19 March 2020

Carry out notarial certifications without exposing yourself to Covid-19

By Sami Baruh

With Foxstone’s technology, clients can take all the necessary steps to acquire a property without having to travel and therefore without being exposed to Coronavirus.

For more than a week now, all economic activity has been slowing down. The Coronavirus epidemic that has hit the world has reminded us that the priority is health, in comparison to which all financial considerations seem derisory. 

Since March 16, the majority of Foxstone employees have been working from home using collaborative software and digital communication tools. The company thus intends to ensure their health while maintaining its business and continuing to meet the demands of its clients and partners throughout the current crisis.

Moreover, a new offer was launched on the platform on 18 March (a residential building in Valbroye, Vaud).

Discover the new offer

Until recently, however, having the documents required for a property acquisition certified by a notary proved to be an ordeal. You had to find a notary nearby, make an appointment, go to his home during office hours, wait for him to certify and send the documents. This long and tedious process could take several weeks, not to mention the possible mistakes made by the client or the notary, which could lead to the entire operation being repeated.

Given the current situation, it would be unthinkable to ask investors to go to a notary. However, it is possible that the notary would be willing to receive them. Although it was not originally designed with this in mind, Foxstone offers an innovative digital solution to this problem. For the past year, the company has been offering investors the option of having the documents required for a real estate acquisition authenticated directly online without having to travel to a notary’s office.

This notarial certification by digital means is the result of a collaboration with Master Olivier Ferraz, Notary of Fribourg and has been implemented with a view to constantly improving the quality of its services and to make the investment process and the life of investors as easy as possible.

Digitalisation has enabled a gain in time and efficiency: a long process that used to take up to three weeks can now be completed in three days. The investor makes an appointment with Master Ferraz and sends him a copy of his ID by email. At the agreed time, Master Ferraz magically appears on his smartphone or computer screen while sitting quietly in his living room. They hold a five-minute discussion during which the investor signs the documents in front of the screen. A jump to the mailbox and everything is settled, including the costs that Foxstone has to pay.

Digitization also increases productivity by allowing Foxstone to quickly process more files and reduce delays in the acquisition process. “The appropriate use of new technologies allows us to focus on the real added value of the notary’s intervention,” explains Mr. Ferraz.

Finally, digitization will allow Foxstone to maintain its business throughout the current health crisis and meet the demands of its clients while ensuring that they are not exposed to Coronavirus.

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