The blockchain is already revolutionizing the digital currency landscape. A few years ago, a decentralized currency was unthinkable—how volatile would it be when not backed by a government? However, with the success of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin that are supported by the blockchain, people are realizing that it could have far more uses than expected—and the next landscape blockchain has the ability to disrupt is real estate.
What blockchain can do.
Make the process faster: The process of buying a house can be a long one, and even longer with government entities adding additional restrictions meant to slow down said process thanks to high demand. The blockchain has little power over sales restrictions and legislators’ decisions, but it is a powerful tool regarding financial verification.
Techcrunch reports, “At current, most buyers and sellers make use of escrow and title companies for third-party verification—a safety net to make sure both parties keep their end of the deal, as well as to reduce the risk of fraud.” This third-party verification is important, of course, but it can cost around 1 or 2 percent of the property’s total value (and it takes extra time, of course). Blockchain, however, could replace the escrow company or other third parties by vouching for parties’ identities with its far-reaching distributed database.
Reduce the risk of fraud and offer complete transparency: The real estate industry is rife with fraud, unfortunately. It’s a prime nesting ground for scammers especially because there are so many steps during transaction processes where it’s easy to trip people up. However, thanks to some of blockchain’s key and most famous qualities—the abilities to record every transaction and protect them with cryptography—blockchain is almost impossible to hack, therefore decreasing the potential for fraud.
Fraudsters can forge all sorts of things, like IDs, deeds, and necessary documents. On the other hand, “blockchain-based digital certificates would be linked to a single real estate property in the system, which would make it impossible for an actor to sell a property they don’t own. It would also make it impossible for a fraudster to put themselves between the buyer and the title company to steal funds.” Fundamentally, putting real estate transactions on the blockchain makes them a whole lot safer.
Deedcoin: a new player on the block(chain).
Bitcoin changed banking, so now Deedcoin is set to change the future of real estate. Deedcoin is a platform that “replaces the way customers find their next real estate agent. Instead of choosing a random 6 percent commission agent, customers access [the] platform, input their property information, and link up with their local Deedcoin agent for 1 percent commission.” You don’t need to alter your entire understanding of how the market works because Deedcoin fully integrates with the real estate infrastructure you’re already familiar with.
Why does the commission rate matter? Well, according to their website, US property owners hold $15 trillion in private property but are on the verge of losing $900 billion to future commissions. That’s money you don’t have to be spending. Because they decentralize and streamline the way real estate is exchanged, Deedcoin “returns up to $750 billion to homeowners by tokenizing real estate commission and connecting customers with agents directly.”
How about an example of what it would look like for you? Well, “a family with a $300,000 home for sale can continue their lives while they get a full-service local agent and tech-based platform for ⅙ the regular cost. This family can pay a fair price of $3,000 to sell their home instead of losing $18,000 of the most valuable thing they own with a traditional agent.” All you need is 50 Deedcoin to retain 5 percent more of the equity of a property sale.
That sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Not only is the real estate landscape easier to navigate, you still own the 6 percent of your house that would otherwise go to a future real estate agent. When it comes time to buy your new house, you’ll have more funds left over from your old one to, say, renovate your kitchen how you’d like.
It’s not just for the US
According to Deedcoin, there is over $200 trillion in privately held real estate worldwide. Fraud is certainly not unique to the US, so blockchain’s international power can provide substantial and necessary upgrades in the real estate industry for everyone.
For instance, Zricks.com agent Pankaj Agarwal says, “Land records in most Indian states date back to the colonial era, and most land holdings have uncertain ownership… Putting India’s land records on blockchain… would greatly increase efficiency and reduce fraud… Countries across the world—from Sweden to Dubai, Georgia to Britain—are beginning to embrace or test the technology in their national property records.”
How do you think blockchain will change the real estate industry?