Property Information Questionnaires

The British government are making it easier to buy and sell homes in England and…

The British government are making it easier to buy and sell homes in England and Wales. The introduction of the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) is another step to making it easier to buy and sell in the UK with or without an agent. The introduction of the PIQ takes account of the increasing demand from sellers to sell their homes without an estate agent

About Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ)

On 8 December 2008, the Minister for Housing, Margaret Beckett, announced proposals to improve and simplify the consumer content of the Home Information Pack (HIP).The Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) has been designed to be easy for sellers to complete without professional help and will provide buyers with basic, useful information about a property that will help to inform their decision to view a property or make an offer.

From April 6th 2009, those involved in selling homes need to be aware that there are some important changes that you need to know about. Estate agents and other property professionals will need to understand them to be able to advise sellers and potential buyers.

Property Information Questionnaires will be a compulsory document for inclusion in the Home Information Pack. The PIQ is designed to be completed by a seller, providing simple, useful information about a property. This can help to inform prospective buyers’ decisions about whether to view, or make an offer on a particular property.Every property search in a HIP must now contain all the required search information.

These changes are being introduced to Home Information Packs so that better information is available at the beginning of the home buying and selling process, and before buyers incur costs. Informed choice by buyers at the start can help reduce delays later on and wasted time for sellers. So what information does the questionnaire give a buyer? The buyer will see at glance information regarding the home from when the property was purchased to what modifications it has undertaken.

Speeding up the Buying and Selling Process

The UK governments aim to inform the buyer and to make the process quicker resulted in Home Information Packs or HIPs. The HIP is a package of information which must be assembled by a vendor [or an estate agent] prior to marketing a residential property. The documents that have to be included in a HIP from the first day a property is marketed include: a Sales Statement evidence of title Energy Performance Certificate.

Whilst these documents have to be in place before the property can be marketed there are others that must be obtained within 28 days so that the vendor or estate agent can demonstrate that the HIP is compliant. Additional items are:

Local authority Search [including Land Charges, Planning and Highways] Water and Drainage Search copies of any Leases or Licences to which the property is subject.

In all it seems that buying and selling a house in the UK is set to become quicker and easier. I predict that like in the USA where For Sale By Owner is a recognised method of putting a property to market, so to will the UK as governments make the process easier for all