Going Paperless - Electronic Signatures- DocuSign and EchoSign

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Keller Williams on the Water

Going Paperless, using electronic signatures with DocuSign and EchoSign - As a Real Estate agent in Decatur GA, it seems that we have more and more documents that need to be signed. By the time a transaction closes, we can easily have 100 pages or more printed and faxed back and forth, from listing agreements to disclosures to purchase and sale agreements to counter offers and amendments. Managing the paper can be a lot to handle and a lot to store. I decided that there had to be a better way and there is.  Real Estate Atlanta GA

I checked out 2 different electronic signature companies, DocuSign and EchoSign. I have now tried them both. Here's my comparison of the 2.


  • Limit of 40 envelopes per month. An envelope is the same as an email basically.
  • No fax option as of yet, that option is said to be coming 9/18/09.
  • Easy to use and for clients to use
  • Cost $15.95 a month 40 envelopes
  • Sign using mobile phone
  • 30 day free trial


  • Option for people to print, sign and then fax it back to keep it in the online folder on Echosign
  • Easy to use and for clients to use
  • Cost $14.95 a month for unlimited signatures
  • No limit on the amount of emails or envelopes
  • Sign using your mobile phone.
  • Free account that limits you to 5 free documents a month.

 Check out EchoSign  Check out DocuSign

I first tried EchoSign with my client who lives in Washington DC. I manage his property in Tucker, GA. The tenants called and said they wanted to extend their lease. I contacted my client in DC. I sent an extension via email through EchoSign to the tenants, they signed off electronically and it was forwarded to my Client in Washington, DC, he signed off on it and it was automatically forwarded to me. I clicked sign and then a fully executed signed agreement was sent to all the parties involved. It took a total of 30.5 minutes. EchoSign keeps track of the time for you. That was pretty amazing. I didn't have to drive anywhere to get it signed or wait for a fax to come in or keep sending anything to multiple parties.

The next day I tried DocuSign with a Buyer Client. The whole transaction has been done paperless except for the Buyers Broker Agreement that I brought with me when we went to look at the house. My client didn't need to have a scanner or a printer or a fax. All she needed was internet access. It has saved a tremendous amount of time and paper. The contracts are clear and not fuzzy from being faxed back and forth. You put the "signature" boxes where they need to go on the document by dragging and dropping it in place. Your client sees the "sign here" yellow tabs and that's where they know to click.

Atlanta Real EstateLast night I sent off a 14 page offer through DocuSign to another Buyer client. He commented that even his mom thought it was cool. Just think if I had to print that document, send it to my client for him to print, then he signs it and faxes it back to me that's already 42 pages! By the time I send it to the listing agent it used up 56 pieces of paper. They send to their client, add 14, their client sends it back add 14 and then the listing agent sends back to me there we are at 84 pages and we have hardly started! Whew! Tired yet??? With an electronic signature, there is nothing to print and everyone gets a clean copy.

I have been using the electronic signatures for about 2 weeks now on 6 different transactions. My clients love that it's easy to use.  (They knew they were my guinea pigs in my test. ) I haven't been able to use it on my short sales yet because the banks I'm dealing with aren't taking documents via email. That's a story for another post.  The other great part about an electronic signature company is that you can access your documents from anywhere you have computer access. Using an electronic signature makes it easy for home sellers, home buyers and real estate agents. It's a beautiful thing!

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in or around Decatur, GA contact local expert and Realtor Jen Bowman, Broker Associate & e-PRO with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners at 404-456-5024.

View more of the Georgia Real Estate Voice.  Search Search Decatur GA homes for Sale

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Anna Maria Island Realtor, Jen Bowman is a Broker licensed with Keller Williams on the Water in Florida. She has been featured on HGTV's My First Place, HGTV's Buying and Selling 20 Best Kept Secrets and acted as a consultant for HGTV's Property Virgins.  

She has been featured in Inman News - where real estate and technology connect.

Jen is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and a member of Keller Williams Realty Luxury Home Division, catering to luxury home buyers and sellers

Jen also serves as an eEdge Technology Ambassador and Trainer for Keller Williams International.  

Search for homes in Manatee County Florida

See the best homes for sale on Anna Maria Island on Florida's gulf coast.

Visit our Anna Maria Island real estate site at www.BowmanSellsHomes.com

Call 941-840-0117 today to get started buying your Anna Maria Island dream home and selling your Manatee County, Florida property.

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Comments (40)

Wanda Oakley - WS Real Estate & Investments, Escondido

Thank you Jen for posting your personal insight on DocuSign & EchoSign. I too have been looking to go paperless and were looking at these two companies. The one thing I liked about ES is that the clients actual signature can be used and in DS it's computer created. Am I wrong, or can DS also use actual signature?

Sep 24, 2009 05:34 AM
An Bui
DocuSign - Seattle, WA

Hi Jen, Thanks for starting this conversation - it's really valuable to understand what's out there on the market. 

Wanda, DocuSign has a feature that enables you to upload an image of your "actual" signed signature and use that image as your electronic signature - in that sense, your clients' electronic signature will look like their "wet" signature. 

You can also try DocuSign for free, with DocuSign Express for Drawloop. You can use DocuSign Express for Drawloop from the web, from an iGoogle Gadget, or from a Mozilla Firefox browser plug-in. I've taken the liberty to link to a recent blog post that explains the various free DocuSign options, along with other resources as well.

I hope my thoughts were helpful - please do feel free to reach out if you (or any of your insightful commentors!) need anything!


