Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder of risk management platform Thirdfort, says that agents should not solely rely on manual database checks and require help to reduce fraud risks, as a result of the hike in quickfire sales.
He pointed to the latest data from Rightmove, which shows the time taken to find a buyer has reached a record low.
It now takes 31 days on average to find a buyer, down two days from April’s 33 days. Overall, time on the market has dropped nearly two thirds in two years from an average of 88 days in May 2020, and by more than eight days from May last year.
Thornton-Berry said: “Fraud is a huge problem in the UK property market. Impersonation fraud is up 120%. Payment scams are projected to cost £1.5bn. Money laundering costs the UK economy some £100bn.
“Quick sales only increase this risk. For property professionals, it’s an enormous amount of work to stay compliant while keeping admin from skyrocketing. But even agents who have grasped the nettle and adopted digital tools can still find themselves unprotected by choosing the wrong tech. Older, legacy platforms are not up to scratch – especially when the pace of house sales is increasing.
“Instead, new developments such as Open Banking, cryptographic and biometric verification, and real-time ongoing PEPs and sanctions monitoring can help property professionals automate compliance requirements, reducing the risk of fraud. This technology provides much-needed security for all involved in the conveyancing process, while also improving the client experience. In the current climate, it’s too risky for professionals not to deploy the latest tools at their disposal.”