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Agents 'not applying for Hips before selling homes'

Some estate agents are neglecting to apply for Home Information Packs (Hips) until after they begin advertising a property, the BBC reports.According to new research from the Law Society, pressure from sellers who do not wish to pay the £300 required for the packs cause this delay.This apparent consumer antipathy to Hips - which became mandatory for all home sales last year - seems to have been strengthened by the housing downturn, which has caused an annual drop in house prices exceeding six per cent.Hips contain essential information on the property being sold, including deeds and an energy performance certificate.Speaking to the broadcaster, Law Society president Paul Marsh said: "The evidence we're receiving from right across the country, be it Cornwall, London or the North East of England, is that solicitors are not receiving a Hip when the deal is struck."He added: "You would have expected that the Hip would be available immediately the agreement [to accept an offer] is reached. We're not getting a Hip until three to four weeks later, sometimes not until exchange of contracts."

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