In the digital age, real estate practices have been evolving rapidly. One notable change pertains to the New York State Agency Disclosure Form (ADF), a key document in any property transaction. This post delves into the specifics of electronic delivery and email acknowledgment of the ADF under the New York State Electronic Records and Signature Act.
The Question: Electronic Delivery and Email Acknowledgement of ADF
The question often arises: Can the New York State Agency Disclosure Form (ADF) be delivered electronically under the New York State Electronic Records and Signature Act (the Act)? Furthermore, if it can be delivered electronically, would an email from a consumer—such as a seller, purchaser, tenant, or landlord—acknowledging receipt of the ADF satisfy the “signature” requirement of the Act?
The Answer: Yes to Electronic Delivery and Email Acknowledgement
The Department of State has confirmed two key points related to these queries:
Electronic Delivery of ADF
Firstly, the ADF may indeed be delivered electronically, in accordance with the Act. This acknowledgment allows for a more streamlined and efficient process of managing the necessary documentation during a property transaction.
Email Acknowledgement as Signature
Secondly, given the expansive definition of “signature” within the Act, an email from a consumer acknowledging receipt of the ADF will satisfy the “signature” requirement of the Act. In this case, the term ‘consumer’ refers to any of the key parties in a property transaction—a seller, purchaser, tenant, or landlord.
Important Tip: Correctly Filling Out the ADF
The ADF that is being acknowledged by a consumer via email should be filled out completely and correctly. A blank, incomplete, or incorrect ADF will not fulfill the purpose of delivering the ADF, and importantly, will not meet the “advanced informed consent” requirement in the case of dual agency.
The Risk of Incorrectly Filled Out ADF
Failure to obtain advanced informed consent to dual agency can result in a significant loss: a loss of commission for the real estate professional involved. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that the ADF is filled out completely and correctly before it is delivered electronically, and before the consumer acknowledges its receipt via email.
By adhering to these guidelines, real estate professionals can leverage the benefits of electronic delivery, while also ensuring compliance with the Act.