Majority of homeowners think digitisation would improve buying process

Thirdfort’s Olly Thornton-Berry says digitisation could alleviate the admin burden around home buying and prevent chains falling through.

Olly Thornton-Berry, Thirdfort

Greater digitisation could alleviate the admin burden around home buying and help cut the length of the transaction by up to a month, analysis from risk management platform Thirdfort reveals.

Nearly two-thirds of UK homeowners say providing paper documents to a property professional such as an agent, broker, lawyer or lender would benefit from being digitised.


Meanwhile six out of 10 (62%) suggested providing ID documents to a property professional could be improved by digital tools. A similar amount (60%) cited undertaking credit checks with a lender.

 The survey of 2,054 UK adults by YouGov also shows many homeowners have been adversely affected by delays. Just under a third (27%) have experienced stress, while 16% have experienced the house or property chain falling through and 15% needed to do more administration.

Despite this, six out of 10 (60%) property owners have yet to take advantage of digital tools to buy or sell a property.

Just one in 10 (11%) have used digital tools to share bank statements, utility bills and payslips to a property professional with just 10% having used digital ID tools to verify identity. Just 5% have used Open Banking to share bank details for funds or credit checks.


Olly Thornton-Berry (main picture), Co-Founder and Managing Director of Thirdfort, says: “Homebuying is an area that stands to be transformed by digital tools.

“This sea change has begun. Innovations now enable homebuyers to verify their ID digitally, helping cut the length of the transaction by up to a month while reducing the risk of fraud and money laundering.

“Many estate agents, lawyers and lenders have adopted a digital approach to client verification. But we need more forward-looking property professionals to embrace the latest technology – for buyers, their businesses and the economy.”

How have delays in the house buying process impacted you chart

Which digital tools have you used chart


One Comment

  1. Obviously the digital transformation of real estate encompasses the small vertical of residential and lettings, and the whole industry by 2035 will be totally changed. The appetite and understanding and having the capital to deploy new technology in their property facing businesses, is I have found out in the last seven years almost zero. Yes the sector is ripe for digital change, but adoption that is the kicker. I probably get 10 calls a month from Proptech founders with ‘new ways’ to help agents, and I sigh and feel well what is your route to market? As agents are a hard crowd. In a decade a few listed (IPO) Proptech and Fintech businesses will dominate each sector of the residential and lettings market, so if agents think the portal fees are high, wait until they see their monthly Saas bills from these giants who will run their businesses.

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