Gazumping and HIPs: A Delicious Irony?

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If you take yourself back to heady days of 1997, you may recall the tale of a Labour M.P., who was so appalled by being gazumped on his proposed house purchase, he called for a reform in the Conveyancing and home selling process.

Thus, was first mooted the prospect of a Seller’s Pack to give the buying public as much information as possible to speed up the Conveyancing process.

The end result was the introduction of the Home Information Pack or HIP in August 2007.

Imagine my surprise when I read today about the experiences of some Estate Agents in London. The Estate Agent W.A. Ellis reports that HIPs are actually helping gazumping. New purchasers, armed with the HIP, are now able to attend the Seller’s Solicitors offices and physically exchange contracts- so called "attended exchanges".

Such buyers would either be cash buyers or have their financial arrangements or mortgage already in place.

Nevertheless, it is perhaps ironic that the HIP, the intended slayer of the gazumper, is, without mixing too many metaphors being hoist by its own petard!

Anyone for slowing down Solicitors and the Conveyancing process?