An electronic contract system has just been unveiled by national law firm Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) and e-transaction specialist DocuSign.
The technology was used for the recent auction sale of 31 land lots in Gledswood Hills, Sydney, with buyers and sellers required to sign electronic contracts on the spot.
CBP said electronic contracts will change the way property is bought and sold in Australia.
“For buyers in the near future, the need to physically trudge from one auction to another will be a thing of the past,” according to the firm.
“CBP’s e-contract system will facilitate their ability to toggle multiple auctions simultaneously on their computer or mobile device, and bid on one or more properties from the comfort of their couch anywhere in Australia or overseas.”
Agents and developers have also been tipped as big winners because e-contracts will expose their properties to more buyers, speed up the transaction process and reduce transaction costs.
The technology is also regarded as being particularly valuable during hot auction markets, because buyers will be able to improve their chances of landing a property by simultaneously bidding in multiple auctions.
CBP property partner Mark Morgan told REB that electronic contracts will pave the way for a future in which real estate transactions occur entirely online.
“Our creation of e-contracts […] is the cog necessary to enable the online real estate market wheel to really start spinning,” he said.
“In the absence until now of a properly developed real estate e-contract process in Australia, there was always previously a great deal of uncertainty if and when an online sale of land was actually effective.”
Mr Morgan said the process to complete a sale via paper contracts involves countless hours of work, and significant printing and courier costs.
“These inefficiencies and wasted transaction time completely disappear when e-contracts are used,” he said.
CBP claims that electronic contracts are safer and more reliable than paper versions because parties can’t alter contracts without being detected or falsely argue the terms have been changed.