As many of you know, OREA’s annual Political Affairs Conference is just around the corner, taking place November 20-22.
This year’s Government Relations Committee selected four most pressing REALTOR® issues to be the focus of the conference. They are:
• lobbying for an amendment of the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000 to facilitate the use of electronic agreements of purchase and sale;
• fighting for a salesperson’s right to form personal real estate corporations;
• pushing for a province-wide registry for marijuana grow operations and
• working to prevent the spread of municipal land transfer taxes across Ontario.
Throughout the year, OREA’s Government Relations staff have been working on advancing these issue at Queen’s Park in order to help REALTORS® do business better.
Over the next four blog posts, we’ll take you through each of these issues in detail in order for you to understand better what is happening in the industry and how it might affect your business.
Here is #1:
What is the issue?
Currently, electronic agreements of purchase and sale are exempt from the legal protections of the Electronic Commerce Act (ECA), 2000, making Ontario REALTORS® reluctant to take advantage of new technology.
The world has changed dramatically since 2000 and the technology to support “virtual” documentation is safe, secure and commercially available. Electronic documentation is widely used in the United States and is gaining ground in other jurisdictions in Canada.
I’m a REALTOR®. What does this mean for me?
REALTORS® using electronic signatures will benefit from improved transaction efficiency. Technology that supports electronic agreements of purchase and sales can cut transaction time from weeks or days to minutes, helping to ensure that property buyers/sellers know sooner that they have successfully completed the transaction.
Both consumers and REALTORS® can access agreements through a central portal, eliminating the need to fax, scan and email documents back and forth.
Finally, the technology used to support electronic agreements of purchase and sale is very secure, offering piece of mind to consumers.
OREA worked with MPPs to introduce a bi-partisan Private Member’s Bill – Bill 96 that, if passed, would facilitate the use of electronic agreements of purchase and sale of real estate. OREA’s government relations staff also continue working with the Ministry of Attorney General to streamline the amendment to the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000.
OREA supports initiatives to delete the existing exception to real property transactions from the application of the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000 in order to ensure better and more efficient services REALTORS® provide to their clients.