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Caution urged over price of new HIP

Caution urged over price of new HIP

Category: Money

Updated: 17/08/2009
First Published: 17/08/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Home movers have been urged to shop around after it was revealed home information packs (HIPs) from estate agents can cost almost 50 per cent more than those bought directly from a specialist.

Since April this year, it has been necessary for every home put up for sale in England and Wales to have a HIP in place.

However, new research from Which? Money found considerable gaps between the cheapest and most expensive HIPs on the market, with some people paying almost £300 over the odds.

During the course of the consumer group's research, it was found the most expensive HIP for three-bedroom freehold semi-detached property cost £413 whereas the cheapest cost just £189.

Meanwhile, for a two-bedroom leasehold flat, the most expensive option of £516 was £292 more than the cheapest available.

Although direct providers were found usually to offer the best deals, differences in price of up to £191 were still identified.

"It's now compulsory to get a HIP before you put your house or flat on the market. In fact, you could be fined up to £200 a day if you don't get one," said James Daley, editor of Which? Money.

"But don't be fooled into thinking that you have to buy it from your estate agent. Our research shows that the most expensive high street agents charge over twice as much as the cheapest online HIP providers, so you could save hundred of pounds by shopping around for the best deal."

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