Covid-19 has pushed us to do more online, especially in the property sector. From property agencies giving virtual viewings to solicitors working remotely, the rapid use of digital technology has enabled us to transfer securely despite the pandemic.
This trend is unlikely to break after the pandemic. In this article, we'll provide a round-up of recent digital developments in the residential property sector and how they could help your next home move.
1. Choice of Communications
When you've decided on your future home, you'll want to start things rolling as soon as possible. As a result, your solicitor must clarify your requirements and send out the initial documentation as soon as possible.
The optimal form of communication will depend on the circumstances, but there are significant advantages to going digital when applicable. Email, for example, is often faster than postal mail, and SMS or text messaging may provide you with rapid updates.
2. Electronic Sale Contract
The term 'e-signing' is used to describe the process of digitally signing legal documents. It is an excellent alternative to traditional signing methods, which can be less reliable, expensive and time-consuming.
By using an encrypted system, e-signing can safeguard your conveyancing documents and protect your data. Furthermore, you can safely view the documents at any time and without the assistance of your solicitor.
If you opt for this service, you will be able to sign the documents from anywhere using any device with an internet connection. This is likely to save you a great deal of time and money.
3. Virtual Viewings
If you are buying a new home and want to get an idea of how the property will look, many property agents offer virtual viewings, where you can take a virtual tour of the home via video or pictures.
These provide an excellent opportunity to get the right home. By looking online, you can save a great deal of time, as you can view properties without having to travel to them. This can be accomplished via digital services such as zoom, facetime, or any other software platform.
4. Digital Mortgages
Many of the services provided by banks and building societies are now available online, including services such as mortgages, loans, savings and transfers.
Since the introduction of digital mortgages, people have benefited from faster, more convenient and easily trackable applications. Furthermore, digital mortgages can be cheaper and more readily accessible than their paper equivalents.
5. Transfer of Title
The seller must sign a deed to transfer ownership to the buyer in conjunction with the selling contract. Land transactions are governed by complex legal requirements that, sadly, have not kept pace with current advances. However, it is still critical to get things right to prevent complications demonstrating ownership later on.
For example, the transfer must be carried out as a deed; the buyer must sign it in the presence of a witness, who must also sign. There has been much discussion over whether this can be done electronically, mainly because the witness must observe the person signing the deed personally.
HM Land Registry, the government body in charge of maintaining the registry of title ownership, now allows electronic execution of deeds. It has, however, imposed stringent requirements on all parties involved in an electronic transfer. Electronic deeds can save time and solve some logistical concerns, but they can have their drawbacks. As a result, it is essential to pick a solicitor specialising in this field.
6. Online Identity Checks
The amount of information you must provide before signing a contract nowadays can be overwhelming.
However, it is essential to confirm the other party's identity before proceeding. This is particularly true when it comes to a property transaction, where security is a prime concern.
Fortunately, many estate agents are now providing online identity checks, so you don't have to waste time and money trying to collect all the necessary information. In fact, it can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Advances in technology have made it possible to identify and combat fraud and other crimes with greater sophistication than ever before.
Property agents and solicitors can safeguard your legal documents by using innovative security features. This is a very important consideration in the digital world.
For example, if you are buying a property, you'll want to ensure that your data is safe. Your solicitor will have to deal with a great deal of sensitive information that may be of interest to unscrupulous individuals.
8. Online Searches
Paper-based searches take a lot of time and effort, so many estate agents now offer online searches to help you find the right home.
For example, you might search for properties by postcode, date, type of property, price range, size, or several bedrooms. You'll then get a rundown of suitable properties updated in real-time.
This means you can save a lot of time and effort by searching for the best property from the comfort of your home.
9. Digital Valuation Report
An independent valuation report is a crucial part of any property transaction. It provides a definitive estimate of the property's market value. The value of a property is crucial for many reasons; for example, it impacts property tax, and it helps you negotiate a mortgage. This process involves a number of different parties, including the solicitor involved and the valuer.
Expert valuations can be time-consuming and prohibitively expensive if done using traditional methods. However, the digital age has made it easier to secure fast and affordable valuations.
10. Google Street View
If you are buying a property, you'll want to know what it looks like. Although digital technology has made it easier to get a virtual view of your next home, you may need to see it in real life.
Google Street View is a great way to get an idea of what the home looks like, as it allows you to get a 'virtual visit' of the property. This is particularly useful for viewing large, historic or hidden homes.
For example, if you are buying a property from a remote location and can't get there physically, Street View can help you get a good idea of what the property looks like.
The digital age has made many aspects of our daily life better than ever before. From the way we communicate to how we do business, digital technology has made it easier for us to do almost everything.
The property sector has been no exception, and the effect of this progress is being felt across the UK.
When thinking about your next home move, it's a good idea to consider how you can use new digital technologies as part of your conveyancing process. A property transaction can be an expensive and stressful business. By using digital technology to do some of the legwork, your solicitor should be able to save you a lot of money and effort.
Furthermore, you'll be able to move into your new home sooner than you might have imagined.
If you're on the hunt for instant online conveyancing quotes in the UK to help with your journey, Conveyancing Calculator has got your back. Whether you're purchasing a home, moving, or selling a property, we've got you covered. Visit our website and use our calculator today!