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Does cloud-based technology help or hinder real estate deals?

In an age of convenience and technology, it’s perhaps no surprise that real estate professionals are trying a new paperless approach to real estate transactions. 

The process utilizes new cloud-based storage technology. Around 3,000 real estate offices now use a platform called Dotloop. Agents with accounts can access mortgage documents, deeds, titles, or other transactional paperwork from multiple devices: desktop computers, tablets or phones. When a signature from a client is required, an agent simply needs to invite that individual to the platform site. The platform also provides a notification to all parties after a document has been reviewed or signed.

That convenience means that a client could potentially view a property onsite and sign and execute a transactional document -- all on the spot. Yet considering the sheer volume of paperwork that is often involved in many real estate transactions, such behavior may seem reckless. Although cloud-based platforms are convenient, an attorney that focuses on real estate might question whether they encourage clients to skim over the fine print. That, in turn, could lead to undesirable consequences.

However, when used in conjunction with the services of a real estate acquisition attorney, such web-based technology might be highly desirable. For example, documents needed to assist in title examinations could be uploaded for easy access. The same approach could be used to expedite an attorney’s review of purchase or sale agreements for residential or commercial real estate. With an attorney’s help, a buyer or seller can take confidence in knowing that they better understand the terms and conditions that affect their future liabilities. 

Source: The New York Times, “Selling Real Estate, Without All of the Paper,” Eilene Zimmerman, July 14, 2014

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