While selling or buying a home is a challenge in itself, the story doesn’t end when the agreement is made. There is also the matter of conveyancing – the legal preparation of documents for the transfer of property.
It’s a tedious task precisely because the process requires several documents to be scrutinised, signed, and filed. The process is traditionally done on physical paper, and can take up to 30 days to complete – both parties are required to be physically present during transactions.
But Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), launched in 2010, has managed to streamline the process by taking the paper out of the paperwork.
In an interview with YIP, PEXA chief customer officer Lisa Dowie said buyers and sellers are at the mercy of numerous risks in the current system. These include lag in financial approvals or settlements, manual processing errors, and late submissions. “It is inefficient and time consuming and until recently, was the only system available for the legal transfer of property,” she added.
According to a 2015 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, twenty five percent of paper-based property transactions are delayed, causing customer to suffer. Half of respondents reported stress, and a quarter suffered from financial implications or issues.
Through PEXA’s online network, e-conveyancing minimises the manual processes and paperwork associated with property settlement by enabling lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions to conduct these transactions online.
Within that digital environment, information can automatically feed in from the original source and can populate all documentation while the system cross-checks that information. Documents are created, signed and lodged within the online environment, and parties complete all necessary steps to settle the transaction within PEXA.
“It is a vastly more efficient, accurate and secure way of conducting the settlement and lodgment stages of a conveyancing transaction,” Dowie said.
PEXA recognizes that there are also risks to a digital platform, such as system failure. However, Dowie said the firm constantly reviews and updates its technological infrastructure to future-proof its platform against such possibilities.
In October last year, PEXA moved its technological architecture to a highly available and resilient cloud-based system. This new system is spread out over multiple, separate data centres within Australia to reduce the risk of a system failure occurring.
“In the unlikely event an outage takes place, this cloud-based system significantly reduces the possibility of disruption to settlement on the PEXA platform,” Dowie added.
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