Alberta real estate lawyers now allowed virtual meetings to sign documents as part of COVID-19 containment

Friday, May 22, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Alberta real estate lawyers now allowed virtual meetings to sign documents as part of COVID-19 containment

CALGARY -- Home buyers in Alberta are now able to video conference their real estate lawyer and sign legal documents that had previously required in-person meetings.


This is a temporary measure to cut down on personal interactions and ease the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


"As of last Friday, parties don’t need to physically meet anymore," said Ryan MacKay, a real estate lawyer with MacKay Real Property Law.



However, McKay says the new remote signing process doesn’t go far enough to complete the legal process of purchasing a home digitally.


"When people hear remote signing they might be imagining a digital end to end digital experience. We’re not quite there yet, there are companies working on that but the legislation is not ready to support that."


Land title offices still require hard copy documents signed in "wet ink."


Realtor Tanya Eklund says the change will help make her clients feel more at ease about entering the market during the pandemic.


"People can still feel safe buying and selling a home and if they don’t want they don’t have to go in and meet a lawyer and sit down for an hour and go through everything," said Eklund.


Calgary real estate agents already have access to remote digital software that allows mobile devices or laptops for document signing.