Rob Hailstone of HIPAG supports Home Buying Reform – 10th June 2010
What improvements in the home buying process would you call for?
Rob’s unedited letter.
One last passing letter from me for you to print maybe?
It is nearly three years since Hips were introduced and just over three weeks since they were suspended. As I expected, almost overnight we went back to the same old laborious conveyancing process that we had pre August 2007. Hips were far from perfect and from day one I felt a bit like Gerald Ratner must have famously done selling his less expensive merchandise.
However, there were some good bits, even in the basic Hip and an "exchange ready pack" definitely helped streamline the process. I quote from a letter written by Steven Kenton, a solicitor with YVA solicitors in London "The "exchange ready Hip" provided incorporates, amongst other things, replies to general enquiries and has had a beneficial effect as the only other documentation requested by the buyer’s solicitor is a completed fixtures and fittings form." Despite this, most of the property industry looked upon the Hip in a completely negative way and not as something that could be improved on.
From my point of view I feel like I may have wasted six years of my life trying to help improve the home buying and selling process, because all that has been learnt in that period has been simply binned by our new Government without discussion, debate or consultation. Having said that I feel that the Albatross that the basic Hip was, has now been removed from my neck and I can now concentrate fully on other projects, rather than "cling to the wreckage" of Hips in the hope that they would be improved.
I have had to make redundant a number of good, conscientious employees (as have others) and I wish them all well for the future and thank them for their efforts. I just hope that some estate agents listen to the comments made by Richard Rawlings in The Negotiator 28th May and offer something post Hip that will help the home buying and selling public in England and Wales.
Have I learnt my lesson? Much to my wife’s dismay, no. I would be delighted to be involved in any new initiatives that surface in the future, only this time I will make sure I have other irons in the fire at the same time!
The Bold Group