As is the case with all technology, online conveyancing avenues are constantly updated to make it as efficient as possible.
Conveyancing is the process of transferring title of property from one party i.e., the seller to the other party – the buyer. While traditionally conveyancing has been handled by property lawyers and other professionals using papers and documents, electronic conveyancing or e-conveyancing brings the possibilities of transferring the entire process to online platforms.
The property industry has for many years embraced new technology and innovative approaches to various matters. This also applies to selling and buying of property where online platforms such as PEXA play a crucial role when property lawyers handle conveyancing matters.
There are many advantages and disadvantages which can be associated with e-conveyancing. This article discusses certain pros and cons of e-conveyancing in brief.
Advantages and disadvantages of e-conveyancing
Among the top advantages of e-conveyancing is how cost-effective it is. Online conveyancing does not require additional payments which are needed to meet professionals like solicitors or conveyancers in person.
Traditionally, all documents needed to be in writing, and so all parties were required to meet in person to complete conveyancing procedures. However, this isn’t necessary for online conveyancing, making it more convenient especially since Covid-19 has prevented people from conducting face-to-face meetings.
Importantly, e-conveyancing facilitates transparency wherein both parties i.e., the buyer and the seller can get to know each other better. Notably, the trail of records can easily be viewed by both parties, making all documents easily accessible to all parties involved.
Using e-conveyancing platforms reduces the risks of manual errors, thereby expediting the process.
Moreover, handling papers and documents can be cumbersome. It is not uncommon for people to misplace their papers and documents. E-conveyancing also helps to prevent such issues as everything is stored online.
What are the disadvantages?
There are high chances of fraudulent behaviour when dealing with online conveyancing. This is because there is reduced supervision when conveyancing is dealt with using PEXA. This is not the case when all documents are handled manually as everyone involved will be monitoring every activity carefully.
E-conveyancing actually aims to get rid of fraudulent activities. However, it is impossible to pin-point how bugs and hackers can get access to documents.
This can be illustrated by the 2018 case where a MasterChef finalist was the subject of a cyber-attack. Hackers reportedly stole money amounting to $250,000 when the sale of their property was being settled through an online platform. The hackers were able to set up new accounts on the platform, and proceeds from the sale were unknowingly sent to the fraudster’s bank account.
When a solicitor handles conveyancing matters, they will ensure that all aspects are checked thoroughly to minimise the chances of fraud. However, virtual transactions pose a unique set of challenges in this regard.
Another disadvantage of online conveyancing is that it often leads to significant delays in getting all matters finalised. The process from start to finish may take longer with online conveyancing platforms.
As is the case with all technology, online conveyancing avenues are constantly updated to make it as efficient as possible. To address issues related to fraud, PEXA has implemented a residential seller guarantee which protects the seller from fraud.
Notably, there are certain verification processes which parties have to undergo such as identity verification and client authorisation. It is also the responsibility of the property lawyer or conveyancer to make sure the parties involved are genuine.
The popularity of e-conveyancing is growing. With constant advancements being made to fix the existing issues with online conveyancing platforms, it may well be the only way through which title and property are transferred from sellers to buyers in the future.