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

REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) – A Powerful Tool for Today’s Real Estate Agent

The National Association of REALTORS® data product is a powerful resource for real estate agents that know how to harness its information.  Here is a presentation that will introduce you to the program and give you an overview of its unique features and comprehensive reports.

All the best!

Folio for Gmail – Yea!!!

I’m not one to usually endorse services or products on my blog but I stumbled upon a Gmail extension the other day that I have to trumpet to my fellow real estate agents.  It’s called Folio.

Any agent that has ever processed a real estate transaction from start to finish knows that trying to keep track of all the paperwork, emails, conversations, deadlines, and notes is a daunting task.  The developers of Folio, Amitree, apparently felt your pain.  Here are some of the features that make this extension special:  Continue reading

Understanding Zillow’s NEW Owner’s Dashboard

Zillow is about to go after a huge, untapped portion of the real estate market that they have never pursued before – – – Sellers.  Property owners can now hop on Zillow and manage their real estate.  The real estate search portal also provides comprehensive, in-depth market analytics that provides consumers with greater insight into what is happening in their local real estate market.

Whether you like Zillow or not, you’ve got to hand it to them.  They’re always pushing the envelope and making industry insiders nervous.

All the best!

Is the Real Estate Agent the Next Dodo Bird?

Dodo Bird

Once a month, I teach real estate pre-licensing classes to people that have interest in obtaining their real estate license.  There are all kinds of people in the class from all walks of life.  Of all the people who take the classes, my gut feeling is that probably less than 50% of them actually pursue getting their real estate salesperson’s license.  But the ones that want to enter this business are the ones that usually bring the most questions to class and make observations about our business that cause me to rethink what I think is a given.

This past weekend, I had a young lady in the front row make a statement and then ask a pointed question:  “With all the changes occurring in the real estate industry and the onset of technological tools that makes it easier for the consumer to buy and sell real estate, it’s probably only a matter of time before real estate agents aren’t needed anymore.  What do you think?”

Pretty blunt and to the point, wouldn’t you say?  While this question came from one student, I realized that the vast majority of the class was intently waiting on my answer.

In a nutshell, here is what I said – – –    Continue reading

The Rise of the Virtual Showing

One of the most important jobs that a real estate agent has in today’s market is to expose a seller’s property to as many people as possible.  When it comes to exposure, the internet is King.

As is evidenced by the latest survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, more home buyers find their home through the internet than anywhere else.   Continue reading