Real estate lawyer touts VR as valuable tool in future transactions – Regina Leader Post

A Moose Jaw real estate lawyer recently signed a contract in virtual reality for a physical location, which he says is a first.
A Moose Jaw real estate lawyer says virtual reality technology has the opportunity to make future transactions more convenient and potentially more affordable for clients.

Talon Regent, owner of Regent Law, has created Easy eLaw, an automated practice which he said is designed to minimize costs for clients when completing transactions, such as buying a home.
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“Traditionally, lawyers have always required that individuals attend to their physical offices in order to sign documents,” Regent said during a phone interview Tuesday.

Regent purchased a residential home from realtor Laura Fehr, signing an offer through Meta virtual reality technology on Nov. 2, which he filmed as a proof of concept and posted to YouTube.

While Regent, who has a passion for the law and technology, said he’s aware of contracts signed in virtual reality for virtual reality products, like a cosmetic feature for a VR avatar, he’s not heard of any lawyer who has met with clients in VR to sign legally binding documents as in this case. “I wanted to be the first,” he added in a news release.

He’s not expecting a quick or sudden uptake in electronic signatures, but wanted to highlight the possibilities and opportunities afforded by adopting the evolving technology.

For clients, it could save on time and the costs of fuel or parking. On the business side, “significant” overhead costs that firms would usually pass onto their clients could be avoided with virtual reality.

“Using virtual reality for signing land transfer documents at this stage is still impractical but it is important that we take these steps to inspire people, show them what’s possible and ensure we continue to work toward a future that allows these things to become more practical, more useful,” Regent said.

Some of the documents required when buying a home allow for electronic signatures, such as the documents covered under The Electronic Information and Documents Act, 2000, including video, Regent said.

Others, like land title transfer documents, are governed by The Land Titles Act, which does not allow for electronic signatures yet, so those portions of the deal were not filmed as part of the video.

In his release, Regent noted that the adoption of modern signature technology for physical land transactions has been “especially slow.”

He said during the phone interview that the language in The Land Titles Act is “ambiguous” about electronic signatures, so the land titles registrar errs on the side of caution in current interpretation and does not allow it.

“It would be good if politicians amended the Land Titles Act to remove the ambiguity,” Regent said.

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