Flat Fee Settlements?

Flat Fee Settlements

After the hard work of looking and finding your new property, whether it be to live in or an investment, the real estate agent will sit you down, answer a few questions you may have and then proceed to write up an offer on the property.

Once the details of the offer are completed, correct name and address, and you have agreed upon the dollar value to offer, the real estate sales person will ask you a question: "you need to use a settlement agent, who would you like to use ".

Now unless you have done this before, and you are happy to use the same company as previous, you may be a little confused, and you now have a decision to make.who should I use as a settlement agent?

No doubt the real estate agent will have a recommended settlement agent, but you need to know that the choice is completely yours and yours alone as to who to use for this service.

The task now is to perhaps jump online and search two or three to compare fees and services.

You will find a lot to choose from there are over 450 licensed settlement agents in WA, but your decision will be an important one that will mean the difference between a good transaction and a bad one.

In making your decision, as with most things, you usually get what you pay for !

Beware the "Flat Fee" advertised settlement. Flat fees usually have the small print attached that describe a "Flat Fee" is for a Standard settlement , and described in the "Product Disclosure Statement" or Fee Schedule " is what determines a Flat Fee, and believe me , there are not many standard settlements that happen on a daily basis.

Examples of extra fees highlighted in some settlement agents/solicitors product disclosure documents are as follows:

  • Prepare and serve a notice under clause 4 of the General Conditions relating to a delay in Settlement: Charge: extra $220.
  • Other notices : Charge : up to an extra $550
  • Attend to an adjustment of rent if a property is leased: extra charge $330.00
  • Negotiate and formalize any variation to the contract: extra charge up to $450.00 per hour

And the list goes on.. Remember: The bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweet taste of a low price is forgotten.

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Ten potential disasters to watch our for when buying or selling property in Western Australia.