COVID-19 and Remote Closing for Realtors

Your world has changed in so many ways since COVID-19.

What Does COVID-19 Mean for Realtors?

Wouldn’t you know it: real estate sales were off to a record start in 2020. Mortgage rates were looking good. Then Ontario came to an abrupt halt on Friday, March the 13th. Home sales may have slowed, but that hasn’t stopped real estate buyers and sellers. You still have deals to close and new properties to list. How do you social distance and keep your real estate practice, clients and self in peak health?

What About Force Majeure?

A force majeure clause in a residential real estate contract is rare. If there is one, it must be specific and enforceable. Even at best, force majeure only delays the closing date. The courts have ruled Toronto home buyers are legally obligated to go ahead with their purchase. If a buyer backs out, they could be forced to pay the difference between their firm offer and the final purchase price. 

Can I Amend the Deal?

Illness, quarantine or mortgage financing delays are good reasons to amend the agreement of purchase and sale. Consult with all parties to reach agreement on an achievable date.

Is Closing the Deal a Virtual Reality?

In today’s virtual world, almost anything is technically possible. That means if your doors are temporarily locked due to COVID-19, you can still close agreements of purchase and sale. Right from the comfort of your client’s own home. Axess Law’s virtual commissioning reduces disruption to your clients and your practice.

Aren’t Video Conferences Frowned On?

Normally, The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) disapproves of video conferences for legal matters. Recently however, the LSO has okayed remote closings for lawyers and paralegals. Your client can meet via phone, Zoom, Skype, Facetime or other online video services. Axess Law offered remote notary services before COVID-19. Our real estate lawyers and notary publics are pros at video calls.

Has Quarantining Disrupted Your Day-to-Day?

Travel restrictions could leave you stranded at home or abroad. How do you juggle being quarantined with getting the deal done on time? With Axess Law’s remote commissioning, the agreement of purchase and sale and solicitor’s instructions can be faxed or emailed to us a few days before closing. Along with any other documents you need signed and witnessed. Our remote notary takes care of the rest.

How Does e-Signing Work?

  1. Our virtual notary makes an appointment.
  2. Your client is emailed a video link. 
  3. They click on it and speak directly with an Axess Law virtual notary.
  4. We can link you in as well.
  5. The notary verifies their photo ID. 
  6. All parties e-sign the closing documents.
  7. Signed, witnessed final copies are emailed for printing.

It’s simple, affordable and convenient. All you and your client need are Internet, a webcam and email.

What About Evening Appointments?

Axess Law’s real estate lawyers and remote notaries are available 7 days a week, day or evening. Appointments can be made by calling 1-647-479-0118 or using our online booking form. 

Have a Question?

Call us at 1-647-479-0118. We’ll get back to you right away. It’s the least we can do.

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