http://www.independent.co.uk/money/mortgages/housebuying-goes-online-ndash-in-every-way-2127263.html

Housebuying goes online – in every way

Practically anything can be bought online now. However, the buying and selling of properties has almost entirely eluded the virtual retail environment. The reason? Buying or selling a house or an office block involves surveys, due diligence, lawyers, site inspections and an exchange of contracts with legally binding signatures.

While much of this process can be adapted for online sales, what has often mystified lawyers and software geeks was how to create a valid sales contract and legally binding electronic signature. That is, until now.

London property investment services firm Singer Vielle has launched clicktopurchaseproperty.com which allows properties to be legally bought and sold entirely online. Neil Singer, who heads Singer Vielle, says he wants to “drag the property industry into the 21st century”.

He created Click to Purchase last year for his worldwide clients allowing them to buy a commercial property online and offering the only real-time live online property auctions. Now the plan is to move Click to Purchase into residential property sales, which could finally stop the practices of gazumping and gazundering in the England and Wales property markets.

“It is well reported that buying a house is one of the most stressful events,” Mr Singer said. “Legislation has tried and failed to end gazumping and other unscrupulous practices. For users of Click to Purchase an acceptance of an offer is an exchange of contracts. Now, a buyer can quickly and transparently submit an offer to treat. If accepted, a contract will be exchanged immediately electronically. The buyer cannot be gazumped; the seller cannot be gazundered.

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