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EXCLUSIVE: Government backs unusual new proptech estate agency

Sail Homes has joined the Land Registry/Ordnance Survey Geovation programme that nurtures start-ups with cash, office space and advice.

Nigel Lewis

estate agency

A new estate agency-cum-conveyancing firm that claims to be able to sell homes and get them to completion within 21 days has received backing from the government.

Bristol-based Sail Homes was established in January and already has 24 properties for sale on Rightmove, offering vendors all-digital service including a promise to get them to completion within 8-12 weeks.

The company has now joined the joint Land Registry/Ordnance Survey Geovation Accelerator Programme for tech start-ups.

It offers them £20,000 in funding as well as office space, business support and property-related data from both organisations.

Founder James Cole (pictured, above), 29, says he wanted to create an online estate agency but approach it from a conveyancing angle, specialising initially in probate sales to gain its ‘proof of concept’.

Cole has previous in the property world having already built tech for property data firm Landmark and has also worked with mortgage broking giant L&C.

Sale and conveyancing

Sail Homes gives buyers scores based on how ready they are to proceed, simplifies and pre-loads the conveyancing process and charges a fixed 1.25% for both sale and conveyancing.

“We want to do for property sale speed what Purplebricks did for pricing,” he says.

“Preparation is the key as is getting the seller to commit earlier in the process and completing tasks such as local authority searches earlier.

“We also discovered early on in the process that price is not the main pain point for most vendors – it’s feeling in control of the sales and progression processes and reducing the stress.”

Paul Cruddace (left), Head of Innovation and Geovation for OS, says: “New businesses, new thinking and innovation will be key to the British economy as the nation comes through the Covid pandemic and looks for stability.”

Read more about Geovation.

October 30, 2020

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