Electronic signature in real estate practices: How to digitize real estate business?

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Electronic signing of documents from the comfort of home

The potential to simplify communication between real estate agencies and sellers or buyers of real estate lies in the transition to electronic signing of documents. The real estate sector is notorious for the huge amount of paperwork that needs to be prepared, signed and often notarized for each transaction.

This does not have to be limited to the purchase agreement. In the real estate sector, it is also possible to electronically sign other types of documents, such as:

  • agreement to include in the offer of a real estate agency,
  • contract for representation by a real estate agency,
  • reservation contract for real estate,
  • contract for short-term or long-term rental of real estate,
  • taking-over and handover protocol and others.

Similar to the  , in the field of electronic signing of documents in real estate, there are practically two options:

  • signing the document on a touch device, which requires a personal meeting between the real estate agent and the client, i.e. the buyer or the seller of the property,
  • signing the document with a qualified electronic signature, which eliminates the need to be physically in the same place as the only copy of the document.

While for less binding types of documents, such as an agreement to include a property for sale or rent in the offer of a real estate agency, it is sufficient to use advanced electronic signature for signing purchase contracts, we recommend using the highest level – a qualified electronic signature.

Elektronicky podpis z domova

Qualified electronic signature in real estate

Due to the typically high financial transactions involved, qualified electronic signatures (QES) are well-suited for the real estate sector. QES are designed for signing all critical and legally binding documents that demand the highest level of security and authenticity.

In the real estate industry, this type of signature not only streamlines communication with public authorities and digitizes B2B transactions but also simplifies communication with buyers and sellers.

With QES, it is possible to:

✔️ Uniquely verify the identity of the signing party

✔️ Demonstrate the immutability of signed documents at the time of signing

✔️ Ensure the legal validity of a handwritten signature – if it also includes a time stamp, it has the same legal weight as a notarized signature (it cannot be rejected as evidence in court).

Elektronicky podpis v praxi realitných kancelárií

The NFQES portal will help you with the digitization of transactions

The NFQES portal, a comprehensive SaaS platform, empowers you to seamlessly navigate all levels of electronic signatures (from digital to advanced to qualified electronic signatures) in real estate transactions, optimizing and securing your electronic communication.

Through NFQES, you can sign documents with the legal certainty of a notarized signature, even in bulk and without attaching an ID card. NFQES thus eliminates the need to be physically in the same place as a single copy of a sales contract or other document:

  • you can sign documents from anywhere, via a web portal or mobile application,
  • you don’t have to send them printed by mail and wait for the buyer or seller of the property to send them back,
  • all this safely, in accordance with the strictest safety and quality standards.

Elektronicky podpis v praxi realitných kancelárií

Enterprise solutions for reality

For advanced integration of selected functions of the NFQES platform into your own system, we have prepared our own API. We will be happy to help you implement more demanding services that allow you to digitize the processes associated with signing within our Enterprise solutions, which can be implemented directly at your place or operated on our side.

Advantages of using an electronic signature in real estate

Electronic signature is a technology that can change the way documents are collected and processed even in real estate transactions. The use of an electronic signature in the real estate segment thus brings you several benefits, primarily:

✔️ simplifying the work of real estate brokers and real estate business processes,

✔️ faster conclusion of business transactions, often remotely, without the need for a personal meeting,

✔️ increasing security when signing and protecting the document against changes,

✔️ lower requirements for administration and archiving of contracts,

✔️ an overview of what and when you signed thanks to the signing history,

✔️ secure archiving of documents and much more.

Extra bonus: Save on cadastral fees

In addition to the electronic signature itself, there is another possibility of digitalization in real estate. These are processes that follow the business transaction itself and refer to the transcription of ownership at the cadastral office.

The ownership right to the real estate arises for the buyer only after depositing it in the real estate cadastre. The buyer can do this – similarly to many other services – in person or through an electronic service that implements the proposal for a deposit online.

You can make a deposit to the real estate cadastre within the standard period, when the office decides within 30 days from the submission, or expedited, when it has half the time to make a decision. However, the fees for the deposit will be different, and you can reduce them by up to half by filing electronically, which is not at all to be thrown away, even in view of the increase in fees from April 1, 2024:

Deposit fees

Deposit fees Standard term Expedited proceedings
Personal visit to the cadastre 100 € 300 €
Electronic filing 50 € 150 €

Fees for depositing in the cadastre from 1 April 2024 (source: Act No. 145/1995 Coll.)

How to submit an electronic proposal for a deposit?

Electronic filing can be done by:

  1. Natural person

Any participant in the legal act, i.e. the seller and the buyer, is entitled to submit a proposal for the initiation of proceedings, i.e. for a deposit in the cadastre. If the deposit proposal is submitted electronically, all documents must be submitted in electronic form and signed with a qualified electronic signature. The submission must contain a qualified electronic signature of all contract participants.

Note: If a signature certified by a notary or registrar is required in a written submission, a qualified electronic signature with a time stamp corresponds to it in an electronic submission.

  1. Notary

The notary draws up the contract in the form of a notarial record and provides it with a qualified electronic signature. If the deposit proposal contains other attachments than the contract, the electronic deposit proposal must be submitted by a notary, as he verifies the attachment. An example is, for example, the apartment manager’s declaration of arrears in payments, but only if the manager did not sign it with an electronic signature.

Elektronicky podpis v praxi realitných kancelárií

Výkričník ikonka

Did you know that…
… you can arrange a deposit proposal even cheaper? If you send the electronic form Notice of Intended Deposit Proposal before submitting the deposit proposal, you will save another 15 euros. You then have 90 days to submit a deposit proposal to the relevant cadastral department, either in person or electronically.

The author of the article is

Miroslav Rechtorík