The concept of exchanging a deed & keys for money still remains the same, but the steps to the crazy tribal dance we perform while helping buyers buy and sellers sell keep changing.
Whereas closings ten years ago could best be thought of as graceful arm in arm waltzes and minuets, todays closings are more akin to post-modern amalgams of sudden thrusts, breaks, pops, and martial arts-flavored acrobatics.
The dance just keeps on changing and anyone who's lawyer is not prepared to embrace these changes is going face a heck of a time trying to get their closings done.
The new year has already delivered a massive revision of the settlement statements we all use at closings; reformatting of the Good Faith Estimates of closing costs our clients rely on as they shop for mortgage financing; and a "good funds" law that restricts the way buyers (and sellers) must deliver monies to the closing table.
Now, a change in the way we file local, county, and state property transfer tax declarations. After a couple of false starts, it looks like the EZ Dec web-based system has finally gone live. More EZ Dec details in my October, 2009 blog post, here.
As near as I can tell, none of the local title companies are mandating it's use, but are alllowing early-adapters to start using it.
Let me know if you need a dance partner who knows the tune, and how to lead. I can help.