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Optional Property Information Packs (PIPs) for home buyers

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Home Information Packs – which were abandoned by the government in 2010 – will enjoy a reincarnation by estate agents as an optional way to help speed up the property transactions, reported a story in Property Industry Eye last week.

The Property Information Packs (PIPs) online service will start being available across the country in the next three months following a successful trial in Shropshire.

The intention is to provide buyers with more information about the property before they make a formal offer to purchase. This is likely to accelerate the conveyancing work that needs to be done and help reduce the number of transactions that fall through between an offer being made and the transaction completed.

PIPs will be maintained and updated by estate agents, who ask vendors to complete details about the property and its fixtures and fittings.

Further information will be added to the packs as solicitors and conveyancers perform their checks on matters such as the terms of any leasehold and boundaries of the property.

Estate agents will notify vendors, solicitors and conveyancers whenever new details have been added or if additional information is needed. Potential buyers will be given access to all the information currently in the PIP and agents will be able to see how many interested buyers have looked at the information pack.

This allows any potential buyer to view all the information currently available before making an offer.

Agents will upload and update the Property Information Pack free of charge and a £25 fee for the service is paid once contracts are formally exchanged.

The new PIPs are in line with current government proposals that more information should be provided by property vendors up-front.