Real estate transactions are not completely paperless at this point because there is paperwork involved in the loan process and signatures on paper are more the rule at a closing than the exception.
My job used to involve lots and lots of paper and we still have a lengthy purchase agreement but it doesn’t need to be printed and we can have a paperless transaction. The contracts can be written electronically and signed electronically.
Some people like paper and so I give everyone the choice of having a printed copy of real estate contracts or digital copies or both. My clients also have the option of sharing a “cloud based” folder with me where they can access the most recent paperwork from most any place. People seem to like that. Documents are there for reference and can be downloaded at any time or viewed right where they are.
It still takes an hour to prepare an offer but that is because buyers have to make a lot of decisions and even if they make them ahead of time it still takes an hour.
It wasn’t all that long ago that agents hand wrote purchase agreements on forms that made carbon copies. There are still agents who hand write them the offers but there is no carbon.
Having to use a fax machine is also increasingly rare as most of us either use electronic documents or scan and email paper. Email is more convenient and accesible from any place.
I still have a fax machine but I don’t use it often. Email and cloud based file sharing has replaced the fax but I am afraid to get rid of it and still use it once or twice a year.
Ipads and smart phones have made my job easier. I used to have to print things out when I went to show houses. Now I just look up information on my phone as I go. Agents have an app to access the MLS (multiple listing service) and we can open those funny looking blue lock boxes with an iPhone or a phone that runs on the android operating system.
I never liked paper because it is easy to lose stuff and it has to be kept in a safe place and I never liked file cabinets. Once something went into one of my file cabinets I had trouble finding it. Today when I want a file I can find it quickly with an electronic search and I have some drawer space again.