Friday, May 20, 2005
Buying a House
The Washington Post today addresses some efforts by traditional real estate companies to impede competition from their electronic competitors. But I think they're missing the forest for the trees. We make the buying and selling of real estate excessively complicated, with a flurry of required documents, deeds, and associated title searches. Yet there is no reason why a real estate deed, and its transfer, needs to be significantly more complicated than that for an automobile. The success of the real estate industry in preventing a more efficient system for titling and transferring real estate significantly raises the cost of every home transaction. Yes, Internet competition can help lower those costs, but perhaps it is also time to explore modern alternatives to the archaic system of land title used in every state but Iowa.