Would you buy a house in your pyjamas? It's actually a serious question for the property industry to grapple with as it automates some of the most complicated documents and most expensive transactions most of us will ever deal with.
The idea that homebuyers could file mortgages and transfer their homes while sitting at a PC is not just an intriguing concept: it's one that could deliver major cost savings to an industry -- including the government aspect of that industry - that is still incredibly paper bound, despite technology's impact on documents, forms and workflow.
While the "easy stuff" is being done electronically - such as mortgage applications and matter tracking, selling a home is still difficult to do electronically.
Technology, standards and laws
Technology, standards and legislation are converging to make the process more seamless than ever with the use of document-generating software, electronic signatures for security, workflow planning, and integration tools. Legal barriers to transactions involving electronic documents have fallen in recent years with the passing of legislation such as the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002.
The benefits of automating a property transaction are self-evident and include:
- faster processing;
- lower costs;
- improved productivity;
- fewer data entry errors;
- fewer problems with document fraud, and
- less worker injury arising from carpal tunnel syndrome.