Industry NewsTechnology

Real estate plays catch-up with e-signatures

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Editor's note: More big companies, trade groups and entrepreneurs are investing in technology platforms, back-end systems and software to automate the real estate transaction, but most consumers are still closing deals the old-fashioned way. In this three-part series, Inman News eyes progress on the paperless front. (See Part 1, "Brokers realize benefits of paperless office," and Part 3, "Standards, regulation in place for electronic closings." The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the mouse is a mighty force, too. Take e-signature technology: you can electronically sign the documents to close a deal on a house with your mouse, even if you're in Taos or Laos. The technology is typically noninvasive -- it doesn't require X-rays, thermal imagery, a retinal scan, or a sci-fi-esque genetic test to confirm your identity and conform with state and federal laws. Digital signatures are still new and scary for some real estate professionals and consumers alike, and adoption is more of a t...