Exemption from Physical Signature Requirement for Real Estate Listings, Offers and Acceptances

The Real Estate Brokers Act (the “Act”) is administered by The Manitoba Securities Commission (“MSC”). On April 24th, 2020, in response to the challenges presented by COVID-19, the MSC published an exemption order (the “Order”) under the Act to eliminate the need for physical signatures on, and delivery of, certain real estate documents. Attached is a copy of that order:
http://www.mbsecurities.ca/news/current/reba-signatures-2020.html

The Order applies to:

    •    Exclusive listings (section 20 of the Act)
    •    Offers to purchase obtained by a broker, authorized official or salesperson (section 21(1) of the Act)
    •    Acceptances of offers to purchase (section 21(2) of the Act)
    •    Listing agreements (section 31(1) of the Act)

The following requirements of the Act are exempted under the Order

    •    Physical execution
    •    Delivery
    •    Signature in front of a witness in the case of offers to purchase and acceptances

The Order is subject to the following conditions:

    1) In the case of each document, that there is execution of the document in accordance with Part
        3 of The Electronic Commerce and Information Act:
        https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e055e.php Part 3 sets out the mechanics for
        contracts and for executing documents by electronic means. See Pitblado article on
        “COVID-19 and Electronic Documents: Yes, you can, (mostly)”:
        https://www.pitblado.com/covid-19-and-electronic-documents-yes-you-can-mostly

    2) The following documents are immediately sent by electronic means by the broker,
        authorized official or salesperson as follows:
        a) Listing or an exclusive listing -- to the person granting the listing;
        b) Offer to purchase -- to the offeror
        c) Acceptance of offer to purchase -- to the vendor and to the purchaser

    3) The person granting the listing or exclusive listing, the offeror and the purchaser must consent
        to rely on the Order. To comply with this condition, a broker, authorized official or salesman
        should provide the person with a copy of the Order and obtain their consent through electronic
        means. The type of consent could be: “I, [insert name of person granting listing, offeror or
        purchaser], acknowledge receipt of a copy of Order No. 2785 issued under The Real Estate
        Brokers Act by The Manitoba Securities Commission on April 14, 2020 and hereby consent to
        rely on the terms of that Order with respect to any exclusive listing agreement(s), listing
        agreement(s), offer(s) to purchase or acceptance(s) of offer(s) to purchase in connection with
        transactions involving [insert address of property] up to and including September 30, 2020”
;
        and

    4) The executed copies of the documents and consents must be maintained by the broker in a
        form that is accessible as part of the broker’s obligations respecting books and records.

The MSC has stated that the Order is valid until September 30, 2020.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact your relationship partner or lawyer if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance in guiding you through these new challenges.

This article was prepared by:

DON MacDONALD
LAWYER
204.956.3519
[email protected]

This article represents general information and is not legal advice. Please contact us if you would like legal advice that is tailored to your particular circumstances. We would be happy to help.

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