June 29, 2015 – Ministry of the Attorney General – Province Makes It Easier to Buy or Sell a Home: Ontario is making the process of buying or selling a home easier by allowing real estate documents to be signed electronically.
Effective July 1, 2015, changes to the Electronic Commerce Act will make electronic signatures legally equivalent to signatures on paper documents for real estate transactions. Under current rules, when a home or property is sold, dozens of hard copy documents such as offers and agreements of sale, must be signed by hand.
Allowing these transactions to be signed electronically will also make it easier to send documents electronically and save time for anyone buying or selling property, especially when the two parties are separated by distance.
Providing more convenient options for consumers is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Similar laws that allow electronic signatures in real estate deals are in place in five other provinces: Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
- Real estate professionals and their clients will still have the choice to use paper documents for transactions.
- In 2014, there were 205,720 real estate transactions in Ontario.