3 Facts About the Real Estate Settlement Process That Prospective Homeowners Should Know


When you decide to buy a home for the first time, you will have many local real estate agents to choose. However, a shrewd home buyer will also consider another, often-ignored aspect, of settlement. Conveyancing, the process of fulfilling all the legal requirements regarding the property before purchasing, can be a complex and tedious endeavor that will require you to hire an expert. A settlement agent will act on your behalf to facilitate the transfer of the home to your name. This article examines some vital facts any prospective home buyer should know about the settlement process.

Choosing an Agent

Before you reach a decision on your preferred settlement agent, perform due diligence on all prospective agents. Choose an agent that has a clear record of accomplishment based on reviews from previous clients. The agent should not represent you, the buyer, and the seller of the property at the same time unless all of the parties agree to this arrangement. Therefore you can avoid any potential conflict of interest by choosing a different agent from the one opted by the seller. In addition, full disclosure is essential, especially when you want to ascertain the costs that you will bear. For example, disbursement costs that can be passed to you, which you should be aware of, include courier services, telephone calls, postage, and photocopying. As such, a disclosure document entailing the amount you will be charged is crucial because it will shield you from any additional costs after signing this document.

Does the Settlement Agent have to be a Lawyer?

The answer to this question is not necessarily. Ordinarily, the agent should be a qualified professional who is licensed to conduct conveyancing but not to offer legal advice. However, a qualified lawyer is best suited to do both tasks at a marginal fee. If you choose a lawyer, they should have a most recent practicing license from a professional body to conduct settlement.   

Delays are Expected but can be Mitigated

Although delays are common in the settlement process, you should get on top of things to avoid this situation. Get all your paperwork ready prior to signing to avoid any potential penalties. All contracts and disclosures should be prepared beforehand. Also, work with your settlement agent to ensure that you sign all the loan and settlement papers. Ultimately, being proactive saves you time and money, allowing you to acquire your dream home in time. Moreover, before settlement, all payments such as transfer registration charges and stamp duty should be made to relevant authorities if you want to avoid delays.


16 November 2016

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