Real Estate eSignature Software: The Ultimate Guide | Dotloop

Electronic Signatures in Real Estate Transactions: The Ultimate Guide for Agents and Clients

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November 22, 2021 | comments

Top Ways Real Estate eSign Software Accelerates Your Deals and Delivers an Exceptional Experience for Buyers and Sellers

+ CLIENT HANDOUT:  How to eSign Contracts & Documents Using Dotloop

The days of wet signatures are so pre-pandemic. Today, electronic signatures make it easy for agents and clients to streamline the process of buying and selling a home. Electronic signatures, or eSignatures, allow clients to eSign real estate documents with ease, speed and ultimate convenience.

Thumbnail or guide on how to do an eSign using dotloop

Client Handout: How to do an eSign with Dotloop

Download and share with your buyers and sellers this step-by-step guide on how to eSign real estate contracts and documents using dotloop.

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Real Estate eSignatures Save Time, Space and Money

Real estate eSignatures help expedite the transaction while improving the efficiency and accuracy of the eSigning process.

First, eSignatures are more consistent than wet, or ink signatures, in that they use one, uniform signature that’s used repeatedly throughout the document packet.

Electronic signatures also enable agents to use digital transactions, a major space and storage saver. Any veteran real estate professional can share the nightmares of years past when agents had only file cabinets to physically store transaction documents.

Most of all, eSignatures provide great convenience and time savings. Think of the last multiple offer you were in — what if you didn’t have eSignatures to streamline the process?

When clients are out of town or working long hours, they appreciate the time savings of being able to simply eSign a real estate contract or document from their phone or laptop versus the old method of having to drive to an office and physically sign a pile of papers.

Ensuring the Safety and Security of Real Estate eSignatures

Agents and clients need to trust that their electronic signatures in real estate transactions are secure. In 2000, the federal government signed the E-SIGN ACT (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce), validating electronic signatures in transactions that affect interstate or foreign commerce. There are some limited exceptions, such as family law matters and wills, but real estate transactions are specifically covered under the E-SIGN Act.

Most real estate eSignatures feature a timestamp and other identifying elements to ensure their safety and security.

Dotloop’s eSignatures go beyond the minimum compliance standards to ensure the safest, most secure and best eSigning experience. Every dotloop eSignature is certified and verified to include a unique signature ID, time and date, information about the signer, IP address from the signer’s location and more.

Also, every change made in dotloop is logged and tracked at the field and document level. This information can be retrieved in a number of ways from within the dotloop application.

And because dotloop’s eSignatures are securely embedded into the document itself, every signed document exported from dotloop includes a link in the footer for the purpose of verification and fraud prevention. This ensures that if anyone attempts to fraudulently alter a document after it’s been exported from the transaction management system, dotloop has a record of the most current version.

Helping Clients Navigate Real Estate eSignatures

Despite the benefits and advantages of eSignatures, some clients may be intimidated or confused by the eSigning process. They may question whether eSignatures are legally binding. Less tech-savvy clients, in particular, may need more “hand-holding” during the eSigning phases of the transaction.

To better prepare your buyers and sellers for a smooth eSigning experience, follow these eSigning tips:

1. Review all documents with your clients before they eSign

One easy way to preview and prepare the buyer or seller for their eSignatures is using video to display the contract while you explain the contract and the process.

Using dotloop integration partner BombBomb, agents can use the platform’s screen recorder to connect with clients face to face over video to explain MLS data, view comps and review contracts before or while they eSign. With this tool, your face appears off to the side of the screen as you guide them through the process.

2. Explain how eSignatures navigate documents

An eSignature document, especially on something as important as a real estate contract, can appear daunting to the uninitiated. Help allay their fears by explaining to your client how dotloop’s eSignature platform works, using an auto-scroll to automatically navigate the document from one signature field to the next.

Or, better yet, share the accompanying step-by-step how-to guide in PDF form with clients who are less familiar with the eSigning process.

3. Let them know they’re using a safe, secure platform

Fully compliant under the E-SIGN Act, dotloop enables real-time collaboration, which is actually more secure than any standard PDF signing solution by managing every version of the real estate transaction in one place. Dotloop has even patented this process in real estate, so you and your clients can eSign with trust and confidence.

How to Use Dotloop for eSigning Real Estate Documents

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to eSign your real estate contract and documents using dotloop’s quick, easy and secure eSignatures.

In 2000, the federal government’s ESIGN ACT (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce) made eSignatures a recognized, legally binding form of signature.

Fully compliant under the E-SIGN Act, dotloop enables real-time collaboration, which is actually more secure than any standard PDF signing solution by managing every version of the real estate transaction in one place. Dotloop has even patented this process in real estate.

And because dotloop’s eSignatures are securely embedded into the document itself, every signed document exported from dotloop includes a link in the footer for the purpose of verification and fraud prevention.This ensures that if anyone attempts to fraudulently alter a document after it’s been exported from dotloop, we have a record of the most current version.

Ready to start signing? It’s easy! Here’s how:

STEP 1Open Email Provided and Accept eSignature Form of Choice

Once your real estate agent has shared a document with you to sign, you will receive an email with the subject line, “ACTION NEEDED – [agent’s name] needs you to sign a document – [date stamp] – [time stamp].

screenshot of an email from a real estate agent to a client to esign document

STEP 2Click on Document

Click on “View Document” within the email. Click “Start Signing” in the upper-right corner. You can scroll through the document before signing to review. Then, when you’re ready to sign, click the blinking blue button that says “Start Signing” in the upper-right corner of the document. This will initiate the signing process.

click to view real estate document in dotloop
sign your real estate documents in dotloop

STEP 3Adopt the eSignature of Your Choice

The document will automatically scroll down to the first place for you to initial or sign. There will be a red box that either says “Initial Here” or “Sign Here.” Clicking into the first red box will take you to a window that says, “Adopt Your Signature.” Your name and initials will appear in both script and print. You can also draw your signature by clicking on the words “Draw Signature” in the bottom left corner of the window. If you choose this option, use your mouse (or your finger on a mobile device) to draw your signature and initials. When ready to sign, click on the blue “Adopt and Sign” button.

dotloop offers a few options for adopting eSignatures

STEP 4Finish Signing

When you’re finished signing, you will see a blue flashing button in the upper-right corner that says “Finish Signing.” Click on that button to auto-save and share the document with your agent.

If, however, you are filling out and signing a document (versus just eSigning and initialing), you may see an “I’m Done” button in the top-right corner. If so, click on that to complete the eSigning process.

finish esigning your real estate document
finish esigning your document in dotloop

STEP 5Correct any Skipped Fields

If you miss any fields, a window will appear asking “Are you sure that you are finished?” You can select “Show Me” and the prompts will automatically take you to any unfilled field on the document. The document will then be saved and shared with your agent.

correct any skipped fields in dotloop

STEP 6Sign Up for an Account

If you do not have a dotloop account previously established, you may create one once you’ve signed the document shared with you. This is recommended if you would like to have a place to view your documents online. If you choose to create a dotloop account, you’ll see three information fields. Two of the three will already be filled out with your name and email. Simply type in a password of your choice and click the blue “Sign Up” button.

Alternatively, you can download or print the document before or after signing by simply clicking on the 3 horizontal dots at the top right of the page.

sign up for a dotloop account
download document from dotloop

Congratulations! You’ve completed your first eSigning.

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