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What Does a Settlement Agent Do?

When buying or selling a property you will need to engage the services of a Settlement Agent or Conveyancer. Their role is to ensure the legal requirements are met as part of the transference of ownership.

As the process can often be complicated all settlement agents must hold the required licenses and be fully qualified.

Here’s a snapshot of what their role in your property transaction is:

Purchasing a Property

Your settlement agent will complete several tasks to facilitate your settlement. These may include but not be limited to:

  • Land title searches to confirm legal ownership and to identify any existing encumbrances, caveats or restrictions that may affect the transfer.
  • Search relevant government departments and local authorities for anything that may affect the property transfer.
  • Ensure any special conditions and inspections that form part of the contract are completed to the buyer’s satisfaction prior to settlement.
  • Make enquiries to the local council, water authority and strata management to adjust and make payments according to time of ownership.
  • Liaise with the purchaser’s financial institution to confirm funds to complete and book settlement.
  • Provide information on any delays and your rights when it comes to compensation.
  • Attend settlement on your behalf.
  • Preparation of legal documents to transfer ownership and notify relevant authorities.
  • Prepare a settlement statement to confirm funds position.

Selling A Property

When selling your settlement agent conveyancer will complete a variety of tasks which include:

  • Search titles to confirm the seller’s legal ownership.
  • Ensure the property is compliant with requirements such as ATO clearance certificates, outstanding rates as well as smoke alarm and electrical building codes.
  • Adjust rates and taxes and required.
  • Liaise with financial institutions to confirm existing loan balances and provide pay-out instructions.
  • Confirm the settlement date and time with the financial institution and the buyer’s conveyancer.
  • Advise of potential delays including your rights when it comes to compensation.
  • Attend settlement on your behalf to ensure correct exchange of legal documents and funds.
  • Prepare a settlement statement.

An experienced settlement agent will ensure your settlement process is effected correctly and in a timely fashion so it’s important to choose wisely.

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