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Electronic Signatures Yes Or No

 

 

You call this saving time?

 

Electronic signatures for listing agreements and Sales contracts are fast, save time, keeps an accurate account of the transaction. But is that the way you want to work? And should we be using them all the time?

 

Most of you are going to say a resounding, yes.

 

Of course, we need this technology. It is invaluable with out of town clients, or when the clients are traveling separately or speeding up a transaction. It's impossible not to in our electronic world.

 

But what's missing? What are we giving up?

We have become so busy that we do anything to save time talking and face to face communicating with our clients. Showing our properties and making appointments take too much time. Classes are teaching how to take a new listing in ten minutes.

Electronically we sign documents, set up showing appointments, use smartphones to retrieve the house key.  We use feedback forms to find out how an agent/buyer likes the property. We've even set these forms to answer on a numeric basis. Oh boy, we are saving so much "valuable" time. But what are we missing?

We complain that BIG technology companies are interfering and taking our business away. If the clients can get all this efficiency on line, why the heck do they need us?

 

A two-hour listing appointment, explaining an offer, making my appointments, being at and hearing about the home inspection process, and going over the final closing papers before the actual settlement.

It is not always about saving time. It is about educating the clients, building rapport, and preparing for the "what if's."

It allows bonding and empathy with clients going through the stress of moving. It's selling real estate.

 

We want, demand, and need fast, efficient electronic delivery in the wee hours of the morning. And we use this technology to save clerical time. I'm all for that.

 

What frightens me is hearing a client say, "But I Thought."

Would you like to be informed of each step of the process?

Are you thinking of selling your home?

Call Margaret Rome

 

 

Margaret Rome

 

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410.530.2400

 

 
Comment balloon 48 commentsMargaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 • February 16 2020 03:46PM

Comments

I use them when the person is in another town. We have lots of absent sellers because they are vacation home listings and with buyers if they go home to "think about it" perhaps, otherwise we have ink signatures.  If they are within half an hour I'm certainly going to drive and have that sit down face to face.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) 4 months ago

Good morning Margaret. Personalized service requires some in person time. It is the basis of repeat and referral business. Something to ponder as we punch the keyboard/ Enjoy your day!

Carol Williams the members are on a roll this week!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) 4 months ago

Morning Margaret.

I like the eyeball to eyeball meetings, however it is the sign of the times.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) 4 months ago

Hello Margaret - I think knowledge and use of certain technology makes sense but that important element of a personal face-to-face relationship is a part of a successful connection.  It's a balancing act.  Of sorts but so much more as well.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 4 months ago

Good morning, Margaret... I'm all about communicating with and educating my clients, especially when it comes to contractual and disclosure paperwork they need to sign and I do it in person. And then I forward them documents to esign... cleaner docs, faster, quick distribution of signed documents to all the appropriate parties... and I've found that my clients love the esigning process. I don't believe one needs to sacrifice the human connection because one uses technology.

And whenever I've been out of town or overseas, the ability to ratify contracts via electronic signature is invaluable... and I know my clients most appreciate my ability to get their homes sold and under contract even when I can't do it in person.

Then there are my clients who no longer live in town and need to sign everything remotely. Esigning has made that process so much more efficient.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) 4 months ago

Good morning Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland - technology is really great but it can be used at the wrong time.  Hearing "but I thought" would be a wake up call to an agent with not enough personal touch.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 4 months ago

I am always in favor of doing what my clients want to do.  If they would rather sign in person, I am ok with that.  People really seem to enjoy being able to sign documents using their phone.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 4 months ago

Good morning, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland no electronic listings for us....we do face to face.... always.... and we get original signatures of the listing agreement... our listing presentations are done with two visits....one to compile the information and to leave our pre-listing presentation binder...the second one is for the home pricing and discussion about whatever is left to discuss.... to answer all questions.... and to get the listing signed.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 4 months ago

Hi Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland - Great discussion topic!

I agree completely with Nina Hollander - My out-of-town buyers which is just about everyone, I will spend a minimum of two hours going over all details of the transaction process but everything is done electronically for the convenience of all parties and support team.  Like Barbara Todaro - I meet with sellers at least 2 or 3 times and show them all my marketing material. But they all appreciate the convenience of electronic signing.  I have only had a handful of wet signatures over the years, because the sellers did not own a computer. In Sedona AZ, most transactions are either second or vacation homes and estate sales. 

Bottom line - I do what my client prefers.  Most prefer electronic signatures.

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) 4 months ago

Tammy Lankford, For the convenience and distance, they are perfect. Some people NEED the personal touch more than others.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

Wayne Martin Like your comment...". Personalized service requires some in person time. It is the basis of repeat and referral business. Something to ponder as we punch the keyboard..."

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

James Dray Cute. It is the "sign" of the times!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

Michael Jacobs Kind of like a balancing act.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

Nina Hollander This point is key:..."I don't believe one needs to sacrifice the human connection because one uses technology."

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

Grant Schneider Hearing "...But I thought.." a number of times prompted this post.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

Brian England I'm all about convenience for the client but there are times with the electronic signings that I am not sure who is actually doing the signing. 

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

Barbara Todaro You have your listing down to a science and it works beautifully for you. At the same time, you are building rapport with the clients.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® Enjoyed talking with you today about real estate. 

