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Transition to eContracts is being resisted

26 July 2017

Lawyers and conveyancers are proving to be the biggest roadblock using eContacts, according to a new survey.

Legal search provider InfoTrack surveyed 300 lawyers and conveyancers and found only 28.89% use eContracts of Sale (eCOS) and 38.66% use PEXA for a digital property exchange.

InfoTrack chief executive John Ahern said: “The results are disappointing and clearly demonstrate that lawyers in the real estate sector must overcome their long-held resistance to new technologies.

“What isn’t well understood is that PEXA’s digital platform is not eConveyancing on it’s own; it is the final step in a property transaction.”

He explained that eContracts and eSigning can help to streamline the first three quarters of the process and allow conveyancers to “hop-on, hop-off”, and choose which parts they want to do digitally.

John explained: “They don’t have to go digital all at once. As an example, a conveyancer could use IDfy for electronic verification of identity (VOI), then create and exchange a paper contract. 

“Alternatively, they could do a VOI the old-fashioned way in the office, create an eContract, print it off and have it signed manually.”

The NSW Government has committed to a complete digital property exchange by July 2019. However the survey showed only 54% were confident this will happen. 

John said: “Clearly more needs to be done to convince lawyers and conveyancers that eContracts are not only effective but also that they are very good for the bottom line. 

“There are enormous time and cost efficiencies in moving to digital platforms. However, entrenched 19th century thinking is costing conveyancers and lawyers in the real estate sector dearly.”