Callcredit Blog

Online ID verification opens doors for estate agents

Fraud & Verification

shutterstock_186818288The evolution of the internet has made it easier for home buyers to now look for properties online before they do anything else. Like many others, when it came to me and my husband buying our first home we began by searching the internet on sites such as zoopla and rightmove. I liked the idea of using an internet company, as it seemed like a quick and hassle free way of finding a property and arranging a viewing.

In most cases using an online only estate agent will be a lot cheaper than using a high street agent and it can be much more straightforward to deal with online estate agents. Their pricing structures are transparent and their call centres are open during evenings and weekends, so they are able to deal with queries outside of working hours. We found it worked brilliantly! Our agent was amazing she really worked well on behalf of us and the vendor. As we were first time buyers we were unsure of what to do sometimes but the agent supported us fully.

The only concern we had using an online estate agent was when it came to the actual sale itself and the completion on the property. Once the sales process was nearly over, the agent needed to prove our identity, this was all being done via paper based copies and very time consuming collecting copies and posting off the required documents.  With their ‘offline’ office being in Manchester, which was a long way from where we lived, we were a bit wary of having to use the post. Not just because it was our personal documents we were sending, we also had to send copies of both of our parent’s passports who were helping us with some of the deposit. I can imagine that this may also be a worry for others using an online estate agent, especially when some are solely based online. This form of faceless business can be disconcerting especially when there are large amounts of money involved and personal documentation being provided. Even though I sent all the documents recorded delivery I was still anxious about them getting lost in the post or worse case fall into the wrong hands.

This personal experience made me ask myself the question why wasn’t electronic verification used?  This would have been a simpler and more streamlined process for all parties involved.   Not only would it save time for all but it would also enable estate agents to accurately identify and authenticate individuals as well as help to prevent fraud.

Using this kind of system would help make the process even quicker than before, and potential buyers may feel a lot more at ease giving out this information and using an online agent.  I believe this approach would certainly help open more doors for all parties involved.

If you would like to find out how electronic verification may help you please get in touch I’d be more than happy discuss this further. Email me at jenna.douglas@callcreditgroup.com

Author: Jenna Douglas

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