Buying a home can be a complex process. Several advisers will work on both sides, and each individual will need time to complete their work before the important closing session can go ahead. While this complex storyline has been playing itself out for generations across Australia, technology has caught up. These days it's possible to 'go digital' and deal with the process of closing online. Yet digital transactions can sometimes be fraught with danger, and the risk of fraud is real. How can you make sure that your property transaction goes ahead with none of these risks?
Who Are You Dealing With?
In the old days, when two people came together to transfer property, they would often get to know each other well during the negotiation phase. As people transact more business online, however, it's likely that you (as the buyer) may never meet the seller. You may wonder if there is any risk attached but might comfort yourself knowing there are professionals on both sides involved in the deal. However, while you will know all about your advisers, including your conveyancer, accountant, solicitor and bank manager, you may not see the whole picture on the other side.
To overcome this risk, legislators around the country are introducing another stage to electronic conveyancing, where they verify the identity of the parties involved. This will avoid the risk of fraud and ensure that all parties know who is transferring the property.
Both buyers and sellers in a property transaction handled through e-conveyancing will need to conform to these new regulations. It's up to the conveyancer on each side to start the process and to satisfy themselves first.
Each person will have to produce a passport or 'proof of age' card, together with a driver's licence or other government-issued identification. They may also need to produce a valid birth certificate or a resident visa if they are foreign-born. Sometimes they can produce other government ID as a second means of identification, such as a Department of Veterans Affairs card.
Once this identity stage is complete, conveyancing can go ahead. This is a more efficient way of closing a deal, as it cuts down on the amount of paperwork and manual process involved and allows banks and lenders to send all the money from their offices instead.
Are You Ready?
As you get nearer to closing on the house of your dreams, make sure that all your paperwork and identification documents are in order, and ask your conveyancer to look at these so there are no surprises on the day.