Property sales might be the end goal of real estate, but it takes a lot of paperwork to get there.
Ask yourself: when was the last time you have created a contract by hand? Never, right? You don't write legal paperwork by hand, you do it electronically.
Wouldn't it be simpler and quicker if those documents would stay electronic through the whole process? Well, that's where e-signatures come into play. With the growing popularity in the real estate industry, it is changing the way contracts are handled with great benefits for both the buyer as the real estate professional.
Different Types of Electronic Signatures
While e-signatures are saving time, money and resources, it is important to note that there are two different types of e-signatures. Dependent on your needs and challenges you can pick between these types. Both are legally accepted forms of electronic signatures, but the technology behind the two is significantly different.
A dependent e-signature remains on the server of your electronic signature software provider, and the image of the signature is placed on the document and the legitimacy proof of the contract is stored with this provider. If the validity is every questioned, you can find the proof with this vendor.
An independent e-signature embeds the evidence and validity of the signature into the signed document itself, and this type of electronic signature is also called a digital signature. Because the legal evidence of the signature is digitally contained within the signed document, there’s no need to depend on your e-signature vendor to keep your signed documents on file.
The Benefits of E-Signatures in Real Estate
Why should you move to a paperless future?
- Mobility. Mobility is one of the greatest perks of e-signatures because e-signature technology allows a user to sign a document from virtually anywhere. You’re able to e-sign a document from the convenience of any mobile phone, tablet or laptop. This means that while you’re preparing to close the next deal, you can simultaneously send time-sensitive, important documents to your clients and partners. And, in turn, your clients and partners are also able to conveniently sign documents and return them to you from any location and any device. No need to get your customer to the office or for you to drive to them, spending your valuable time in traffic.
- Speed. In the real estate industry, time is of the essence, and a 10-minute delay in getting a signed offer to a seller could potentially cost your buyer the deal, or even worse, two independent sales sign a contract in the same timeframe. With e-signatures, once the user signs the document, it is instantly and securely sent to the original owner or to the party designated to sign next, reducing bottlenecks that often occur with mailing, faxing, emailing and printing contracts and forms.
- Efficiency and Accuracy. E-signature technology can require mandatory information and signed fields, ensuring a document is not submitted unless it’s 100 percent complete. This reduces the number of incomplete documents that are returned to you and the time spent duplicating efforts on revised paperwork. In addition, electronic signatures decrease the need for filing or handling paperwork so you can dedicate time to more important tasks.
- Storage. Because e-signature technology is supported by cloud-based software, you store your contacts in a safe place, making sure you are never losing a contract ever again. Can't find a certain contract? No problem, just log in and download what you need.
- Security. Real estate documents often contain sensitive information and represent some of life’s most important transactions, with cyber-crime on the rise, you must be vigilant about protecting clients’ data and documents. That why e-signature providers are rigorous about their security. Since this is not your expertise, chances are that your servers are more vulnerable to attacks and it is safer to store your data with a 3rd party
The use of e-signatures in real estate provides numerous benefits to all parties involved, it ensures confidential information is safe and guarantees the longevity of the digitally signed documents without making you dependent on your own storage and filing system.