Electronic signatures are becoming more and more common in BC real estate transactions. Here’s what you need to know about using electronic signatures :
Why are electronic signatures the better choice for signing documents in BC?
- Speed, security, and convenience – moving from paper to electronic processes makes a huge difference.
- Quality and readability of the final documents – scanning/printing can be problematic for many reasons. Online signing alleviates the problems of unreadable documents.
- You’re saving trees—and that’s never a bad thing.
What are electronic signatures?
You might have heard of e-signatures before, but not quite sure what they are. While the definition can vary, an e-signature is basically a digital representation of your physical signature.
When you place your signature on a piece of paper, it has legal implications. Now imagine if this legal signature could be used online to sign documents.
In British Columbia, the Electronic Transactions Act ensures that a person’s electronic signature is as valid as their physical signature in most circumstances.
How do I use electronic signatures in a BC real estate transaction?
We use a few different secure online apps that allow you to sign your name digitally.
They are very easy to use and require little training – the process is similar to signing documents with a pen and paper.. You can use electronic devices such as a computer, tablet or smartphone.
We will need both your legal name (as listed on your ID) and an email address that we can send the documents to. We prepare the documents and forward them by email for signing.
You choose the style of signature you want to use and proceed with signing. In most cases it is straight forward and we have marked the places where you sign or initial. Sometimes you might have to make a choice but the document won’t let you finish if you have missed something.
Although we will go over the documents with you prior to sending them for signing, you still need to review the documents carefully and get legal or other professional advice as well.
What if I want to sign my documents in person instead of electronically?
That is fine too! We will prepare your documents for signing and meet with you to review and execute the documents. We can do it electronically in person or use pen and paper as well.
If you’re still a little wary, don’t worry! Do your research and talk to your lawyer if you have any questions or concerns or contact us.
Scott & June Simmons
The Salt Spring Team