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ESIGNATURE AND THE REAL ESTATE EVOLUTION

When the ESIGN Act passed in 2000, it revolutionized the way many industries conducted business.  The ESIGN Act gave the same legal authority to electronic signatures as wet ink signature, paving the way for a technological boom in e-commerce.  One industry that has benefited from this is the Real Estate Industry.

Closing the Deal Before the ESIGN Act

According to the National Association of Realtors, there are over 121 million occupied residence in the United States.  If you were involved in one of the 5.34 million existing home purchases in 2018, then you probably know how grueling the process can become.  The entire purchasing process involves a seller and buyer, as well as attorney’s, escrow companies, title companies and a mortgage company or bank.

Many of the documents required for closing are completed prior to the big day.  In some cases, even the seller completes their portion of the documents days in advanced and are not present for the actual closing date.  On the big day, if an error is found, documents must be redrawn and signed again, causing costly and frustrating delays.

After a successful closing, attorney’s and other agents are left with the daunting task of reviewing and recording these documents, finalizing the transfer of property.

The Evolution of Real Estate

Thanks to the ESIGN Act, and other global legislation, most of the Real Estate transactions can take place electronically, without any parties being physically present.  Advanced e-signature platforms, like SignOnTheGo, offer the ability to create, store and authenticate documents and signatures required to close on a real estate purchase.  Documents such as:

  • Purchase/Offer contracts
  • Sales contracts
  • Pre-approval letters
  • Affidavits from seller and buyers
  • Ease Agreements
  • Liens
  • Closing Disclosures
  • Mortgage Documents

Documents that are executed are encrypted and rendered tamper evident and taper resistant, protecting document integrity and participant privacy.

Streamlining the Closing

SignOnTheGo offers a secure platform that allows users to create, edit, negotiate and sign documents of any size.  This means if there is an issue with a document, users and their partners can make corrections without the need of starting the document process over again.

Documents are encrypted and stored for the life of the account at no extra costs.  Users enjoy multi-layer security, including blockchain authentication, ensuring a smooth, safe and secure environment for all.

There are many benefits to using an e-signature platform to conduct your Real Estate transactions:

Lower transaction costs

More efficient and fast document transaction process

Enhanced security

Portability

Eliminate paper, toner, printer and storage costs

Instant revisions if necessary

Choosing the Right Platform

If you are considering digitizing your document transaction process with an e-signature platform, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

“Bigger” and “popular” do not necessarily mean “better” or that it is even right for your real estate operation.  There are many platforms that have been around for a long time and offer a tremendous number of flashy bells and whistles.   These shiny bobbles of specialty features may not even be relevant to what you need but are built into the high premiums that are passed down to the consumer.

Pro Tip 1:

Make a list of what your operation requires to be efficient before agreeing to any sort of subscription.  Oftentimes, the features that will help your office be more efficient are not available in the low tier plans.

Does the platform scale for your business needs?  Many of the existing e-signature companies offer plans that are either too big or too small for what users actually need for their Real Estate office.  This often means paying more for documents and features that you don’t even need.

Pro Tip 2:

Does the e-signature offer a reasonable individual plan?  Do they have a Pay as You Go plan that doesn’t lock you into monthly subscriptions?  Will you be stuck in a contract if you sign up?

How’s the Customer Service?  Most platforms sales people are all but under your feet when they are trying to get you to sign up, but once the free trial is over and you are trapped in the plan they are nowhere to be seen.  If you have issues with your plan, nobody is there to help.  You may even have to pay an additional premium just to talk to someone in customer service.  Many of the well-known platforms only have a self-service help desk and an email address and don’t even offer a phone number.

Pro Tip 3:

Do your research!  Check reviews to see how customers are handled after the deal is done.  Does the website offer a phone number?  Will you have to pay for customer support?  Is the customer support team in your time zone?

SignOnTheGo is a blockchain based e-signature platform that offers scalable and affordable plans to small businesses, including those in the Real Estate industry.  Check out a free trial at www.signonthego.us and see how we can help you streamline your business.

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