Jun 30, 2015

By Kim O'Hare

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If you’ve ever tried to close a real estate deal in another city or town, you’ll appreciate this story.

Ontario home buyers and sellers will soon be allowed to provide electronic signatures on real estate documents.

Changes to the Electronic Commerce Act take effect Wednesday, making electronic signatures legally equivalent to handwritten ones in real estate deals.

Current regulations require real estate documents, such as agreements of purchase and sale, to be signed by hand on hard copies.

Patricia Verge, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, calls the changes to the act “great news for realtors as well as consumers,” and says the option to sign electronically will make home-buying and selling more efficient.

Six other provinces: British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, allow electronic signatures for real estate transactions.

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