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!