Using DocuSign in Real Estate: Security
For many real estate agents, one of the biggest roadblocks to digital adoption is the concern around security. Fair enough. In an industry where reputation is everything, no agent wants the regulators knocking on the door.
Yet, in most cases, these concerns about security are misguided. For example, the integration of DocuSign into REI Forms Live is more secure than a printed document that could get lost in the post, fall into the wrong hands or be easily tampered with. DocuSign not only assures the safe delivery of a document to and from the recipient, but it also ensures that the right person signs said document in all the right places.
With its proven anti-tampering functionality, DocuSign prevents any changes to a document at any time whilst in transit or post-execution. It meets or exceeds national and international security standards, and drives best practices in third-party audits and certifications, third-party assessments and on-site reviews.
It would be easier for someone to print, alter and scan a document the traditional way than it would to make any corrupt changes using DocuSign.
Should I use DocuSign for every transaction?
It is your responsibility as agent to undertake necessary identification verification for your files. If you elect to use DocuSign, you must have confidence in the capacity and identity of the person you are sending a document to. The NSW Fair Trading’s Fraud Prevention Guidelines provides some useful information to guide you here.
While conveyancers and solicitors are required to carry out verification of identification for transfer of property, it should not mean agents can take a casual approach with parties executing a contract of sale. Make sure that you fulfil all of the usual requirements in terms identifying and verifying all parties to the transaction prior to inviting them to sign via DocuSign.
What happens if a signature on-screen does not look like their normal signature?
It does not matter. The person’s intention to be bound is sufficient through their use of email address and electronic signature. Ideally, to avoid any confusion, an executing party should try to make their eSignature as similar as possible to their normal signature.
Why is initialling each page not needed with DocuSign?
The anti-tampering functionality within DocuSign prevents any changes to a document at any time while in transit or following execution. Given this, it is not necessary to initial every page.
How long do documents in the cloud need to be stored for?
Whether you store hard or digital copies of transactions, we recommend that Sales and Leasing related documentation be kept for a minimum of seven years. This is to ensure adequate records are kept in the event that a dispute arises. If a dispute does arise, we recommend keeping all documentation until the matter is fully resolved.
For further assistance with set-up, visit REI FORMS LIVE Support
Up next – Part 3 - Using DocuSign in Real Estate: the customer experience