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Settlement agents facilitate the real estate closing process

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Are you looking to close on your real estate transaction? A settlement agent can ensure that all the conditions for the sale of your property are fulfilled. The settlement stage is the most important part of a real estate transaction, because it involves the transfer of the title from the seller to the buyer.

The transfer of funds for the purchase of the property also takes place at this time. It is important that these procedures are carried out in line with the stipulations of the contract.

The role of a settlement agent

A settlement agent is a licensed professional who facilitates the activities that are carried out during the settlement of a real estate transaction. The agent must be licensed under the Settlement Agents Act of 1981. They are also required to be properly insured (indemnity insurance) and maintain a trust account that is annually audited.

Settlement agents also need to go through annual compulsory professional development programs.

Actions carried out by a Settlement Agent

A settlement agent is important during the settlement stage in the following ways:

  • They double-check land titles and ensure that there are no current restrictions to the transfer of a title
  • Finding out information on taxes, land rates, building licenses and even sewer connection
  • Communicating change of ownership information to the relevant authorities
  • Preparing the necessary legal documents and forms for signing during settlement
  • Facilitating the exchange of legal documents and monies during the actual settlement meeting

Additional benefits of a settlement agent

Settlement agents also offer additional benefits beyond routine settlement procedures. These services include:

Selecting a property

Settlement agents possess an in-depth knowledge of the real estate market. They can help buyers in choosing the best property, and sellers in getting the best buyers. They also offer advice on common concerns that surround purchasing a property, such as inspections, pricing, and demand fluctuations in the market.

Drafting your contract

A settlement agent can help you prepare your contract for the buying of a piece of real estate. In order to protect your investment, they can assist you to include special conditions to be met in your contract; such as building inspection reports, termite inspections, and repairs that you would need the seller to carry out prior to settlement.

Simply put, a settlement agent can help buyers navigate the complex process of buying real estate, while connecting sellers to get the best deal for their property.