Role of a Settlement Agent

Role of a Settlement Agent is complex, one aspect is to ensure the terms of the contract of sale are performed and satisfied before settlement.

The settlement agents duties and responsibilities are wide ranging and include:

  • searching land title,  to verify the legal owner and check for encumbrances that may limit the use of the property;
  • prepare legal paperwork to change the ownership with Landgate ensure correctly signed and witnessed;
  • where required, co-ordinate and liaise with lenders for any mortgages or caveats to be removed or lodged at settlement;
  • notify the relevant authorities i.e. council, water corporation, land tax office, strata company of the change of ownership;
  • pay for and obtain current accounts from local council, water authority, land tax and strata company;
  • Adjust shire and water rates, strata levies, land tax between the parties, ensure water consumption and outstanding arrears are cleared at settlement;
  • Check for any outstanding orders  issued by the local council on the property and confirm building licences;
  • pay Duty tax to Office of State Revenue and registration fees to Landgate;
  • attend settlement on behalf of the client to ensure exchange of legal paperwork and correct funds are released or collected.

 

Oceania recommends clients choose a settlement agent before they sign a contract. A settlement agents expertise can save clients unforeseen costs, stress and time delays.

A settlement agent can advise you of the right questions to ask when viewing a property.  Also recommend inspections that may be worth including in the contract for example structural inspection to check for structural or safety issues and future maintence to keep an eye on.

Special conditions can include:

  • Structural inspection
  • Termite inspection
  • Electrical inspection
  • Pool and equipment inspection
  • Bore inspection
  • All electrical, gas, plumbing and reticulation to be in good working order at settlement
  • Any repairs you wish seller to undertake prior to settlement