The biggest myth of the 1970’s was that by the year 2000, we would become a paperless society!

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers

What happened to the paperless society?As the 1970’s brought both environmental awareness and exponential technological growth, many pundits predicted that by the year 2000 we would become a paperless society.

Obviously, something went awry somewhere.

When I started selling real estate in 1984, a purchase and sale agreement was a single sheet of paper. It contained all of the essential elements: legal description of the property, method of payment, earnest money deposit and seller’s concessions.

The only dates indicated were the date of the contract and the date of closing. And that seemed to work for everyone and we closed on a lot of houses.

Fast forward to the year 2010. After three decades of consumerism, some purchase and sale agreements exceed thirty pages. We did one that was over fifty. The expected “paperless” society has not materialized. Instead, we are buried under piles of printed legalese and conditions.

And as time goes on, it’s only going to get worse. Every lawsuit results in a new updated contract form or a new addendum. The days of “caveat emptor” are long gone.

And we have the paperwork to prove it!

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Re-Bloggged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 07/31/2010 08:45 PM
  2. Chris Webster 08/01/2010 02:59 AM
  3. Patricia Aulson 08/01/2010 09:45 PM
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Rainmaker
971,166
Sharon Alters
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

Richard, our contracts change every few months to a year and we keep adding new addenda that I can hardly keep up with! Paperless? Not hardly!

July 31, 2010 11:57 PM
Anonymous #64
Anonymous
Anonymous

Richard,

I got in during the early 80's. Our forms were 6 copies of NCR paper; one page. Today a common contract is 15 pages. Ah, lawyers.

August 01, 2010 12:23 AM
Rainmaker
401,965
Claudette Millette
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass
The Buyers' Counsel

Richard:

You make a great point. I have heard so much over the years about all of our transactions becoming "paperless", yet it has not actually happened. They seem to have grown in paperwork.

I have never seen a one-page purchase and sale agreement. That was either before my time or maybe Massachusetts has always had longer contracts.

 

August 01, 2010 07:39 AM
Rainmaker
864,526
Michael Setunsky
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA
Michael's Commercial LLC

Richard, I remember those days when a listing agreement was also one page. Today the file folders seem to get bigger and bigger. I don't think we will ever be able to do away with paper.

August 01, 2010 10:12 AM
Rainmaker
291,273
Darrell Walters
W. Darrell Walters

It's interesting to me that the Paperwork Reduction Act has added a lot more pages to the overall process.

August 01, 2010 03:05 PM
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Richard Weisser

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Additional Information

Author Bio: Richard Weisser is a Georgia real estate broker, licensed auctioneer, and has been writing about Georgia Real Estate since 1999.

Coweta Fayette Real Estate offers opinions and helpful information to consumers and real estate professionals in the Coweta County Georgia area.

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