

Who pays for the Pack?
The seller is responsible for the cost of a Home Information Pack. The cost of the Pack is down to the market, but sellers will often be able to defer costs until late in the sale.

How will I pay for the Pack?
This depends on the agreement between the seller and the compiler of the Pack. Some examples of the ways that Packs might be paid for are as follows:

Seller pays for the Pack upfront from estate agent, solicitor or Pack provider
Seller compiles the Pack and pays each organisation for the relevant component (e.g. the Land Registry for the title document)
Estate agent offers the Pack to the seller on a 'no sale, no fee' basis, where the cost of the Pack could be included in the estate agent's commission
Estate agent offers the Pack to the seller on a 'buy now, pay on completion' basis, which is usually a credit agreement for three or six months between the seller and the organisation compiling the pack.
These are only indications of payment models; the Pack regulations do not prescribe any particular payment method.
See What's in a Home Information Pack? for more information

Do I have to put electrical certificates in my Pack?
Electrical certificates (past or present) are not a required component of the Pack, but can be included if the seller has them.

I've lost guarantees of work I have had done - what do I do?
Don't worry - guarantees aren't a required component of the Pack, but can be included if you have them.

Should the pack include a Home Condition Report?
A Home Condition Report could help you sell your property more quickly if it shows that it is in good condition, or if it highlights any problems straight away for potential buyers, it can avoid nasty surprises for buyers later in the process.

Click here to go back to Home Information Packs

For more information on any of the above please contact Philip Thornton on 01271 325125

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Thinking of buying or selling your home? Not sure about the jargon used? Let Barnstaple Town Centre and Philip Thornton Estate Agents help you sail through the jargonese.... Buying Guide : Understanding the House Detail Guides : Make A Winning Offer : Win The Buying Game : Plan Your Move A Sellers Guide : Selling Subtly


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