It’s the best news the Property Industry could have hoped for – The New South Wales Government has closed the digital gap on property transactions by voting to include electronic signatures in NSW conveyancing legislation.

The Conveyancing Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 has seen the Conveyancing Act 1919 and the Real Property Act 1900 amended to allow conveyancing documents to be signed and witnessed with a digital signature—a validated form of electronic signature.

DocuSign’s Asia Pacific Vice President, Brad Newton, congratulated the NSW Government and gladly welcomes the changes.

“Legalities around the use of eSignatures have held conveyancers back from having a completely digital process. With electronic signatures now accepted on the documents required for the transfer of property or land, those transactions can now be completed digitally from beginning to end. This will simplify and accelerate the process for everyone — the conveyancers, buyers, and vendors alike.”

So why all the excitement?

The Property industry have been undergoing an unprecedented surge in digital adoption.

Together with DocuSign, industry membership organisations like the Real Estate Institutes (REI) in NSW, WA, SA and QLD and PEXA have made significant inroads into modernising contract processes and forms.

The PEXA platform has transformed the conveyancing process by bringing it online and making it collaborative. Add to the mix DocuSign’s eSignature solution integrating seamlessly with the REI Forms Live platform and the excitement becomes clear.

This development with the Conveyancing Act will take it to next level, reducing the turnaround time for land and property transfer.

“This will make a significant difference to the work of conveyancers, making the agreement process more efficient, secure and convenient for all involved – buyers and vendors included,” Mr Newton said.

What does the Bill actually say?

First, let’s look at the Bill’s purpose. Taking a quote from the front page:

The object of this Bill is to amend the Conveyancing Act 1919 and the Real Property Act 1900:

(a) to introduce vendor disclosure requirements in relation to off the plan contracts to provide purchasers with additional information and give purchasers access to remedies and relief where disclosure is ineffective, and

(b) to support the transition to paperless conveyancing by removing impediments to electronic land transactions, and

(c) to make other miscellaneous and consequential amendments.

Basically, the NSW Government is championing the use of eSignatures as part of a digital transaction process. This is a massive win for the industry and for all  conveyancers and vendors alike. The ability to prepare, sign, act on and manage contracts completely online has huge benefits for both industries.

View the Conveyancing Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

What benefits will this have to the industry?

When you look at the evidence, moving to a wholly digital process for transactions and agreement can improve productivity by 90%.

Further benefits are:

  • cutting document turnaround times
  • dramatically reduced operational costs, and
  • improved governance with errors dropping from over 25% to just 2.5%.

The Forrester Total Economic Impact Study, commissioned by DocuSign delves into each of these impacts as well as presenting the dollar value of using DocuSign’s eSignature solution to modernise agreements.

To see DocuSign in action, watch this 2-min video.

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