News: Consumers accepting HIPs...finally

Wed, 28 Nov 07

Agents are being urged to reduce the risks of HIP payments...

A recent survey of 800 consumers carried out by HIP Payment Services reveals that 80% of respondents have heard of HIPs, with more than 70% showing at least a basic understanding of what they entail. With

HIPs now an established reform, estate agents still opposing packs should concentrate on offering an efficient HIP service to their customers in time for the imminent extension from three bedroom plus to one and two bedroom homes.

Some agents, who are frequently footing the bill themselves in order to offer a ‘buy now pay later’ option to their customers are beginning to build up significant levels of debt as a result. According to HIP Payment Services this is an unnecessary risk and it is urging agents to take advantage of its deferred payment scheme in order to transfer responsibility for obtaining payment and avoid any associated risks.

Sellers ignorant of HIPs?

Jeff Smith, Chief Executive of HIP Payment Services, explains: “At the moment, the perception among estate agents is that vendors are largely ignorant of HIPs but, as our recent poll shows, a large proportion of consumers now have a reasonable understanding of the packs. As a result, they will be asking their agent an increasing number of questions, including those relating to any relevant payment options on offer.  

“A number of agents are already attempting to encourage sellers to the market by offering to pay for a HIP until the sale has gone through. This unwillingness to recover upfront costs from their customers means that agents are essentially turning themselves into lenders, but with no safeguard against unrecovered fees should the seller walk away. We believe that in the current climate the chance of a sale not completing is too great, and agents could be left to chase significant irrecoverable costs.

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