Bob Aaron in Legal
Last month you wrote about a ruling by the late Justice Sydney Robins which paved the way for signing real estate agreements by fax. Does that also apply to signing offers by email?
The short answer is: yes. As I see it, the reasoning in the Court of Appeal decision in the 1989 case of Rolling v. Willann also applies to concluding real estate deals by email. In that case, Justice Robins wrote that technological advances which expedite the transmission of documents “should be encouraged and approved.”
The longer answer, however, is more complicated. Using a document scanner to create an electronic version of an agreement requires a considerable amount of care and attention. Doing it wrong can result in disastrous consequences for the parties involved.
A small claims court decision last month illustrates the complexity of using email to conclude real estate contracts.
“This case,” wrote Deputy Judge J. Sebastian Winny, “would make a good case study for realtors on how not to conduct a real estate transaction. And it is another poster child for the wonders of miscommunication by email.”