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How can buyers and sellers protect themselves when transacting through new technology?

A new blockchain-based app aims to revolutionize the ways in which buyers and sellers transact in real estate.  The New York based app is called ShelterZoom and it is set to launch in 2019. The app is intended to bring a new ease to real estate transactions, making buying or selling a home as easy as pushing a button.  Through the app, buyers and sellers, along with their real estate agents, can view offers and acceptances in real time. Vital information like home inspection documents, property titles, and the like will be visible to all parties through the blockchain ledger.  ShelterZoom represents a new movement towards moving real estate transactions more towards the web, which could have significant implications for the entire field of real estate law.

Technology Continues to Influence Real Estate

In the past, when someone wanted to buy or sell a home, they would contact a real estate agent. They would rely on their agent to use their exclusive right to access the MLS in order to find a suitable home or list their home.  The role of real estate agent was vital as buyers and sellers had few other means of researching and finding or listing their home.

With the launch of Zillow and a host of other real estate websites, the home buying and selling process has changed. Now, buyers can take to the web and research their own potential home. Buyers will typically then bring this list to their real estate agent, who can then arrange for viewings.  Sellers will also find the web useful as they can research like home prices to participate in setting their sale price, and their online listing may attract potential buyers.

Despite changes in listing and finding homes, the actual sale process remains fairly cumbersome.  The typical sale or purchase often involves several weeks of negating the price, calling for a home inspection, ensuring clear title, resolving the mortgage, then meeting to close the deal. With apps like ShelterZoom, buying or selling your home could become more automated.  With technology like ShelterZoom, buyers and sellers, along with their agents, can agree to a price in minutes and share vital information instantaneously.

As technology continues to impact the real estate field, buyers and sellers will need to take steps to ensure they are protected legally.  While technology is streamlining the process, it will become all the more critical for buyers and sellers to ensure the necessary steps to a home purchase or sale are completed, like the inspection, title clearance, and much more.