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What will technology do for home-buying?

Nov 17, 2017 | Money

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With car financing now making the process of obtaining a car not dissimilar to taking out a phone contract, the question remains as to what else technology will commodify for the average consumer. Looking at car-buying, recent financing offers mean ‘car contracts’ are now making newer models more readily available to consumers than ever before. Some have argued that this may lead to further increase of personal debt to people, and cars will become accessories to some.

This may be true for cars, but surely the same cannot be said for something like home-buying? Too many people have their ‘forever home’ firmly in their mind the second they move out of their family home for the first time, so at least for now we can assume that homes are too much a personal and financial investment to be commodified! However, there are some that feel the home buying process needs a revamp, and here’s why…

Time to revolutionise

Reportedly, the Conveyancing Association feels that the current process of buying a home is not fit for purpose, believing that Government’s call for evidence, that technology will revolutionise home buying/selling, is acknowledgement of a need for change. One of the key parts of this process is introducing digital home reports accessible to potential buyers, keeping a record of ‘aborted transactions and gazumping’. This does, however, come with controversy over whether a ban on estate agent referral fees is really necessary. Russell Quirk, chief exec of eMove, believes that estate agent referral fees are ‘a perfectly legitimate aspect of the property selling process and are already regulated by the Estate Agents Act and via the Property Ombudsman to ensure nothing illegal transpires between agent and broker’, and also that this point could potentially make the transition, arguably vital for the future of home buying, more convoluted that it needs to be.

Any ideas for the future?

Let’s just spitball a couple of concepts for the future – firstly it will look like mobile access could be the way forward. Potential home-buyers can already view homes through mobile applications, and ‘3D tours’ of homes has now meant that it isn’t even essential for you to go a and physically view properties. Saying that, it is still highly recommended to do so! So imagine that you can have access to a digital home report from your fingertips, see the track record of interest on potential homes and hopefully remove some of the unnecessary fees.  In addition to this, technology is helping both buyers and sellers compare Home Conveyancing solicitors to save more money.  Here at MyMoneyComparison we now offer with our partner ‘National Homebuyer Conveyancing’ a panel to compare conveyancing solicitors located closely to you.  You can compare Home conveyancing here.

What about other fees?

Russell Quirk also pointed out that introductory tenancy reference fees are already on the road to being banned, stating that this is all part of a attack on the lettings industry by government, and that government has been ‘pulling the rug from beneath the industry’s feet’. It is necessary to consider that these words are of somebody who is within the industry itself, and therefore will potentially a vested interest in the future of referral fees. Despite this, it does go to show that changes within the industry are already beginning, meaning that this could potentially mean a more streamlined (and cheaper!) home-buying process in the UK.

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