HIPS makes gazumping easier
Friday, August 21, 2009 by Douglas And Gordon
“The introduction of HIPs has led to a much higher than expected level of gazumping in the current mini revival,” says Ed Mead, London estate agent and area director of Douglas & Gordon.
“Aided by the immediate availability of Land Registry searches and proof of title, cash rich second buyers can approach the vendor’s solicitor to simply exchange on the spot, leaving the original purchaser no time to react. Aside from compliance, a HIP provides the buyer’s solicitor with vital information about what is being bought which speeds up the transaction. Instances of so-called ‘attended exchanges’ are very rare - we might get one or two in a year - but we've had three in the last fortnight!”
“HIP’s were originally introduced to provide protection for the buyer, but it seems another loophole in the already tarnished system has emerged. Buyers are advised to have their finance approved before searching for a property and to have a solicitor and surveyor on call to act quickly if required.”