Around one third of property transactions fall through in the UK. This typically happens after you, as a buyer, have instructed solicitors, ordered the searches, had a building survey completed and applied for a mortgage – and paid or accrued the fees for all of this. This is why we always recommend to our clients that they take out homebuyers’ protection insurance as soon as (or within 7 days of) their offer being accepted by the seller.

So, what is this insurance? HPI is an insurance policy that covers you in the event that your purchase transaction falls through due to something that is not your fault. So, for example, if you are gazumped (another buyer offers more after your offer is accepted) or the seller decides to pull out for whatever reason, or you don’t qualify for your mortgage, the up front fees you have paid can be claimed through the insurance policy. Eligible fees include: legal fees, surveyor fees, mortgage application fees, search fees. There may be limits on the amount you can claim for each of these fees – usually the more you pay for the policy the higher the amount – however, even the most basic policies typically have enough cover to fully reimburse you.

How much does it cost? You will be surprised to read that it is actually quite cheap. You can find policies from as little as £49.

When should it be taken out and how long does it last? Most policies require you to take it out within 7 days of acceptance of your offer or instruction of your solicitor – you need to read the policy conditions. This means that this quick and easy bit of research should be one of the first things you do so that you don’t miss out. Typically a policy will last around 120-180 days.

Hope this helps and perhaps provides some comfort to some of you – especially those who have been stung by a transaction falling through before.

Stay tuned for weekly “top tips”.

Please call us on 0117 973 3683 or email us for a free, no obligation, consultation to discuss your property requirements and how we can help you.

Domus Holmes Property Finder ( is a Bristol-based independent property buying agent dedicated to sourcing, negotiating and securing various residential and commercial properties for a diverse range of clients.

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