Using electronic signatures for property transactions

Despite the need for social distancing, property transactions continue to run smoothly thanks to electronic signatures.

With the continual advancement of technology within our firm and in the legal industry comes the ability to electronically sign documents, including contracts of sale for property.

The Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 governs the electronic signing of documents in Victoria. The Act accepts an electronic signature on certain legal documents where the following requirements are met:

1. identification of the person signing is required (noting there are no formal requirements);
2. the electronic method of signing was relevant in the circumstances; and
3. the counterparty agrees to the electronic signing of the document.

We utilize a program that uses cryptographic authentication technology. This allows parties to a transaction to affix their ‘digital signature’ to contracts of sale, and other legal documents. With the ability to facilitate electronic signing, together with the use of real time bank transfers for payment of deposit funds, we have made it possible for property transactions to continue.

Digital signatures allow for a smooth and speedy process for not only our client, but for the real estate agents and vendor’s/purchaser’s advocates that we work so closely with. We are currently using digital contracts for a large-scale development, which attracts a number of overseas purchasers.  Similarly we recently facilitated a multi-million dollar commercial property transaction with a purchaser from Hong Kong all with the ease of pressing a button.

This means that parties have the ability to enter into a transaction from anywhere in the world (or just down the street) without being in face to face contact.

Our Property Team is here to prepare your electronic contracts and to work closely with our clients, real estate agents, advocates and brokers to ensure an effortless and efficient execution process from the safety and comfort of your own home.