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Make sure you don’t pay too much for your Home Information Pack

House sellers who get a Home Information Pack from an estate agent are being urged to ensure that the price isn’t being inflated by hidden charges or commission fees.

The warning from the Law Society comes after a Channel 4 News investigation found that some estate agents were adding more than £100 to the cost of a HIP. This is because many agents hire outside providers to supply the HIP and then add on a commission fee for themselves when billing the client.

Law Society President Paul Marsh said: “The cost of the HIP charged to the home seller by the estate agent could be much higher than necessary and more than the agent actually pays the HIP provider. Because of these hidden referral fees the estate agent is overcharging the seller and making a secret profit. 

“Sellers should ask for details of the exact costs to discover if the agent is charging them more than they should be, and more than the HIP actually cost the estate agent. They should also ask if the estate agent is receiving a hidden commission from the HIP provider, which would mean the estate agents are keeping part of the cost themselves.

“If the agent is paying £300 to the HIP provider and then charging their client £400 the client is paying an extra £100 unnecessarily. With the other costs involved in selling, these added costs are unwanted extras.

“If sellers do find their agent is charging extra for their HIP they should ask their solicitor if they can provide a HIP instead, as solicitors are required to be fully open with their clients about fees. The added benefit of using a solicitor is that they are all strictly regulated and required to follow stringent rules, unlike estate agents.”

Please contact David Phillips and Partners solicitors’ expert conveyancing team on 0800 564 2843 if you would like more information about Home Information Packs.

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