The importance of choosing a good settlement agent

It seems once you decide to put your house on the market or buy a new home, everyone has advice about who you should choose to help you buy or sell your property. There is no shortage of articles about choosing a good real estate agent to sell your home, but rarely is the same amount of importance placed on choosing a settlement agent. While it may not be at the top of your list, we strongly encourage you to do your research and know who is taking care of your largest asset at settlement.

A settlement agent is a trained and qualified professional who holds a licence to facilitate the transfer of legal ownership - the process is referred to as conveyancing. 

To be granted a licence, there is a requirement to have met certain qualifications, experience, sufficient material and financial resources and be a person of good character and repute. The licensing framework also includes holding professional indemnity insurance and participate in continuing (annual) Compulsory Professional Development Program.

Conveyancing can be a complex and time consuming business with many potential traps. They say you should choose your settlement agent as you would your accountant, doctor or banker - based on their qualifications, experience and above all, trustworthiness.

Evolution Settlements Licensee, Valerie DeCosta, has over 20 years’ of industry experience and shares her tips for choosing the right settlement agent for you:

  • As with any decision affecting your assets, always do your due diligence to ensure you are appointing a qualified conveyancer.
  • Settlement agencies should operate with transparency and integrity, and you should be made aware up front about any additional fees involved. Be wary of agencies that try to hide these from you.
  • Further to the above, ensure that you have signed a Cost Disclosure. If you haven’t, you may be charged additional fees.
  • Is the settlement agency attached to a Law Firm? There may be extra costs for work carried out by a Solicitor, so be sure to read their PDS before choosing them. They are not always governed by the same rules as other settlement agencies.
  • Be wary of home businesses that do not work full business hours due to personal/family commitments. Although this may seem like a good way to cut costs on your settlement, it is even more important that you are the top priority.
  • If you trust your selling agent or broker, then trust their referral – they have no doubt dealt with hundreds of settlements over their careers and have built great professional and personal relationships with the settlement agency they recommend.

Based in Subiaco, Evolution Settlements provides conveyancing services throughout Western Australia. The expert team pride themselves on providing outstanding service and high levels of expertise to ensure that your settlement is as simple and stress free as possible – naturally.