Government approves paperless transactions

The days of transacting real estate through hard-copy paperwork may be over, as one state government agrees to amend the Electronic Transactions Act and bring agents into the 21st century.

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) has finally had success after lobbying the government for half a year.

“We were quite busy last year with national licensing and changes to legislation surrounding auctions, but we’ve really been working on getting this fixed since around June last year,” president of the REISA Greg Troughton told Real Estate Business.

Under the old legislation, all transactions except property could be made electronically.

“We approached the government and put a business case to them stating that efficiencies and productivity were hindered by red tape – and most governments around the country are looking for excuses to cut red tape these days, so they agreed,” he said.

According to Mr Troughton, the landmark decision has set a precedent for the rest of the nation.

“We have been working closely with a number of other institutes that will be using this decision as leverage for their own submissions to their respective governments,” he said.

Anthony Toop, managing director at Toop&Toop, said the decision was a positive move for his company and the wider industry.

“Everyone in our organisation runs off iPads exclusively, so it’s the greatest news since email for us," he said.

“While old dogs take a while to learn new tricks, now that it’s possible to be used, it will build momentum. Consumers are versed in signing on screens now, so it’s not going to be a foreign concept.

“This will make property transactions safer, more secure, faster and more convenient for all parties.”

But not all consumers will be ready to adopt the advances, according to Mr Toop, who claimed he will now develop a system to slowly integrate paperless transaction over the next few years.


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