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The future of property: Would you sell your home on Facebook?

How new tech innovations hope to change the property industry

Viewing a house, applying for a mortgage or making a property sale? There’s an app for that.

Last week, Santander announced it would be bringing video link mortgage advice to its branches. As technology reaches into every corner of our lives, a number of recent innovations have aimed to reshape the way homes are bought and sold.

But which of these tech innovations are here to stay? Which? explains the ins and outs of three new trends in the property sector.

  • If you’re thinking of buying a property, our mortgage experts can give you impartial advice on your mortgage options.  To chat with an expert, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987. 

Video mortgage advice

Later this year, Santander customers will be able to apply for a mortgage via video link in 63 of its UK branches.

Homebuyers will be connected to a mortgage adviser, who will guide them through the application process.

Santander isn’t the first bank to bring in this technology – Lloyds, Halifax, Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Society already offer video mortgage consultations.

The pros

  • Access to specialist advice that might not currently be available in your branch

The cons

  • If you can use a video link in the branch, why can’t you use it in the comfort of your own home?

Selling your home on Facebook

In June, a London homeowner became the first person in the UK to host a Facebook Live Stream to sell her home.

In association with the online agent House Simple, downsizer Shanty Helim offered a tour of her property and invited commenters to ask her questions.

We’re told that negotiations are currently ongoing with a prospective buyer.

The pros:

  • Cheaper than using a traditional estate agent
  • Easy to communicate directly with buyers

The cons:

  • You’d need the platform offered by an agent to ensure your video gets enough views
  • Buyers may be skeptical of using Facebook in this way

 

Virtual reality house viewings

360 degree virtual house viewings are a tool used by a growing number of developers and estate agents.

This interactive video provided by the virtual tour platform Eyespy360 shows how homebuyers can get a taste for a property from the comfort of their own homes.

There’s also the option of using a virtual reality headset to get a truly immersive view.

 

The pros:

  • An innovative way to view properties
  • Useful for both sellers and buyers
  • Works with VR headsets

The cons:

  • While it’s useful to narrow down properties before you go on viewings, you’d still need to view the property yourself before buying

 

Mortgage robo-advice

While the rise of robots has so far been limited to a disappointing Terminator sequel, a new wave of online mortgage advisers are hoping to change that.

Mortgage Gym, which claims to be the world’s first regulated mortgage robo-adviser, will launch later this year, and the likes of Habito and Trussle already offer real-time mortgage advice services online.

These automated services use artificial intelligence to find the right mortgage for each customer, based on information provided online.

The pros:

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Free to use, so therefore cheaper than traditional mortgage advisers

The cons:

  • Not yet whole-of-market and not fully equipped for more complicated cases (such as those involving self-employed buyers)
  • Relies on you filling out complicated forms yourself, without a human adviser

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.

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