Staying competitive in your industry requires awareness of the new tools and best practices. For example, going digital or paperless through electronic signatures can streamline your workflow and give you an added layer of security over traditional contracts.
Table of Contents
5 Benefits of Using eSignatures for Real Estate Contracts
Electronic signatures can radically change the way you process transactions with clients. Here are some of the benefits.
1. Faster turnaround times
eSigning real estate contracts can significantly speed up the process. With traditional paper contracts, all parties must sign the document in person and then mail it back to the other party or parties. This can often take weeks.
All parties can sign and return the document with electronic signatures almost instantaneously. It can save much time, mainly when time is of the essence.
Say there are multiple buyers interested in purchasing the same property. You can use eSignatures to expedite the contract signing process so that one buyer does not have an unfair advantage over another.
2. Reduced errors and mistakes
Using eSignatures for real estate contracts eliminates the need for a manual signature, which can be time-consuming and prone to mistakes. Additionally, eSignatures provide a secure way of transferring documents between parties, ensuring they are encrypted during transit and storage.
Say two parties are in negotiations regarding a property transaction. The agent handling this transaction could send out an electronic version of the contract for both parties to sign using eSignatures.
This would avoid any miscommunication or misunderstanding between both parties. It provides each party with a copy of the agreement that is securely stored online and accessible at any time if needed.
3. Enhanced security
When a contract is signed electronically, it is stored securely on a server. This means that any attempt to tamper it is almost impossible. In addition, electronic signature platforms typically have strict authentication requirements that users must meet before signing a contract, like a signer ID verification.
That feature helps to ensure that only authorized individuals can sign a contract. An electronic signature is a digital representation of your signature, which is unique to you. Forging an electronic signature would require access to your computer or device and your signature file.
eSignature platforms offer an additional layer of security called two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA requires you to enter both your username and password and a second factor, such as a fingerprint or code sent to your phone, to log in.
This security feature makes it much more difficult for someone to access your account and forge your signature. Also, eSignatures offer role-based access control (RBAC). As an administrator, you can grant different levels of access to various users, depending on their roles.
4. Maintains consistency in compliance
The use of eSignatures ensures that the contract is legally binding, as it includes authentication information such as
- biometrics verification
- timestamping, and
- audit trails
This information helps to ensure that all parties involved agree to the terms and conditions of the contract.
Biometric verification requires users to provide their personal information, such as a fingerprint or voice recording. It’s an additional layer of security and prevents document tampering.
Electronic signatures contain timestamping, allowing for reliable tracking of the date and time each party signed a document.
Lastly, electronic signature platforms also include an audit trail that tracks who accessed the document and ensures that only authorized parties can access it.
5. Cost savings
Traditional paper contracts often require printing, copying, and mailing costs. These costs can add up quickly, particularly for large contracts. In addition, many electronic signature platforms offer discounts for bulk signings.
In a traditional real estate transaction, each party must sign and mail or fax a paper copy of the contract to the other party (or parties). This would require using stamps, envelopes, and possibly even overnight shipping.
With electronic signatures, there is no need to print or mail anything – each party can simply sign electronically from their computer, tablet, or smartphone. It can save a significant amount of money on supplies and shipping costs.
8 Best Practices for Using Electronic Signatures in Real Estate Contracts
If you’re 100 percent sure to transition to electronic signatures, then make the most of these best practices.
1. Choose a reputable and reliable electronic signature provider
Google the best ten electronic signature providers. Compare the services and read reviews thoroughly. There’s no better way to do this than doing your research. Try the services until you discover which one fits your needs.
2. Get consent from all parties
All parties involved in the contract must consent to use electronic signatures. You can do this by having each party sign a separate document consenting to electronic signatures. Include language in the contract stating that all parties agree to use electronic signatures.
3. Use strong authentication
Check if the provider offers strong authentication measures to ensure that only the intended signatories can sign the document. You can do this by using Two-Factor Authentication, which requires a unique code sent to your registered mobile number to verify the login to the account.
4. Keep records of all signings
It is essential to keep records of all signings, whether they are done electronically or in person. These records must have the date and time of the signing, and the IP address of the signatory if possible. This will help prove that the signature is valid if there is any question.
5. Activate the signer verification feature
If the electronic signature provider offers a signer verification, use this feature to your advantage. The signatories must upload an ID or a selfie with the ID to verify their identity before signing the contract.
6. Have a backup plan
Despite all of the security measures you can take, there’s always a possibility that something could go wrong with an electronic signature. Have a backup plan in place. You may always have hard copies of the signed document or use multiple signing platforms for a backup.
7. Educate yourself and your team
Educate yourself and your team on how the platform works and what best practices they should follow. You can also attend your provider’s onboarding session to learn how your electronic signature tool works.
8. Follow industry regulations
There are specific industry regulations that you need to follow when using electronic signatures for certain types of documents. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure compliance.
Using Fill to eSign Real Estate Contracts
If you want to switch to electronic signatures when processing contracts, consider checking out Fill.
For anyone looking for an efficient, secure, and cost-effective way of managing contracts, Fill makes all things possible.