The No-Pen Purchase How Paperless Programs Are Changing Your Real Estate Experience Colleen Barry, Gibson Sotheby's International Realty Director of Productivity
If you were in the market for a new home recently, you were likely shocked to find out how fast the Boston real estate market was moving. Well-priced homes were under agreement in days or hours. There were sometimes bidding wars. Speed became critically important to help buyers purchase their dream homes.
Some agents turned to paperless technology to be able to react more quickly eliminating the need for a fax machine or courier. I would like to share two of the more popular programs with you, in hopes that you might feel more comfortable using them.
Dotloop and Docusign allow an agent to write up an offer so that you can sign it remotely right on your computer, tablet, or phone. These programs create a signature for you using a script or italicized font. Then they retain the time, date, and unique identifiers for your chosen device. All of this is just as legal as a wet signature one created by putting pen to paper. It is possible that each program will offer finger or stylus signatures in the future, just like the keypads we sign for credit card transactions at the grocery store.
Both Dotloop and Docusign have several benefits:
- Several parties can be included in the sharing and/or signing of a document, thus allowing the buyer, seller, both agents, attorneys, and the mortgage broker to receive the necessary documents.
- The documents are all stored in one central location. You can access your offer, addenda, the pre-approval letter, and more all in one place.
- These programs provide version control. This means that changes made to a document AFTER you have signed will cause your signature to be voided.
- You can download the documents for your records. This makes it easy to find the HUD document you need for your taxes or to revisit your condominium documents for later reference.
- These programs provide remote access. Recently, one of our home buyers was able to sign an offer while he was waiting to board his plane. In the past, this would have been impossible. Now it is quite simple and is sometimes the edge you need to submit the winning offer.
This is one of the many ways we, as real estate professionals, are working to improve your experience as a client. I hope you find it helpful.