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  • FIRST POST
    • HappyFrog
    • By HappyFrog 13th Sep 17, 11:30 PM
    • 9Posts
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    HappyFrog
    Doing everything electronically
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:30 PM
    Doing everything electronically 13th Sep 17 at 11:30 PM
    Hello everyone Ė first time post and looking for some advice..

    We are looking to sell our house (owned outright, no mortgage), but we live overseas and will not be able to travel back to the UK to do any admin stuff. So we need to do everything on-line. Posting documents is do-able, but with about a monthsí delay from sending something from the UK and it arriving back (or vice versa), something we would like to avoid.

    So the question is, is this possible? We have our house listed for sale with an estate agent, but it is the conveyancing process we are a bit concerned about. Has anyone been through this and managed to sell their property completely electronically/on line without having to shuffle bits of paper about? Iíve seen some references to something called the Bonafidee system that allows electronic e-signature exchange of contracts for a residential property transaction. This sounds like something that could work for us. Anyone have experience of this?

    Many thanks
Page 1
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Sep 17, 1:51 AM
    • 4,675 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 1:51 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 1:51 AM
    I asked my solicitor if we could do this as I am selling a property which is in the name of myself, my sister and brother who live 250 miles away. Unfortunately he said we could not due to risk of fraud etc. We managed to do an e contract for the estate agent but the contract and transfer deeds have all had to be posted special delivery between us. He also wanted to see evidence of original id for each of us again to satisfy money laundering regulations. This was not easy again due to distance so you may have an issue with this
    5 weeks to go until early retirement in December . Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 14th Sep 17, 7:49 AM
    • 5,406 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:49 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:49 AM
    Posting documents is do-able, but with about a months’ delay from sending something from the UK and it arriving back (or vice versa), something we would like to avoid.
    Originally posted by HappyFrog
    Isn't there a courier service that you can use? That's how I've always dealt with foreign property transactions.

    There's a very limited amount of paperwork that needs an original signature. Most stuff can be handled by email.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    • 6,067 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    ID can be checked by someone local (obviously you don't really want to e.g. send your passport back to the UK).

    You can sign a power of attorney authorising your solicitor (or someone else in the UK) to sign almost anything else on your behalf. Speak to a solicitor.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 14th Sep 17, 8:36 AM
    • 15,430 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:36 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:36 AM
    Where on earth do you live that airmail takes a month round-trip?
    • Niv
    • By Niv 14th Sep 17, 8:39 AM
    • 1,529 Posts
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    Niv
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:39 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:39 AM
    Where on earth do you live that airmail takes a month round-trip?
    Originally posted by AdrianC

    sounds ideallic though.
    YNWA

    Target: Mortgage free by 58.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th Sep 17, 8:56 AM
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    davidmcn
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:56 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:56 AM
    Where on earth do you live that airmail takes a month round-trip?
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Also should have said - even if something does need your hard copy signature, it can be emailed to you, so that brings it down to a mere fortnight.
    • HappyFrog
    • By HappyFrog 14th Sep 17, 11:53 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    HappyFrog
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:53 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:53 PM
    Thanks for your replies. Looks like we will be going with a conveyancer that is happy communicating via e-mail and using courier services for the few occasions when a hard copy signature or the like is needed.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 18th Sep 17, 10:53 AM
    • 953 Posts
    • 647 Thanks
    saajan_12
    • #9
    • 18th Sep 17, 10:53 AM
    • #9
    • 18th Sep 17, 10:53 AM
    Hello everyone, Iím posting this as an employee of Bonafidee Ltd. ...
    Originally posted by Jim Benham
    Please remove your post, you must be authorised by MSE mods to post on behalf of a company.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 18th Sep 17, 10:55 AM
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    davidmcn
    Hello everyone, Iím posting this as an employee of Bonafidee Ltd. Our advanced e-signature platform does indeed speed up the home buying process and it was used to facilitate the first ever e-signature exchange of contracts back in April 2017. A change in the law is necessary though to enable the conveyancing process to become entirely electronic, because as it stands a legal transfer must be effected by deed and deeds still require wet signatures, both of the signatories and the witnesses. Bonafidee mitigates against the risk of fraud because it incorporates built in identity checks, that can prove without reasonable doubt, that the signatories are who they say they are.
    Originally posted by Jim Benham
    That's nice, but your attention to contractual detail appears to have overlooked the forum rules stating that businesses aren't allowed to post here without permission from MSE.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 18th Sep 17, 11:22 AM
    • 6,026 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    OP, transferring a property requires a 'real' signature.Your solicitors would be able to e-mail documents for you to print off, sign and then courier back to them. A TR1 (transfer deed) needs to be witnessed - the witness does not need to be a solicitor, however, you may want to see whether you can get staff at your nearest British Embassy or Consulate to witness for you, or another British Ex-Pat, as while it is rare to need to do so, the point of having a witness is so that they can confirm that it was actually you who signed - and as you being out of the country and not meeting your solicitor directly makes this high-risk, it may be something which your solicitors will want to check, so an English speaking witness would be a bonus!

