Are you looking to buy or sell a piece of property, be it a residential house or land? The purchase or sale of a property is often a long, tedious, time-consuming process that involves multiple steps before it is finalized. Many times, individuals find it impossible to handle this complex procedure and opt to hand it over to a professional – a settlement agent.  This is a person or firm responsible for transferring property from one owner to another.

The Settlement process

During a land transaction, both the seller and the buyers need a settlement agent to assist with the settlement process. The seller’s agent makes sure that he has cleared any outstanding mortgage payment, as well as any government levies and water rates. He goes through the Offer and Acceptance to ensure that the terms are in agreement with the seller. Lastly, he presents all the relevant authorities with the document showing the change of ownership.

The buyer’s settlement agent will ensure that the buyer gets a copy of Certificate of Title of the property they are purchasing. They will get a copy of any encumbrances (if any) that may hinder the transfer of ownership, assist the buyer to get their finances on time, see to it that the title is made out to their client’s name and finalize the settlement process.

Also referred to as conveyancers, settlement agents are experts in various real estate transactions. They perform the following services:

Title Searches

When buying property the very first task that a prospective buyer should do is to conduct a property title search. A title search proves a title’s authenticity, ensures that the seller has the legal right to sell the property and checks the activity on the property to ensure that there are no hindrances such as a mortgage, or any dispute that may prevent the buyer from taking possession of it. A settlement agent does a title search at the state or territory registry on behalf of a buyer.

Sub-divisions

Are you a landowner and wish to subdivide the land for the purpose of selling? You will need a conveyancer to assist you through this long process until you are issued with the titles for each of the subdivided blocks of land. This includes liaising with surveyors and valuers on your behalf, preparing the relevant documents for subdivision, getting consent from the planning commission and monitoring the process to its conclusion.

settlement agents

Related Party transfers

There comes a time when, for one reason or another, you need to buy, sell or transfer property to a relative or friend. In this case, the settlement process is usually much shorter. After the title search has been conducted, the transfer of land and other documents are prepared, the stamp duty is paid for and the documents lodged with the relevant government bodies.

Succession

After a deceased person’s will is read out and their property is apportioned to specific individuals, the inheritors need to change ownership of the property from the deceased to themselves. By issuing the death certificate, a settlement agent applies to change the name on the Certificate of Title to the new owner.

Name Change

Have you recently had a name change either due to marriage, divorce or any other reason? It is important to change the name on the Certificate of Title of your property in order to make any future transactions easier. If you are in Perth, you can contact a settlement agent such as Stella Settlements who can make such changes quickly and easily.

The purchase or sale of a property is a costly and time-consuming exercise. You will need a settlement agent you can trust and who will constantly keep you in the know concerning every step of this process. It is important to get a firm or individual who is experienced in real estate and conveyancing and is aware of the inherent details of each land transaction.