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Removing The ‘Friction’ From The Real Estate Transaction Process

Buying and selling residential and commercial real estate is currently a lengthy process in The Bahamas. The average time for a real estate transaction to close is minimum 30-60 days from the signing of a sales agreement. As real estate professionals we must begin to focus on improving the customer experience during the buying and selling process of property here in The Bahamas.

Many home buyers and sellers are very eager during a real estate transaction, and 60 days can seem like a very long time to them, especially for first time home buyers. As the leaders in the real estate industry we must begin to innovate and think of ways to alleviate some of the factors that are lengthening the process of buying and selling a piece of property.

Two factors that immediately come to mind, which directly affect the length of time it takes to close on a real estate sale are the title search and the stamping of a conveyance.

In 2018, we are now seeing the opportunity for our land registry system to be revitalized through blockchain technology, which has proved to be one of the most captivating technological developments of this decade. Blockchain technology is an example of how we can innovate to remove friction in the real estate transaction. Blockchain at a surface level is a digital ledger than can not be altered or corrupted, and can be used to permanently record records or transactions. Through this technology we would be able to resolve a lot of title issues in the future as well as quicken the title search process. As a country we must be open to change and new ways to modernize the processes that have been in place for many years and have become outdated. Modernizing the process of real estate transactions is pivotal in improving the customer experience in buying and selling property here in The Bahamas.

This week the government has touched on the ease of doing business here in The Bahamas. Real Estate falls directly under this topic, as it is one of our largest industries and a key indicator of economic growth. Both The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have publicly stated that they intend on making a concerted effort to improve the approval process during a real estate transaction. This involves payment of Stamp Tax and Value Added Tax which is currently delaying the real estate transaction process.

The fact that the government is directing their attention to the real estate industry is a great indication of how powerful the real estate industry is to the economy of our country. We must work on continuing to innovate in order to allow the real estate industry to continue evolving and to ensure that the customer experience during the real estate transaction is a pleasant one.

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