No e-Signatures by Banks is Slow as Molasses

Real Estate Agent with Albuquerque Homes Realty 16572

No e-Signatures by Banks is Slow as Molasses

I'm a big fan of electronic signatures.  This excellent and timely technology has saved me and my clients countless hours, paper, drive time and potential errors.  My story is about a recent transactions that had we been allowed to use e-signatures the entire process would have been smooth, efficient and timely. Instead it was cumbersome, problematic and just a plain slow as molasses transaction.

My client had made an offer on a bank owned REO property.  We knew the home was priced well, in an excellent area of town and in optimal condition.  Knowing this we also knew that multiple offers were likely forthcoming.  We crafted a smart offer and wet signed the contract.  I was scheduled for a needed vacation and set out for a lengthy road trip.  I planned accordingly and made sure I was somewhat mobile for this client and others at different stages of their transactions.  

While away I get the call that the REO bank has countered slightly, the agent needs a response ASAP Slow as Molassesbecause other offers are forthcoming..go figure!  No problem, please just email me in PDF and I will upload to an e-signature format.  He then says the REO bank will not accept anything but WET signatures.  We call them wet signatures but in reality what we are providing is a COPY of a wet signature, not the real deal right?  Regardless the bank says no.  There are also documents needing my signature. I am mobile yes, but I do not have a viable scanner/printer option.  The listing agent is also traveling and away from his office. So instead of a simple, clean and straightforward e-signature option I now I have to jump through hoops to find an office supply center to print the document so I can sign, then have them scan it and drop it onto a thumb drive.  I then can email the document to my client for her signature.  My poor client does not have a home printer or fax, so she too must find a printer source, print, sign then fax to the other agents office who in turn must scan and email to him.  The process is SLOW AS MOLASSES and my client and I are feeling the pressure of a competing offer.  The REO bank accepts the offer but contingent on an array of addenda and disclosure..standard procedure yes, but guess what, they want it all in their archaic WET format.  So both myself, my client and the listing agent had to go through this agonizing dance just to appease a bank that is apparently out of touch with today's technologies.

The entire contract, counter and addenda could have easily been handled within an hour using an e-signature solution.  Wake up corporate America and Banks, e-signatures are an excellent, safe and reliable tool for getting these short sale and REO transactions moving through the system.  Take heed and implement the obvious so you can be Lightning Fast NOT Molasses Slow!

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Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Banks take their time on short sales and REOs since it is some paper pusher who does not have any financial stake in getting the job completed. It is a shame that these transactions are allowed to take so long! Great post! Recommended for a feature.

Oct 26, 2012 06:08 AM #19
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

John -- it makes absolutely no sense - they want urgency - they want it now - yet no electronic signatures.  It's definitely a "what's up with that?" moment.

Oct 26, 2012 06:16 AM #20
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi John, One can only wander when REO and HUD will start allowing electronic signatures and initials. You can certainly lose out on a deal that moves as slow as molasses.

Oct 26, 2012 06:23 AM #21
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


The banks are undergoing major scrutinity by the government, so that they are covering their proverbial butts, every which way, and thus in fear they are a royal annoyance and a pain...Sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations, hope this all smooths out for you and you close soon.  ?a

Oct 26, 2012 06:48 AM #22
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

John, I feel your pain...I just had to go through this same scenario...the bank not accepting eSignatures.  Anyway, I got it done, but I wasn't traveling like you, however, all you had to do was visit my office when you were in Alabama and I would have given you full access to computers, printers, scanners, coffee and conversation.

Oct 26, 2012 07:10 AM #23
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

John -- just imagine how much more problematic it would have been if they didn't accept anything except wet signed or FAXes.  Recently ran into couple companies who would not allow scanned/emailed docs -- they had to be faxed.  Talk about antiquated (and hardly legible)!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Oct 26, 2012 07:12 AM #24
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert


Good entry into the Challenge and your story is probably worst than mine as I was not on vacation. I hate to say but Banks are usually the last to adopt technology which replaces things like wet signatures.

Oct 26, 2012 07:28 AM #25
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

The bank wants to do everything on their side of things using the latest technology but if it helps you....not so much. :)

Oct 26, 2012 08:15 AM #26
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Kinda sounds like this bank didn't cross the bridge into the 21st Century. It is unfortunate and causes everyone else involved time, money, and unneccesary grief. 

Oct 26, 2012 08:26 AM #27
Connor Southworth
Salt Lake City, UT

It is shocking to me that banks still don't accept electronic signatures. Nice post!

Oct 26, 2012 11:13 AM #28
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Ugh, John.  It is hard to believe banks aren't with the times.  Perhapsother banks are more up with the times.  Guess we should be glad the bank is solvent.

Enjoy the weekend.

Oct 26, 2012 11:36 AM #29
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

John, I think the banks should get on the bandwagon and come into this century to use electronic signatures!   After all, the government approved them!

Oct 26, 2012 11:53 AM #30
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I've got the buyer for a HUD listing right now. All signatures have to be original and in blue know the drill. Well the buyer is out of town and there was quite a bit of traveling to get this all worked out, but we did it. Why can't the banks and asset companies get on board with using the technology we have at our fingertips these days? It's really amazing, but not in a good way how these companies operate.

Oct 26, 2012 12:00 PM #31
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realt - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning
Hi John, I have sold foreclosed homes for WF for 5 years and they will not accept electronic signatures as their attorneys say no. They must have their reasons???
Oct 26, 2012 01:02 PM #32
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

John, I would have to believe that banks will allow e-signatures eventually. It is a problem when we work short sales as well. I would think that a low of that has to do with their ro-bo signing issues, and over thinking the issue.

Oct 26, 2012 01:17 PM #33
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas


I know what you mean!  The ironic thing is that I have seen bank offers come to us signed with a stamp not  an official wet signature either!

Sure wish they'd get with this great new technology!

Oct 26, 2012 02:21 PM #34
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi John.  Such a sad commentary on banks.  We have to keep hammering away at them.  HUD and others allow e signatures.

Oct 26, 2012 09:07 PM #35
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Good Morning John, I think it is more of the listing agent not understanding what the ban will or will not accept. I list and sell A LOT of bank owned homes and my policy is always to email contracts and addendums as a PDf, the buyer signs and initial and the agent scans as a PDF and emails it back tome which I upload into the Banks system. It is not a true electronic signature that they can just type or initial their name, but is a copy and not an original. Banks have barely enough help to complete what they are dooing now nevermond change to a new system that more people will mess up. Using pdf is the next best thing and beats over night mail or having to drive to pick up originals.  Have a great Saturday.

Oct 26, 2012 11:21 PM #36
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

John, Esignatures have just been approved to use in NY so we don't know yet how this will impact our business, but know that it must work reading about its success from others on A/R...

Oct 27, 2012 12:26 AM #37
Jesse McGreevy
Downing Frye Realty, inc. - Estero, FL
Comisar & McGreevy

Amen!  If banks realized how easy it is to forge a "wet" signature vs. the tracking and verification that esignatures employ, they would start to require esignatures for ALL deals!

Oct 29, 2012 03:34 AM #38
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