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60% of UK homeowners say tech can tackle the home buying admin burden

Greater digitisation could alleviate the admin burden around home buying, according to new research from risk management platform Thirdfort.

Nearly two-thirds of UK homeowners say providing paper documents to a property professional such as an agent, broker, lawyer or lender would benefit from being digitised. Meanwhile 62% suggested providing ID documents to a property professional could be improved by digital tools. Some 60% cited undertaking credit checks with a lender.

The survey of 2,054 UK adults by YouGov also shows many homeowners have been adversely affected by delays. Just under a third (27%) have experienced stress, while 16% have experienced the house or property chain falling through, and 15% needed to do more administration.

Despite this, 60% of property owners have yet to take advantage of digital tools to buy or sell a property. Just 11% have used digital tools to share bank statements, utility bills and payslips to a property professional. Only 10% have used digital ID tools to verify identity with a property professional. Just 5% have used Open Banking to share bank details for funds or credit checks.

Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder and managing director of Thirdfort, said:

“Homebuying is an area that stands to be transformed by digital tools. This sea change has begun. Innovations now enable homebuyers to verify their ID digitally, helping cut the length of the transaction by up to a month while reducing the risk of fraud and money laundering.

But our research shows that while UK homeowners agree digital tools can help, very few are using the tools available. As a result, they are experiencing increased stress, administration, and risk of the property chain falling through. Many estate agents, lawyers and lenders have adopted a digital approach to client verification. But we need more forward-looking property professionals to embrace the latest technology – for buyers, their businesses, and the economy.”

Thirdfort automates KYC, AML and Source of Funds verification using AI, biometric verification, and Open Banking. It has transformed a cumbersome process that has historically taken weeks into one that takes just minutes.

Overall, Thirdfort has verified more than 1m people on behalf of more than 1,000 conveyancers, lawyers, estate agents and other regulated professional services firms. This number accounts for around 2.5% of all adult smartphone users in the UK.


Which digital tools have you ever used when buying or selling a property? Total
Digital ID tools to verify identity with property professional (i.e., agent, broker, lawyer or lender) 10%
Digital tools to share bank statements, utility bills and payslips to a property professional 11%
Open Banking to share bank details for funds or credit check with a property professional 5%
3D camera to conduct a virtual home tour 6%
Web portal to conduct an online mortgage application 11%
Digital platform to make/ receive/ agree an offer 6%
Online tool to conduct to online assessment of property values 11%
Online payment portal or mobile app to securely transfer funds 14%
Online buyer information pack 8%
A digital mortgage broker 3%
I have never used digital tools to buy or sell any property 60%


Which aspects of home buying/selling would benefit from being digitised? Total
Providing identity documents to a property professional (agent, broker, lawyer, lender) 62%
Providing documents such as paper copies of bank statements, utility bills and payslips to a property professional 64%
Credit checks with lender 60%
Securing a mortgage 55%
Making/receiving/agreeing an offer 56%
Viewing property 22%
Collating/providing buyer information 51%
Payments 54%
I don’t think any aspects of home buying/selling would benefit from being digitised 4%


How have delays in the house buying process negatively impacted you? Total
Stress 27%
Increased administration 15%
Loss of money 10%
House/chain falling through 16%
Loss of interest rate deal(s) 6%
Having to extend rental agreements 4%

This article was submitted to be published by Thirdfort as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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