Plans by Asda and estate agent Hamptons International to offer free home information packs when they become compulsory on 1 June have been dismissed by industry bodies as risky and premature. Financial Times

ASDA is to run a free trial for six months in the north-east of England as part of its move into house selling, called Homes@Supermarkets, and will charge clients a 1% commission for the sale service.

Customers who sell their house with Hamptons International will be able to claim a free pack, provided they do not use multiple agents and keep their property on the market for at least 12 months.

Mike Ockenden, director-general of the Association of Home Information Pack Providers, said: 'I’m not comfortable with the idea of people [giving] something for free that it costs them to procure.'

Peter Bolton King at the National Association of Estate Agents warned: 'Very few agents could afford to operate on a nosale, no-fee for Hips basis', and that 'the majority are more likely to roll the cost into the commission, which will rise to compensate'.