More than 100,000 Canadian Realtors will soon be able to use electronic signatures directly from their online forms software, thanks to an agreement between the Canadian Real Estate Association and real estate technology company Instanet Solutions.

CREA, the Canadian equivalent of the National Association of Realtors, has signed an agreement with London, Ontario-based Instanet Solutions to provide e-signatures to its members through the company’s online signing service, Authentisign, sometime in early 2013.

Instanet Solutions claims about 400,000 licensed, paid, user accounts of their real estate products, which include InstanetForms, TransactionDesk, DocBox, DocBox2Go, InstanetFax and Authentisign.

"Our clients in the United States have used Authentisign for many years. The U.S. federal ESIGN law was enacted in the year 2000 and it gave the same legal validity to an electronic signature as one done with pen and ink. We were the first real estate document and forms company to provide a completely paperless signing solution starting in 2004 and now we are thrilled to see this happening for Realtors in Canada," said Martin Scrocchi, Instanet’s president and CEO, in a statement.

"Real estate professionals across our country have become increasingly comfortable with the security and authenticity of digital signatures and their clients are rapidly embracing this technology."

Authentisign will be integrated into WEBforms, CREA’s existing online forms system, allowing CREA members direct, convenient access to electronic signatures, Scrocchi said.

Competing electronic signature providers include DocuSign, which counts NAR among its investors and offers a "Realtor Edition" electronic signature service tailored and branded for NAR members.

Calgary-based paperless real estate technology provider Repree announced this week that it had signed an agreement with the Alberta Real Estate Association to provide its more than 10,000 members with free access to online forms and transaction and contact management services. Electronic signatures powered by DocuSign are one of the paid upgrades to the service offered by Repree. The Alberta Real Estate Association is one of the 100 boards and associations that belong to CREA.

In October, Instanet Solutions and zipLogix added Fannie Mae offer documents to their form libraries, allowing real estate agents to access offer documents on HomePath properties alongside their local sales contracts through the agent’s multiple listing service or Realtor association.

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