Electronic signatures are becoming more and more integrated in the business world. Real estate transactions, in particular, are moving towards paperless transactions. As a Massachusetts home buyer or home seller, what can you expect to encounter in modern real estate dealings?
Common Uses for Electronic Signatures
There are multiple forms and contracts throughout the real estate process that require your signature. As a real estate consumer, you will likely receive or be asked to submit an electronic signature somewhere along the way. Examples of such forms are:
- Real Estate Agency Disclosures
- Buyer Agency or Listing Contracts
- Contracts to Purchase Real Estate
- Seller Property Disclosures
- Lead Paint Disclosures
- Purchase and Sales Agreements
- Loan Applications
- Lender Closing Disclosures
Methods for Submitting Electronic Signatures on MA Real Estate Forms
There are a few different ways that you may submit an electronic signature. First, there’s a simple signature using a tablet or other touch screen device. Using any number of apps, you can sign on your touchscreen or mouse pad. The signature image is then placed on your document in the desired location. You may even alter the size and color of those signatures before saving the document.
The second method of submitting electronic signatures on MA real estate forms is through use of signature verification services such as eSign, Dotloop, or DocuSign. These services send you an email with a special link. Some ask for verification of identity through a social security number and/or mailing address reference. To sign documents, you simply navigate to areas designated for initials/signature and click. Your signature is identified an identification code and time stamp.
Both electronic signature methods are generally acceptable in real estate transactions.
Precautions for Massachusetts Real Estate Consumers
When using apps to submit electronic signatures on MA real estate forms, be aware that many save a copy of your signature. This allows you to insert the signature in multiple locations within your documents. Be sure to delete your signature once finished. Otherwise, anyone with access to your device may use that signature without your knowledge. It certainly presents a security risk. With the prevalence of identity fraud these days, protecting your personal information, including your signature, is something that we should all keep in mind.