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 4 months ago

I have a real love-hate relationship with electronic signatures.  They have their place, but because I have worked with a large percentage of senior clientele, I sometimes find it has been easier to go get the live signatures rather than explain the technology of electronic signatures to them!  However, I do remember one of my last transactions which had 4 sellers, in various parts of Northern California.  Electronic signatures saved the day!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 4 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS Margaret, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 4 months ago

There are even times when it's needed that I get on the phone and step by step with people on what exactly to do and what they are signing with each click.  

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) 4 months ago

Margaret - more and more we're becoming a society that is doing whatever it can so that we can avoid coming in contact with other people. Electronic signatures do come in handy though. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 4 months ago

Like most things, it involves common sense. There are times when we get wet signatures, usually it is due to a special circumstance. We always give our clients the choice if we are in the same approximate location for signing docs. Most choose e-signing. However, like the others who weighed in on this, we always go over the paperwork and explain everything before putting the paperwork in DocuSign. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 3 months ago

Thank you very much, Margaret, for sharing your experience and your advice.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 3 months ago

Myrl Jeffcoat It is my senior and less tech-savvy clients that I have issues with. Are they really doing the signing or is someone helping? Much rather do those in person if possible.

Thanks for the feature in OFC !

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Tammy Lankford,  That is exactly what needs to be done with some clients. Explain step by step and click by click.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Kathy Streib They are handy and can save a ton of time. And it also avoids the face to face contact.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

 

 

 

So very true, Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD  "Like most things, it involves common sense.."

 

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Margaret, you are so right. I love the convenience of electronics and digital this and digital that, but I would never want to get to the place where client interaction is minimal. That's one of the things I love about this business. I like people. Well, most of them. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 3 months ago

Mike Cooper, GRI Well said!  

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

It's funny - I'm the one that wants to meet and go over the contracts - my clients, not so much.  They are ready to sign or esign without taking one moment to read or ask questions about what they are signing.  That's the frustration I have.  I will follow my clients' wishes and then wait for the "but I thought" questions to come later (not really, I still do everything I can to educate them on what they are signing regardless if they want to hear it!).

Posted by Francine Viola, REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) 3 months ago

Francine Viola  Good comment.

Our clients trust us to do the right thing. They are ready to sign or click because of that trust.  

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

It took me 4 years of lobbying to go beyond electronic signatures and now Oklahoma has online notaries. I love this stuff and it makes my business soar and my time more useful.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 3 months ago

I like the personal touch also ---  

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 3 months ago

Joe Pryor So glad you were able to get the electric signatures and online notaries so your business could soar.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Hannah Williams,

I know that about you and it makes you a very caring agent. Much continued success!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

I found the comment by Joe Pryor super interesting! Oklahoma is ahead of the curve; in California notary signatures still need to be done in person, with a photo ID shown to the notary.

Electronic signatures save the day in fast-moving market places, or if I'm on vacation or out-of-town business seminars (happened twice last year alone) but they don't replace the face-to-face connections.

I attended a seller sign-off yesterday, as I generally do. Good face-to-face time, another set of eyes and ears even though I don't have an official role. Being at yesterday's sign-off saved one seller $50,000 - she was going to short-change herself!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) 3 months ago

Face to face, telephone calls and personal attention is very important. In all reality, people are NOT reading all the paperwork that is thrown at them when signing purchase agreements or listing agreements. An agent's personal touch and communication is so important these days. Great post.

Posted by Michelle Vivero, 1ST Choice Realty (1ST Choice Realty) 3 months ago

Electronic signatures are very common here in Florida but this is a great post!  When at all possible meeting the buyers or sellers face to face is the way to go!

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL) 3 months ago

Lottie Kendall I was sure I responded to your good comment but it must have gotten lost.

I would love to hear about your $50,000 save by being present. That huge!!!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Michelle Vivero 

You are right that people don't always read what is thrown at them. We have the obligation to explain and answer questions about what they are signing.  (I once had an attorney say he did not read the contract and was not aware of some clause. That did not fly! 

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Terry McCarley Electronic signatures make our job easier as long as the right person is signing and they know what they are signing!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Hi Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland - the $50,000 had to do with a private agreement between sellers as to division of the sales proceeds. What one seller told the escrow officer didn't jive with what she had previously told me. We worked through the math, and her share went up by $50,000. 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) 3 months ago

That was great for your seller. Congratulations Lottie Kendall 

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

I agree!  So here's what I do:  I always go over the listing agreement with the seller in person. Of course, if it's an out of town seller-go over everything on the phone. With buyers, I spend at least an hour going over ALL the documents a contract requires BEFORE we seriously start looking at homes. I do love the convenience of electronic signatures--as often I'm sending docs for buyers later in the evening!

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) 3 months ago

Electronic signatures are one of the best inventions, as you know!  I remember the first such transaction with clients in Canada.  He was blown away with the technology and made me look like a hero at 7 pm, since they had young children.  He was elated not to leave his warm, comfy home at night in the winter months!  Enough said :) 

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 3 months ago

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR Nothing beats the convenience and ease. My concern is who is doing the actual signing, especially with our elderly clients.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Jan Green Great example of electronic signature when your client is in Canada.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

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