The Pros and Cons of E-Sign in the Real Estate Transaction

In the world in which we live in today, if you haven’t been asked to electronically sign something, you’ve been hiding underneath a rock.  Our comfort level with E-sign has rapidly evolved in the last ten years. Electronic signatures in real estate transactions are fast becoming the norm instead of the exception.

For purposes of simplicity in this post, I am going to refer to electronic signatures and digital signatures as one in the same, although they are different.  Digital signatures are used in the real estate business and are much more secure than electronic signatures.  If you’re geeky and want to read about the differences, click here to learn more.

Before we touch on the pros and cons of e-sign, a common misconception needs to be cleared up.  I often hear from consumers and agents alike, “Are they legal?”  The short answer, “Yes.”

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) was introduced in 1999 and has been adopted by 47 U.S. states (Pennsylvania is one of them), as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  UETA allows electronic signatures in real estate transactions as long as the parties to a contract agree to proceed electronically.

The ESIGN Act is a federal law passed in 2000 and grants legal recognition to electronic signatures and records if all parties to a contract choose to use electronic documents and to sign them electronically.

UETA and the ESIGN Act solidified the legal landscape for use of electronic records and electronic signatures in real estate transactions by confirming that they carry the same weight and have the same legal effect as traditional paper documents and wet ink signatures.

Now that they boring legal stuff is out of the way, here are the pros and cons:  Continue reading

The Clock is Ticking

A User’s Guide to Meeting the 14 Deadlines in the Agreement of Sale

When a property goes under agreement, Buyers and Sellers typically breathe a collective sigh of relief.  Real estate agents on the other hand know that the true work is just beginning.

If a standard PAR (Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®) agreement of sale is used in a transaction, there are 14 deadlines that must be met in order for the parties to be in compliance with the terms of the agreement.  Missing any one of these deadlines can have dire consequences to the party that fails to live up to their end of the bargain. Continue reading

Lancaster County Real Estate Market Statistics for November 2016

The month of November has come and gone, and with it, the cool, crisp air has turned a little frosty.  But that change in temperature has not deterred the local real estate market from continuing to perform at a high level.  Take a look at the numbers.

(NOTE:  Click each slide for a larger image.)

november-2016-market-stats-avg-sales-price

The average sales price in Lancaster County ticked up 1% in November as compared to last year.  This steady rise is good news for those people that saw the equity in their home get squeezed during the Great Recession of 2006-2010.  It appears that the $200,000 is right around the corner.  Continue reading

Guide to Presentation of Multiple Agreements

The real estate market has been extremely active this year.  It is not unusual for an agent to put a well-priced home on the market and within a short period of time, receive multiple agreements on the property.  As a listing agent, you feel a sense of relief and excitement all at the same time.  However, this positive situation can go off the tracks quickly if you don’t handle the presentation of the agreements to your seller in the proper manner.  Continue reading

Eight Tips to Win the Day in Multiple Offer Situations

In the competitive environment that we find ourselves in today, make your real estate purchase offer stand out.  Inventory levels of residential homes for sale are at an all-time low with absorption rates in most price ranges, way down.  Many sellers are now entertaining multiple offers on their properties and can afford to be choosy.

To help you get that perfect home, here are eight tips to consider when drawing up your agreement:   Continue reading

But I Thought an Appraisal and Home Inspection Were the Same Thing?

appraisal-vs-home-inspection

I am often asked this question by both buyers and sellers.  Buyers wonder why they are paying for two different reports that they think are the same thing.  Sellers question why an appraiser didn’t find a deficiency in a home that the home inspector did.  The best way to start this discussion is to define the purpose of each document and for whom it is being prepared Continue reading