    It would be possible to grant a limited power of attorney to allow your solicitor or another person to sign the deed on your behalf, but then you would have to pay for the POA to be drawn up, so you may find that simply using a courier to get the documents back would be more cost effective.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 18th Sep 17, 11:56 AM
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    davidmcn
    It would be possible to grant a limited power of attorney to allow your solicitor or another person to sign the deed on your behalf, but then you would have to pay for the POA to be drawn up, so you may find that simply using a courier to get the documents back would be more cost effective.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    5 minutes to produce a bog standard POA of this sort. Shouldn't warrant a significant fee.
    • HappyFrog
    • By HappyFrog 18th Sep 17, 1:40 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    HappyFrog
    Thanks again. We have now chosen a conveyancer, and with a combination of e-mailing the docs to us to print, sign and courier back to the UK I think we can reduce the delay to a reasonable time. Getting suitable witnesses shouldn't be a problem. Getting a POA seems to me to just be adding yet another layer of bureaucracy.

    I posted my question in the hope that processes might have improved since we last purchased a property in 2005, but it would seem that things are still stuck in the 18th century. I read somewhere that the government is looking at making some changes to the buying/selling process. Something I at least would very much welcome!
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 18th Sep 17, 1:57 PM
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    davidmcn
    Getting a POA seems to me to just be adding yet another layer of bureaucracy.
    Originally posted by HappyFrog
    Not sure why you think that - it really would make things much quicker.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 18th Sep 17, 2:08 PM
    • 15,430 Posts
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    AdrianC
    Thanks again. We have now chosen a conveyancer, and with a combination of e-mailing the docs to us to print, sign and courier back to the UK I think we can reduce the delay to a reasonable time. Getting suitable witnesses shouldn't be a problem. Getting a POA seems to me to just be adding yet another layer of bureaucracy.
    Originally posted by HappyFrog
    Yes - and no. It moves your involvement in the bureaucracy to when it's less time-critical.

    I posted my question in the hope that processes might have improved since we last purchased a property in 2005, but it would seem that things are still stuck in the 18th century. I read somewhere that the government is looking at making some changes to the buying/selling process. Something I at least would very much welcome!
    ...says the man who chooses to live somewhere seemingly so remote that no post can possibly travel from the UK in less than a fortnight!
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 18th Sep 17, 2:18 PM
    • 5,406 Posts
    • 5,048 Thanks
    eddddy
    I posted my question in the hope that processes might have improved since we last purchased a property in 2005, but it would seem that things are still stuck in the 18th century.
    Originally posted by HappyFrog
    Well... you should try buying and selling property in some other European countries!

    Buyer, Seller and EA(s) have to turn up at the Notary's office at the same time, and the notary reads out the contracts and asks each person if they understand.

    And if you're foreign, you have to pay for a state-registered interpreter.

    It's like a wedding ceremony!

    It's all taken very seriously. On one occasion, when a seller couldn't attend, they had to give a barrister power of attorney and pay them to attend and answer questions on their behalf.


    (Which leads on to an interesting thought... on that basis, I wonder if you could give a barrister power of attorney to attend your wedding ceremony on your behalf?)
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 18th Sep 17, 2:21 PM
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    AdrianC
    (Which leads on to an interesting thought... on that basis, I wonder if you could give a barrister power of attorney to attend your wedding ceremony on your behalf?)
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Can you imagine how expensive the divorce would be?
    • HappyFrog
    • By HappyFrog 19th Sep 17, 1:58 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    HappyFrog
    [QUOTE]...says the man who chooses to live somewhere seemingly so remote that no post can possibly travel from the UK in less than a fortnight!/QUOTE]

    Yes, well not every country has a functioning postal system - hence the need to use a courier company. But things may be looking up - we received some Christmas cards last week - posted for Christmas 2016. I am not kidding..
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th Sep 17, 9:32 AM
    • 15,430 Posts
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    AdrianC
    I think you miss my point...

    You are complaining about inefficiencies of a system that is very infrequently used by most individuals, and where fraud would carry huge financial consequences, in a country you have chosen not to live in, instead preferring to live in a country where even the most basic of systems simply don't appear to function...

    The irony is that the delay you are complaining of, and blaming on the systems in the country you have left behind, appear to be entirely caused by the failure of basic provisions in your preferred home...
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 19th Sep 17, 9:37 AM
    • 6,067 Posts
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    davidmcn
    ...and then also reject a solution which would allow you to get things done by instructing your solicitor by phone/email rather than by transporting bits of paper across the world.
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