A number of firms putting together Home Information Packs (HIPs) are remaining tight lipped when it comes to telling customers how local authorities can help them sell their homes, a new report can reveal.
Merton Council can provide vendors with a full and detailed local authority written search for their HIP, a legal requirement for anyone selling a home. But according to the latest Council for the National Land Information Service report, many HIP providers have their own preferred search suppliers and are not telling vendors about local authority written searches.
Some of these suppliers do provide council searches in their packs but not all – others simply provide a personal search, which anyone can do.
Estate agent Dominic Pasqua, a partner at Knight Frank based in Wimbledon, said most mortgage companies refuse to lend money to buyers producing a personal search but they do accept local authority written searches. Full written searches completed by Merton Council insure homebuyers against losses they may incur in the unlikely event of any problem arising from the discovery of an unknown issue after they have bought their new home.
Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, Councillor Samantha George said: “Home Information Packs are now a legal requirement for anyone selling a house and we are determined to provide our residents with the best value search service we possibly can.
“Local government searches are much more comprehensive than personal searches and are recognised as such by mortgage companies and insurers. They are carried out by trained and experienced professionals while personal searches can be done by anyone.”
If you are selling your home and are having a HIP prepared, ask your HIP provider about the choice of searches available.
Notes for editors
Searches make up part of the Home Information Pack, which since last year is a legal requirement for anyone selling their home.
Searches reveal any planning decisions, road building proposals or other information, which could affect the value of the property in the future.
A Home Information Pack must contain:
An index showing the documents inside
An energy performance certificate revealing how “green” the property is
A sale statement showing the address of the property, and whether it is freehold, leasehold or commonhold.
Standard searches showing drainage details for the area and any planning decisions or road building proposals that could affect the value of the property in the future.
Evidence of title, which proves the