Is eSignature Technology Right for Your Real Estate Business?

As a real estate agent you probably have some basic understanding of how digital signature technology can help your real estate business. Maybe you could reduce the risk involved in holding and storing documents, gain time efficiencies by signing documents on the spot or even overcome geographical restrictions. Yet from my experiences many agents are sitting on the sidelines, not ready to jump in. Maybe it?s the result of not understanding how accessible the technology has become. Or is it the issue of legality?

First let?s address the legality of an eSignature. In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed a federal law titled Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) to ?facilitate the use of electronic records and signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by ensuring the validity and legal effect of contracts entered into electronically?.

With the ESIGN Act stating clearly that ?a transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation.? It paved the way for companies to start creating today?s eSignature platforms. Today in real estate eSignatures can be accomplished with various technologies, such as VREO Real Estate Dashboard or DocuSign. However they both deal with the digital signature in different ways and both have distinct advantages.

VREO real estate dashboard is a software application installed to a tablet PC. VREO dashboard allows agents to sign contracts and documents with a stylus pen on the screen?without ever printing a piece of paper. Once you?ve collected the required signatures, simply send to the other party using your dashboards integrated email or fax options. This technology proves to be very convenient for the mobile real estate agent who wants to conduct business anywhere, anytime! Note: An Internet connection is not required to collect signatures.

DocuSign on the other hand is an online solution enabling real estate agents to capture digital signatures via the web. As a result geographical distance between you and the recipient(s) is not an issue. In 2004, DocuSign integrated with Zipforms (Winforms) to provide online signature processing. As a result of the integration, real estate agents can print contracts into a ?digital envelope? and then place ?Stick-eTabs? wherever a recipient?s signature or initial is needed. This digital envelope is then encrypted and saved to a secure location. Your recipients will receive their invitation by email, and they will need to authenticate and sign the contracts. In the authentication phase the recipient must provide basic identification and pick a signature. Then it?s time for the recipient to review and sign. When complete, each of the parties is notified of the updated contracts.

Where are you with eSignatures in real estate business?