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NSW pushes for paperless property processes

16 July 2018

In a landmark decision, the NSW cabinet has cleared legislation that could allow electronic signatures in property transactions.

The move builds on laws passed last year that allowed the NSW Government to digitise a raft of paper processes. It also follows calls from industry professionals and representatives, including REINSW, to update the legislation to suit the modern digital landscape.

“We have been lobbying the NSW Government for the last couple of years to change the law to allow signatures to be witnessed electronically,” says Tim McKibbin, REINSW CEO.

Digital from the start

If passed, the law will significantly streamline property transactions for buyers and banks.

Electronic transaction services, such as Pexa and Sympli, have revolutionised the completion side of property transactions. However, buyers must still complete paper documents to satisfy legal requirements.

“Whether it’s a smart phone, tablet or app, people use technology every day to manage their lives. Property transactions shouldn’t be any different,” Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Victor Dominello said late last year when the NSW Government requested feedback on promoting technology in property transactions.

“Technology has transformed businesses and consumer expectations. We must ensure that property transactions are fit-for-purpose in the digital age.”

If successful, the NSW digital property reforms could become an example for other states.

The new laws are slated to be introduced in September and, if passed, could be in place as early as mid-2019.

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