DocuSign: The Right Tool for the Right People

Keith Krach
July 24, 2016

There’s so much more to closing a real estate deal than hearing the words “we’ll take it.” When conducting commercial or residential real estate transactions, the process can be long, complicated, and disorganized when a professional does not have the right tools in place. Apart from the initial purchase agreement, buyers often need to negotiate lending processes, obtain insurance, or even plan out construction needs on properties. With so many parties and deadlines involved in the process, it can be difficult to keep things moving at a healthy pace. 

Luckily, DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform has powerful solutions to meet the needs of buyers and a wide variety of companies who help close real estate transactions. Check out the following types of professionals involved in the real estate process that can benefit from DocuSign technology: 

DocuSign for REALTORS

For buyers, making an offer is a late-stage step in the process of purchasing the perfect property, but for the real estate agent, it is only the beginning. Managing the paperwork required to close escrow and eventually transfer the deed of a property to a buyer mandates top-notch time management skills and attention to detail. These skills can be difficult to delegate during a hectic process in which an agent is likely overseeing the sale of multiple properties simultaneously.

DocuSign is the National Association of REALTORS’ exclusive and official eSignature services provider for good reason. The platform allows real estate agents to send and sign legally-binding documents from anywhere on any device, thus introducing a flexibility to the process that cuts down the hours or even days that it can take to obtain handwritten signatures. 

With DocuSign for REALTORS, agents can create reusable templates for frequently used documents, add additional business fields for signers not included with the standard personal DocuSign package, and set sequences for workflow that allow documents to be sent in a specified order. As a bonus, buyers will be pleased with the ability to sign papers from their own computer or mobile device rather than having to travel to an office simply to give a handwritten signature.

DocuSign for Brokers

For brokers, this same flexibility and speed allow professionals to monitor and easily manage the work of all agents within a real estate firm through an industry-specific dashboard. The dashboard displays the status of all current transactions in real time and monitors progress over customizable timelines. Brokers can also separate the data by region or office for brokerages with multiple locations, and performance-ranking reports can show individual agent successes over time.

Additionally, clients who purchase either DocuSign for REALTORS or DocuSign for Brokers have the ability to use one of platform’s most exclusive features—Transaction Rooms. Transaction Rooms allow multiple parties with different roles in the process of closing a real estate deal to coordinate on documents and complete the process more efficiently. Transaction Room users are able to leave comments on, review, and sign documents in full view of all room members. The document sender can monitor document completion progress and adjust privacy levels for each Room user in order to comply with security standards. 

Additional benefits that exclusively accompany the DocuSign for Brokers package include the ability to assign task lists within Transaction Rooms in order to guide workflow between involved parties. Users can also designate permissions for the modification of name and e-mail address fields for subsequent recipients. Additionally, Transaction Room users can obtain audit trails for secured transactions within a Room.

DocuSign for Lenders

Escrow cannot close on a real estate property without proper funding in place, which requires lenders to collaborate with brokers and agents in order to complete the property transaction. Like firms and individuals that work directly in the real estate field, lenders can make the process of property purchase more streamlined by using DocuSign software.

Government enterprises, including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the FHA, all recognize electronic signatures as legally binding on contracts and agreements generated by lenders. In addition, the security standards followed by the DocuSign Digital Transaction Management platform allow lenders to offer clients high standards of protection for personal data. With fewer hardcopy documents changing hands, sensitive data, like personal financial information, is less likely to be lost, while DocuSign’s standards also help prevent sensitive data from becoming exposed to prying eyes. In addition, users can edit documents via computer and resend them immediately afterward, thus reducing turnaround time in the event that a contract displays incorrect information.

Lending paperwork is instantly accessible for clients on any computer or mobile device, and the ability to sign with the click of a button can help lending firms meet industry-specific legal requirements. The three-day rule, for example, requires lending institutions to give clients the ability to review and ask questions about their mortgage loans at least 72 hours prior to the close of a property sale. DocuSign makes it easy to deliver this Closing Disclosure within the legal parameters, thereby helping lending firms adhere to government standards.

Keith Krach

Keith Krach is Chairman of DocuSign, The Global Standard for Digital Transaction Management.