HIPs Could Encourage Gazumping

The introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPS) could lead to an increase in gazumping, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

The group has suggested that the introduction of mandatory information packs for home sellers at a cost could mean less people willing to put their property onto the market, leading to a dearth of good property, conditions which it argues are ripe for gazumping to begin.

Time could also be a factor which could put potential sellers off, the NAEA said. It could take up to a fortnight for a HIP to be put together, making for a long wait for the house to officially go up for sale, and the marketing to kick in.

Another issue which may come into play is that the large amounts of information contained within the packs themselves may allow people to gazump more easily, rather than have to wait and go through lawyers for further details on a property after an initial viewing.

Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive of the NAEA said: ?The objective of the HIP is to speed up the buying and selling process by making all the required information available at the start of the process. The ability for increased numbers of people to have instant access to the HIP could increase the chance of gazumping.?

However, John Vaughn at Savills doubts this will be the case: ?I honesty do not see how HIPs could affect whether there is or is not gazumping going on. But we all have to wait and see because absolutely nothing is confirmed as of yet,? he said.