The world of conveyancing is constantly evolving with new laws
and requirements introduced on a regular basis. While some of these
can make the conveyancing process longer and more complicated,
there is a new change that is set to streamline what can be a very
time-consuming step in the process.
So what is it?
Moving forwards contracts will no longer need to be signed by
putting pen to paper. Rather, you can now sign the contract
anywhere in the world so long as you have internet.
This allows for a completely electronic exchange.
How does it work?
There are 3 simple steps for an electronic exchange:
the vendor's solicitor prepares the contract through an
online search provider,
They will then upload the contract to a secure dashboard and
request the party's signatures by emailing them a secured link
to the contract,
Once all parties have signed, the vendor's solicitor (or
the agent) exchanges the contract by dating it.
A party can sign the contract using any electronic device such
as a smart phone, tablet or computer. There is a choice of signing
by using the mouse or a stylus, or adopting a standard computer
The main question here is; how can the party's signature be
verified? Much like a paper contract, unless you see the person
sign in front of you, you cannot be sure it was them who actually
signed. The electronic signature is arguably more secure than a
paper signature as it is coded with information such as the GPS
location and IP address of where you signed.
The next steps
The process between exchange and settlement does not change.
However, rather than each party having a counterpart of the
contract, they are each emailed a copy of the one electronic
contract signed by all parties.
Electronic settlement is also a new development in conveyancing.
This is done via a separate provider called PEXA. All parties must
be registered to use PEXA, however there has been a slow uptake of
users. This process will be discussed in a separate article.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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