ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES ON REAL ESTATE DOCUMENTS: VALUABLE TIME-SAVING DEVICE OR TRAP FOR THE UNWARY?
We are increasingly relying on electronic communications to handle even routine business transactions. Especially troubling is how often “electronic signatures” are being used in real estate transactions, which are often the largest and most complex financial commitment most consumers will make in their lifetimes.
Many of my real estate litigation clients encounter problems that they later call upon me to fix because they only read the documents that they later sign electronically on their computer screen and fail to print out the documents and read the “hard copies” before signing.
I don’t know about you, but I miss many important mistakes when I handle my business this way. For some reason, I miss the typos and even substantive errors when I read important documents only on my computer screen. Is it because I don’t take enough time to thoroughly read what’s on the screen?
This is why I always print out important legal documents and read them on paper before I sign them. My tip is that when you’re entering into a big transaction, that you do the same. And of course – if you have ANY questions about what you’re signing, get the advice of a real estate attorney and ask your questions BEFORE you sign.