The Government says a trial of its homeseller's packs has been a success despite industry scepticism and fears that the cost may deter people from selling their homes.
The Government says the results of its trial in Bristol “confirmed consumer sup-port” for the packs which contain essential information on the seller's property and will become mandatory in early 2003.
Estate agents participating in the trial welcomed the attempt to improve the current process but expressed concern that the Government was putting a positive spin on mixed results.
They say the average 11 days that it takes to compile the packs may waste valuable time and mean that sellers could miss out on potential homebuyers.
IFAs point out many len ders require or are legally bound to request a valuation in addition to the one contained in the packs, meaning the seller and the buyer may both have to pay for surveys.
Advisers are also concerned that the information in the packs may become out of date if the property is not sold within a few months of going on the market.
Regency Financial management partner Bryn Walker says: “It is hard for a purchaser to trust these packs. If a client came in and wanted to buy a house, I would advise them not solely to trust a seller's pack and to get their own survey.”