During the home buying process, specific information and documents are needed to ensure that the buyer is suitable. These checks are essential to prevent issues such as fraud, because the buyer is who they say they are.
Although such checks should be standard practice, a recent survey by Credas Technologies found that UK buyers are not asked to provide ID when buying a property.
Failure to carry out identity checks
To the question of knowing if during the purchase of their last property the sales agent asked for an identity document, 23% of the respondents answered that no.
Although 77% of respondents said they were asked to prove their identity, this revelation raises concerns among the remaining buyers who did not have to take this step.
Identity verification checks are simple as all you need is a passport, driver’s license, biometric residence permit, national identity card or a combination of documents such as municipal tax bills, bank statements or a utility bill, this can be completed.
The Credas Technologies analysis also determines that 30% provided no proof of their address, 13% said they were not asked to verify their identity by their lawyer or lawyer and 18% also said that their mortgage broker had also failed to verify their identity properly. .
Tim Barnett, CEO of Credas Technologies, says: “For the vast majority of those operating in the real estate industry, not verifying the identity of a potential buyer can seem unbelievable. Not only is there a legal obligation to do so, but it can also be extremely detrimental if they fall prey to criminal activity.
“Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think, especially for those trying to manually verify large numbers of buyers.”
“This is almost certainly an oversight due to limited resources, rather than a cavalier attitude on the part of professionals in the real estate industry.”
“However, it demonstrates the value that can be derived from a professional approach, in which identity verification can then be used in all areas of the transaction process and by multiple stakeholders such as agents, lawyers and brokers. in mortgages. It also highlights the value of investing in a genuine onboarding platform that will prevent any transaction from progressing if a buyer’s identity is not properly verified.
“Not only does this approach save time, money and resources, it also reduces the chances of criminal entities using the industry to launder their ill-gotten gains.”