My husband and I just bought our first house. Literally, on Wednesday 17th August, we took the plunge and now I feel like I am officially a grown up (because I now have huge debt that I’d managed to make it through 33 years without accumulating). Anyway, what struck me as odd, was that during the whole process, dealing with real estate agents (who still manage to use the telephone effectively), mortgage brokers and solicitors, we all communicated by email (trust me, a lot of emails were shared during the last 2 weeks).

Map of Maroubra, NSW - We just bought our first home

This is where we're going to start the rest of our "grown up" lives

During our many email communications, we supplied scanned images of bank statements, birth certificates, payslips, and all physical documents that needed to be signed, such as contracts, were done in hard copy and then sent back as a scanned PDF, rather than by mail. Makes sense, right? This is how we communicate in the modern world.

So when it came time to actually start negotiating on the contract of sale with the vendor’s solicitor (home owner’s lawyer), our solicitor used fax to send the official requests. We were then sent a PDF, by email, of the scanned fax communications. Why don’t they just use email to negotiate. I find this incredible. I mean, I don’t want them to use the ‘snail mail’ as we’re on a timeframe here, but why not just email? Why fax?

I haven’t actually asked why. I assume it is just because this is the way it has always been done and in my experience this is often the answer. I’m sure you have also experienced that many “traditional” professions are a bit slow to join the digital revolution.

If you’re a lawyer and can shed any as to WHY solicitors negotiate contract changes by fax instead of email, I’d love to know.