In this blog, I thought I would share with you what an average day looks like for me as a settlement agent. I often get asked what it is that we do and how we spend our time, so I thought I would share with you some of the questions I get asked most frequently when it comes to my services as a settlement agent.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
You are often out of the office and in the city – what are you doing?
We go into the city to attend settlements, stamp documents at the State Revenue Department, lodge documents at Landgate and also collect title deeds and have clients original Death Certificates and Marriage Certificates sighted by a Landgate officer. We do our trust banking plus client banking after settlement. We sometimes meet clients in the city to collect documents from them and also to save time we will get them to sign our documents and also the transfer of land document, which is a very important document that we must have if we are to settle. We meet up with other outside clerks to hand or collect documents from them. A trip to the city is often jam packed with lots of quick but important meetings being held.
Who do you speak to at the exact time of settlement?
We speak to the other settlement agent representing the other side of the transaction, the sellers mortgagee (handing over discharge of mortgage document, title and registration fees), the buyers mortgagee (has the banks mortgage document in their possession and they are the ones who check all documents. If they are happy they then disburse the funds). Sometimes other settlement agents are present to collect funds from the seller’s sale which they take with them for a purchase settlement. Other documents can be registered on a title i.e. Caveat and a separate party will be at settlement handing over a Withdrawal of Caveat in exchange for $$. During the exact time of settlement we are often in communication with more than one person meaning we have more than one phone call going which is fun to watch
Who chooses the booking time for a settlement?
The buyer’s settlement agent chooses the time for settlement. They will choose a time that is suitable to them in consultation with the other parties involved
Why do clients come to meet you face to face?
They come to our office and meet us face to face because we can go through their documents with them and explain the settlement process. It saves time in the documents go back and forth via the post and documents do go astray which means we have to redo everything. We need to do Verification of Identity for sellers and if they come to our office we can perform that with them at no charge. They can go to Australia Post and will pay a $39.00 per person for Australia Post to conduct the Verification of Identity. We give our clients the option. Also clients prefer to bring their title deed in to us and we give them a receipt. Safer than posting by registered post.
Do you still use a fax machine?
Whilst most of our communication is done via email we still rely heavily on our fax machine and the telephone