Some industries have been a little slower than others in trying to embrace the digital revolution. Yet, in the past few years, the real estate business has finally signed onto the virtual world, as lawmakers sought to streamline the process involved in buying and selling a property. Up until this time, it was felt to be too much of a "risk" to engage in anything other than a face-to-face transaction, but today there are techniques in place to remove that last objection. While some agents may still insist on an office meeting to close out the process, you may well be able to handle your affairs digitally, if you work with a conveyancer who is up-to-date. What should you expect with this new type of approach?
Slow to Change
It's important to remember the scale of a transaction such as this. For many people, this will be the biggest purchase decision they ever make in their lives, and mistakes here can be very costly. This is why all parties would need to meet in a central location at the designated time, also known as settlement day. The two main parties to the transaction would be accompanied by their legal representatives and agents, as well as officers from each bank. Identities would need to be confirmed, and signatures would need to be entered before any funds could be transferred.
In order to register the transaction, it was important to recognise the new legal owner and remove the outgoing seller from any responsibility. Thus, the documentation had to be uniform and easily verified by the local authority, so that registration delays could be kept to a minimum.
Security and Certificates
It's taken some time for the industry to develop an electronic system that can replicate all of this paperwork in a form that is acceptable to all parties and instantaneously modify the records in real time. Security was one of the biggest stumbling blocks, especially if the individuals were not physically present, but now a procedure is in place to verify their identity beforehand. The digital certificates generated by the process are recognised both in the industry and in the legal system to avoid any potential problems in the future.
This process is much simpler and much quicker than before. All of the information will be updated within the central database instantaneously, whereas a manual system used to involve a delay of several hours or even days.
Your Way Forward
When you engage the services of your conveyancing solicitor to help you with your transaction, make sure that they fully embrace the electronic revolution. After all, this will make settlement day a lot easier to deal with.