I have been involved in real estate in one form or the other for over twenty years. It all started in 1990 when I started my first real estate related job working for a title company in Michigan while going to law school. I learned how to search titles the old fashioned way – manually through the libor books. If you don’t know what a libor book is, think of a book that is a couple of inches thick, but about the size of a desk – and no, I am not exaggerating. I would manually look through book after book until I traced the property up to the current date. Although very interesting to look through the books, some being well over a hundred years old, it was very inefficient compared to today’s standards.
Fast forward to today, and the manual form of title searches seems a bit out dated. Today, the process is done on computers and the internet. Rarely are the original libor books ever consulted. The title searches are done on computer by the underwriters, and then emailed to my office. The closing documents are, of course, generated on the computer also, and often times emailed out for signatures.
To say the process has changed in twenty years is an understatement. I expect in the not too distance future, we will see deeds and closing documents that are electronically signed and recorded. In a few short months the clerks are requiring e-filing for all lawsuit filings. I am sure e-filing will not be too far the future for the real estate world.