The power of eSignatures in real estate

Posted by Victoria Allen on 25-Jul-2023 09:26:46

The world is becoming increasingly digital. This blog explores how eSignatures are helping streamline the real estate industry and how SigningHub is helping estate agents overcome document workflow challenges.

Electronic signatures, known as eSignatures, are revolutionising the real estate industry. With the increasing need for faster, more efficient processes, traditional, paper-based workflows have become outdated.

Esignatures can solve this problem by streamlining processes, reducing costs and improving data security.

Real estate industry challenges

The real estate industry is well-known for its complex, time-consuming processes, involving significant paperwork. The sector involves numerous stakeholders, including:

  • Buyers
  • Sellers
  • Estate agents
  • Conveyancers and solicitors

Each stakeholder must sign and exchange multiple documents throughout the process, often leading to delays and errors.

Regulations in the real estate industry

Real estate and estate agents are subject to various global and industry standards around data protection and security. Some of the key regulations that they must comply with include the following:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR is a regulation the European Union (EU) enforced in 2018. It aims to protect the privacy and data of all EU citizens. This regulation applies to all businesses that collect or process the personal data of EU citizens, including those in the real estate sector.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

A California, US-based regulation, CCA gives Californians more control over their personal information. Real estate agents that collect personal data from California residents must comply with this regulation.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

A federal law in the United States, the GLBA requires financial institutions, including estate agents, to protect the privacy and security of their client’s personal information.

Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)

CISA is a federal US law that encourages businesses, including real estate agencies, to share cyber threat information with the government to improve cybersecurity.

Industry-specific regulations

In addition to global regulations, realtors are subject to industry-specific regulations and guidelines. One example is the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics, which requires agents to protect clients’ confidential information and data.

Why is digital signature security important for estate agents?

Few life events are as significant as buying or selling a property. There is a reason why these transactions take months of due diligence and mountains of paperwork. The sale must be viable and air-tight from a legal perspective.

A single contract quibble can scupper an entire sale, meaning lost commission for the agency. Those agreeing to a sale want to know their signatures are valid long-term, especially when signing legal agreements.

The same applies to those entering rental contracts where complications down the line need signed proof to be legally binding.

The risks intensify at the higher end of the market. For example, prime London property reaches tens of millions of pounds. High-profile sales often involve foreign buyers, who are extremely sensitive to macroeconomic trends.

Buyers can change their minds in a second. It’s crucial to secure a sale as quickly as possible. Validating that individual 3,000 miles away has indeed signed a document is vital.

Streamlining real estate with SigningHub

SigningHub by Ascertia is a cloud-based eSignature solution that provides a secure, efficient way to sign and exchange documents. SigningHub offers several features that help streamline processes within real estate, including:

    1. Multiple signing options

      Leave printing, scanning, emailing or posting documents halfway across the world behind. SigningHub offers multiple signing options, including digital signatures, Advanced Electronic Signatures (AES) and Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES).

      These signatures comply with the eIDAS regulation and other global and industry regulations, ensuring estate agents comply with legal requirements.

  1. Document workflow management

    SigningHub’s comprehensive document workflow management feature allows real estate agents to manage their signing process efficiently. It enables stakeholders to assign signing roles and set the signing order and signing deadlines.

    Moreover, the feature allows stakeholders to track the signing process in real time, providing visibility into the transaction’s progress.

  2. Secure document storage

    Take advantage of secure document storage with SigningHub. It ensures all documents are stored safely and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

    The feature provides document version control and lets stakeholders track changes made to a document. SigningHub offers document retention policies that comply with legal requirements for document storage.

Esignatures can be a valuable tool for estate agents, streamlining processes, reducing costs and improving security. Traditional paper-based workflows are no longer efficient, and the real estate industry must adapt to the changing digital times.

Contact our team to discuss how SigningHub can revolutionise your business today.

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