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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Online agent allows "legally-binding" contracts to be exchanged online

easyProperty has become the first online estate agency in the UK to link with an online platform that permits the exchange of legally binding contracts online.

The technology will be supplied by Clicktopurchase, a firm that has until now often been associated with online auctions and some commercial deals. It describes itself as the first - and currently only - platform in the UK to enable clients to buy and sell properties securely over the internet.

Purchasers can submit an online offer which ClickToPurchase says “generates a legally binding offer to treat in the form of a draft Memorandum of Sale with an encrypted buyer’s digital signature.” 

Should the vendor wish to accept the offer “the agent is able to do so through an interface whereby the contract note is digitally signed on behalf of the seller and the transaction is legally exchanged instantly.”  

  • Richard Rawlings

    Finally - an excellent initiative from an online agency! It's a classic example of a customer focused opportunity to excel that something only a handful of traditional agents have been doing offline -binding offer documents. It really isn't rocket science!

  • Trevor Mealham

    Sounds positive. This type of e-signature happens in the USA, so why not here.

    And why not - a good evolvement

    Jon  Tarrey

    Indeed. No fan of easyProperty, but this is a good move.

     
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    I have to say it does seem like the perfect fit for an 'online' agent to be able to 'exchange' 'online'.... a match made in heaven.

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    (Or hell, depends how you look at it!)

     
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    Online signatures have been used by UK agents for years (and years) so its not just The USA.

    Binding offers are needed, but under what terms? the devil is in the detail - but in principle ''lets have it''.

  • Sceptical As Always

    yes but would you "exchange" on a property without a mortgage offer or having your conveyancer confirm clear title? I think not... anyone that is click happy would get out of this being binding simply because they would fathom what they are entering into as a layman.

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    Bang on! - I thought i was the only one reading this that had alarm bells ringing.

    So i view a property through an online agent with no ofice i can visit if things go wrong, i look at a property like it, agree a price and at that point i am legally obliged to go through with the sale or face a hefty fine.

    Searches, mortgage valuation, survey, title, What could go wrong!

    If the answer is "Oh this is all done before anyone signs" is this really going to speed up the process?

     
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    OK here is the news: Conditional Exchanges have been around for just about ever. This is no different.

    There is even a hilarious video explaining how a buyer can exchange without having put finance in place!

    Like i said earlier ''The Devil is in the detail'' - It seems to me its not quite as first hoped - but then it was never likely to be.

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    "Subject to contract"

  • Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Strategist - Journalist and Influencer

    Actually, the industry is getting ever nearer to legally binding exchange of contracts at the click of a button. That is a reality. The only question is - will it be the accepted model adopted by all? And if so will it lead to vendors selling direct to buyers, with estate agents becoming listers, and after that have no real role. Everyone knows that you can buy at auction by bidding online and then unconditionally exchanging on a property. Yes, it would be sensible if the buyer had viewed the property, downloaded the legal pack, engaged a solicitor and had a survey, but, if in a financial situation where funds are available a buyer can today exchange if registered with the auctioneer and has the means to complete. Offr and other Proptech solutions are narrowing the field, and even though I was an agent for over 30 years, and have dealt with thousands of sales, I personally feel very comfortable with the concept of a more click and buy process, which is becoming the inevitable end game to the property game of chess that has been playing out for the last decade. It is all around you the Millennials and that means anyone 39 years and younger, and the Z - generation who are the next in line, do not go to shops, do not go to estate agents, they connect using mobiles, I-pads, computers, and maybe 5 different ways of communicating, they are not going to wait for anything, they demand like an advancing army of smart ants, an omni-channel experience, seamless, and fast. That is why so many businesses in all sectors are struggling, and the big challenge here is not will this become the model, but, will solicitors adapt or become obsolete, will land registry ever get itself truly digital and digitalized, because the Fintech sector has already got all the solutions for instant mortgage or property funding, due to being an early investor in the tech sector.

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