A new app has been developed that aims to revolutionise how homes in the UK are bought and sold.
The free to download app (pictured below), which has been launched by property transaction platform When You Move, enables buyers and sellers to track in real time every stage of their property transaction from when the sale has been agreed right through to completion.
Everyone involved in the property transaction can use the free mobile app to receive live updates of their conveyancing case – from estate agents and mortgage brokers to solicitors and/or conveyancers, reducing the amount of paperwork and the bureaucracy found in the current system.
Simon Bath, chief executive of When You Move, says the service will transform levels of transparency, speed and efficiency in the house-buying process.
He told Moneywise: “The huge problem with conveyancing is that there is a black hole of nothingness. There is no communication; you have the solicitor who doesn’t pick up the phone, who still uses Dictaphones, second-class post and fax machines.
“What we’ve implemented is a bit of functionality whereby – almost like a tweet – every 72 hours the client, the mortgage broker and the estate agent receives information from the conveyancer. For example, it could be: ‘Still waiting on the estate agent to send the sales memo.’”
The app (pictured) aims to speed up the conveyancing process, but there are other benefits, such as the automation and sending of client letters. Once a client has signed up, the app will auto-generate the client’s details, property details, and documents and email them immediately. Only the contract requires a ‘wet’ signature.
Documents such as searches can be pdfs loaded on to your account, which you can access whenever you need them.
Mr Bath adds: “In the traditional world, someone will have to type up a letter, and then it will have to be checked and sent by second class post – so we’ve potentially shaved seven days off that.
“Clients will be able to message their solicitor through the app – typically the reasons for the delays is that no one knows where that blockage is and no one is responding. There is a kind of lethargy in the consumer market and we just accept that’s OK and we will still pay £1,500 or £2,000 for that service.”
However, to use the app you need to pick from one of five specific property law firms: Gordons Property Lawyers; Leadenhall Law Group; Right Choice Conveyancing; WYM Legal, and one other that is yet to be named.
The companies vary in terms of customer service, as well as their fees, so check the terms and conditions, price, and customer reviews online before going ahead.
For the app to be successful you’re also reliant on your estate agent and mortgage broker to sign up and send direct messages via the app.
The When You Move app, which is designed to handle property sales, purchases and remortgages, is available for free from Google Play. The app will be available for Apple users in future, although When You Move has yet to confirm a date.
Thanks for your comments and for highlighting the growing concern over property
fraud. I agree that with any technological innovation, there is an increased risk
that cyber criminals could look at ways to target property buyers, which is why we include a link to Moneywise's scam watch article on this, where the advice is for
buyers to phone up and verify the solicitor's bank details before transferring
I asked When You Move for their comments and they say:
Hi Tony, Sorry to read of your frustrations. Having read your points,
we are in complete agreement that fair and ethical practice should and is a
fundamental priority for the industry, and are keen to ensure our solution enables
this to happen in a fluid manner. Our premise is solely tech innovation to increase connectivity among progressive, ethical practitioners within the mortgage arena.