A new online platform claims agents can now offer people a chance to buy a property with, literally, just one click of the mouse - automatically triggering the financing, purchasing, conveyancing and even the furnishing of the home.
The arrangement involves putting the property into a company structure, so is aimed only at buy to let purchasers.
The Dot Button - created by one of the founders of buy to let mortgage lender Landbay - allows investors to finance and acquire British and American properties online in a way similar to that of buying, say, a book or a household item online.
Dot enables any suitable buyer with a 30 per cent deposit to become a property investor instantly, and claims to provide agents with a pre-approved finance and management solution as new buyers emerge. Agents can also offer the Dot platform as a payment option for purchasers.
Dot offers buyers a pre-approved mortgage, insurance, legal and conveyancing services, tax compliance and reporting facilities, lettings and management services and even furnishings to turn that property into a compliant and fully-managed unit to let.
The people behind Dot say it offers agents and developers a chance to make more money from sales by providing a simple buying process that streamlines all aspects of the transaction; it also allows agents to access international buyers with minimal effort.
Dot is initially launching in some regional cities throughout the UK and in the US states of Florida, Georgia and Texas.
For the individual buy to let purchaser, it works like this:
- a buyer reviews the Dot-approved property listing online and this shows the amount of deposit required plus all costs, fees and duties;
- the platform uses real-time market data to analyse each investment, determining a notional yield, liquidity and value, and its potential net cash-flow after estimated management costs;
- the buyer then clicks, reviews the investment terms and conditions and pays their deposit. The purchase is then completed by Dot on their behalf;
- the property is moved into a Special Passive Vehicle - a company structure that holds the asset on behalf on the investor who becomes its beneficial owner or shareholder;
- each Dot Container includes many professional investor benefits as standard, including a fully-financed and compliant structure, furniture and appliances, lettings and management expertise, and buildings, contents and rent guarantee insurance.
When the owner later wishes to sell, a Dot Container can move from owner to owner without conveyancing and can be refinanced without requiring new mortgage documents, because of the SPV arrangement.
Dot insists this removes traditional purchase bottlenecks such as banks, lawyers or paperwork.
It lists its UK partners as accounting firm EY, retailer John Lewis, San Francisco-based debt fund 1Sharpe, buy to let lender Landbay, digital current account provider Tide, insurance technology firm Kasko, and the conveyancing technology company Gazeal.