HIPs: a mixed blessing?

first_imgWhile we should applaud the decision to scrap HIPs, they did at least introduce the concept of preparing in advance. The public and estate agents just do not understand that, to effect a smooth sale, the selling solicitor needs to plan ahead. Agents will market a house for weeks, but do they let the seller’s lawyer know, or even establish who the lawyer might be? A simple line to the lawyer could at least enable him to send questionnaires to the client. Another danger is that agents have lost a source of income. Despite the fact that agents’ commission is linked to house prices, solicitors have traded in a free market which has driven prices to ridiculously low levels. Then agents have eaten into that income with referral fees; what is to stop these rising further? Moreover, solicitors cannot trade on a level playing field with licensed conveyancers, who are not governed by the same rules or regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In summary, the demise of HIPs is not necessarily good news for the profession. Jonathan Williams, Partner, Roythorne Christmas, Peterboroughlast_img

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