Real Estate Report

(April 5, 2019) Technology continues to transform the way real estate professionals conduct business and connect with clients.

Many agents are able to bypass the traditional office environment and go mobile.

This includes using drones to photograph properties, video chats to show a client a home that can’t make it onsite, and using electronic signature programs in place of in-person meetings to sign. Gone are the days of faxes and good old pen and paper.

Electronic signature and authorization systems technology allows buyers, sellers, lenders, title agents and other parties to a transaction to remotely review, revise and approve documents. These programs can be used via a smartphone, tablet or computer device.

Two of the most popular electronic signature programs are DocuSign and Dotloop. While DocuSign tends to receive better reviews, Dotloop is becoming an industry standard in real estate due to its ease in collaboration between the parties involved and broker oversight.

The National Association of Realtors supported the “E-SIGN Act of 2000” that makes electronic signatures the legal equivalent of handwritten signatures in order to make real estate transactions more efficient and to reduce paperwork.

National Association of Realtors continues to provide education for agents in the procedures for using electronic signatures and is urging regulators and lenders to facilitate and widen the acceptance of electronic signatures.

On the regulatory front, the Federal Housing Administration significantly broadened the range of signatures that will be accepted as part of FHA mortgage processing.

Also, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has conducted pilot projects demonstrating ways that the mortgage closing process can be improved, with special attention to making more parts of the closing process open to electronic signatures and formats.

Lauren Bunting is an Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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