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The electronic signature 2022

Whitney leaning against a railing on a downtown street

Why and how to sign electronically in real estate?

Still not very widespread in the real estate sector, the electronic signature offers many advantages: time saving, financial savings, increased security, etc. Find out why and how to use this new technological tool.

Like many other sectors, real estate is subject to technological evolution and digitalization. Virtual tours, videos, automation solutions, actions on social networks... Today, technological tools are part of the real estate agent's daily life. Among these innovative solutions, the electronic signature should probably become standard in the coming years.

When we talk about the electronic signature, many questions arise: what is its legal value? What are its advantages? And is it secure? We will try to enlighten you on the subject.

The electronic signature, what is it for?

The electronic signature is a dematerialized signature, i.e., realized on a digital support. It allows, like a handwritten signature on a physical document, to mark its agreement on a digital document. Concretely, the electronic signature does not have a visual appearance like a handwritten signature but is certified by a cryptographic marking. It allows authenticating the signatory and to guarantee the integrity of the document.

In real estate, the electronic signature makes it possible to sign documents remotely, relating to the sale, purchase, or rental of a property, from any place, and without physical exchange.

What is the legal value of the electronic signature?

Is the electronic signature an innovative concept? Not really. In Luxembourg, the electronic signature has the same probative value as the handwritten signature since the year 2000.

A new European regulation ("eIDas" for "electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions") was also introduced in 2016. In particular, it has made it possible to homogenize the various electronic signature standards within the European Union and to draw up a list of organizations willing to issue digital certificates guaranteeing the authenticity of the signature.

What are the advantages of the electronic signature?

The electronic signature is far from being a mere technological gadget. It offers many advantages, in particular that of saving a considerable amount of time in the processing of files since it does not require the physical presence of the signatories.

The use of this technical process implies the installation of an electronic signature software. The proper implementation of this software in your traditional management tools accelerates the processes and gives you more time to perform tasks with greater added value.

The electronic signature also guarantees the integrity of the document since all modifications are recorded.

In addition to reducing delays, the electronic signature is a significant source of savings (no more printing, scanning, routing costs, etc.). By reducing the use of paper, you will also be able to demonstrate your position in favor of the environment.

Finally, by adopting a pro-technology attitude, you send a positive signal to your clients. It makes your agency look innovative, dynamic, and responsive to your clients' needs for speed, efficiency, and security. Since the practice is not yet widespread, you could also be ahead of your competitors.

Is the process secure?

Contrary to popular belief, the electronic signature is a more secure process than the handwritten signature. The digital signature is indeed unforgeable, inviolable and its traceability allows it to fight against the risks of money laundering and opaque financing.

In short, the electronic signature is a real lever for accelerating the taking of mandates. This technological advance should therefore become commonplace in the coming years for real estate agencies. So, why not take the plunge now?