Field Guide to Electronic Signatures

(Updated December 2014)

Back in 2000, President Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. Find out what defines an electronic signature, learn about the benefits of E-signatures in real estate, and explore the legal issues. (A. Siudzinski, Senior Library Information Specialist)


DocuSign Electronic Signature Service is the official and exclusive eSIGN provider for National Association of REALTORS® members under the REALTOR Benefits® Program. DocuSign accelerates real estate transactions with the easiest, fastest, most secure global network for sending, signing, tracking and storing documents.


What are electronic signatures?, (Sign In Blue, July 2012).

E-signature: 10 years and a great impact, (RISMedia, Jan. 8, 2011).

Legal Asp​ects

Avoiding problems when using electronic signatures, (Law Guru, Jan. 25, 2013).

Electronic signatures legal for purchase contracts beginning Sept. 22, (, Sept. 2012).

Electronic Signatures and Records Act (ERSA), (New York State, n.d.) — Effective Sept. 23, 2012, ESRA allowed the use and acceptance of electronic signatures and records with conveyances and other instruments recordable under Article Nine of the Real Property Law, and permit recording officers to electronically accept for recording or filing digitized paper documents or electronic records of real property instruments such as deeds, mortgages and notes, and accompanying documents.

Electronic signatures and online contracts, (NOLO, 2011).

Legal Overview of Electronic Signatures, (National Association of REALTORS® Store, 2010).

Electronic Signatur​es & Real Estate

A Guide to E-signatures for Real Estate Agents (Market Leader, Sept. 10, 2014)

E-signatures Making Real Estate Deals Easier (Democrat & Chronicle, May 17, 2014)

Don’t let a bad e-signature ruin your business: how to choose the right provider,  (®, July 29, 2013).

More digital signature options, (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2013).

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

1,200 Great Sales Tips for Real Estate Pros (Adobe eReader)

The New Handshake, (Kindle, Adobe eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Real Estate Brokerage Essentials: Managing Legal and Business Issues, (Chicago, IL: National Association of REALTORS®, 2006). HD 1386 N21

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Sales Closings

InfoCentral Blog

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