An Bui

DocuSign Social Media

Sep 24, 2009 08:43 AM
Tom Gonser

Wanda - yes you can upload your actual signature as written in ink into DocuSign if you'd like...  A *really big difference* compared to those who offer mouse signing, which will never look like your signature.   We looked at using a mouse to sign years ago, and all our user feedback was that they could not make a signature they liked with a mouse. It became a really big distraction, and added no value so we dropped it. 

Even two homebuyers who share the same email (which is so common in RE Transactions) can use their own handwritten signatures, or simply adopt one.

What's more, coming in early October will be support for faxing in documents (as in "I don't want to sign online!" - which nobody will do), and requesting additional documents such as a pest inspection report, whatever - which people WILL probably do.  AND a completely new signing process designed for mobile devices - not just saying you *can* sign using your phone - designed for it.  Pretty neat stuff. 

And yes, all of this is integrated right into Ziplogix Winforms or Zipforms so you can easily send your forms for signature right from those applications.  If you often send these documents and forms with lots of places to initial and sign, you will save yourself a HUGE amount of time using DocuSign templates which allow you to place all of the tabs in all of the documents with only one click!  There is a reason we have over 8,000 RE companies using DocuSign and growing fast!


Sep 24, 2009 08:48 AM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I have been using my tablet for a few years and having people sign on the screen.  But that means that the tablet has to be there...  I might be looking at these services soon to solve that problem and allow "signing" without creating paper and without me tablet being there. 

Oct 03, 2009 04:08 PM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Wanda, It looks like you got your answer directly from the source!

Thanks An and Tom for your comments.

Lane, I had considered getting a tablet but this is great for doing it without being there. With as much as you like technology, once you try it I'm sure you'll be hooked.

Oct 03, 2009 08:25 PM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Thanks for such a great post.  As would be, other shared good ideas too.


Oct 23, 2009 01:43 PM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

You're welcome Ginger!

Kristal, I haven't seen gopaperless.com yet. From what you're saying it looks like GoPaperless would be more expensive at $19.99 since I only pay $15.95 a month for Docusign which adds up over the year to a $48.48 savings. With Docusign and EchoSign there is also the feature of Click to Sign, so no need to sign on the tablet PC.  By any chance, do you work for them?

Mar 01, 2010 05:02 AM
Dean Curtis
Coldwell Banker Kittitas Valley Realty - Ellensburg, WA

Jen, thanks for the post.  I am looking forward to beginning use of DocuSign.  I went through all the training webinars today and it looks perfect.  I have only had one transaction using the system, which came from the other agent in the deal, and it worked very well.

My office is discussing the use of electronic signatures at this weeks office meeting, but I have already made my decision.

Apr 13, 2010 06:41 PM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Dean, You will love it. Last week an agent contacted me to say we didn't have completed contracts with a binding agreement date. I simply went to the history on DocuSign and looked at the file. I then sent her the completed file and the history showing when it all happened, including when she had opened it the week before. She just didn't pay attention to her email. It was already done. It's so easy. It keeps things organized and tracks everything.

Apr 15, 2010 01:14 AM
Ryan Hensley

So...Docusign or Echosign? whats the verdict? Thanks

Aug 28, 2010 06:12 PM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Ryan, I'm using DocuSign and love it.  The customer service on DocuSign was more responsive than EchoSign.  In addition to that EchoSign had a feature that times you out even if you are working on a document. For example, I had a very long offer on a foreclosure with lots of addendums.  I was in the process of filling in a hundred data fields and then it timed out without any warning. If it takes a long time filling a contract out, even if you are actively working on it, (not idle time) it will time you out and you can lose all your work. I contacted EchoSign's customer service about it and they didn't have any solutions.  

Sep 01, 2010 12:52 AM
Juliet Arthur

I use Echosign daily, if there is anyone out there looking for help in going paperless I can help.  Please contact me @ luvisgr8@gmail.com

Oct 28, 2010 07:50 AM
Christa Ross
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
I'm trying Docusign for the first time this week. I'm looking forward to less paper.
Nov 09, 2010 10:09 AM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Juliet, Going paperless is great!

Christa, You will love it. It will save you so much time.

Nov 11, 2010 10:55 AM
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

thank you very much for the informative and interesting post. I get so much out of the active rain network.

Jan 31, 2012 03:15 PM
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Paul, I'm glad it was helpful for you. Thank you for stopping by.


Feb 12, 2012 07:00 AM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

Jen, I hope you are monitoring this and reporting the GOOFS to Active Rain, just like someone raided your blog.
I found a website that compares webservices.  Seems that there are more coming online.          http://digital-signature.findthebest.com/saved_compare/EchoSign-vs-DocuSign 


Oct 03, 2012 12:49 AM
Michael Lerman
San Jose, CA

I developed a new signing platform. It is in Beta status and it is free to use. Try it. It is at manestate.com 

Dec 13, 2012 05:56 AM
Sven Josh
Real Estate Abroad - Camden, DE
Real Estate

you may want to try www.SkySignature.com if you're looking for a free alternative to major online document signing software. It is free for personal use and got some cool features.

Jun 22, 2015 12:04 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

The use of e-signatures can:

* Save you hundreds of hours a year in document-processing time.
* Offer increased security for confidential information.
* Provide you with a positive point of distinction when compared to your competitors.
* Reduce paper storage and waste.
* Eliminate countless other hurdles and hours of lost time.

Oct 01, 2015 07:15 AM