Finance

3 Things to Ask When Buying or Selling a Property

Written by Lis Meitner

Real estate transactions are not simple processes, especially if you do not know what you are doing. Unless you are very knowledgeable in this field, which includes drafting numerous documentation, you need to hire a professional. The settlement agent can help make the process easier so that transactions go off smoothly, according to property law in Victoria. Here are the first three things you need to ask when buying or selling a house:

 

1. Are You From A Property Settlement Company or Law Firm?

First and foremost, you need to identify whether the agent is working for a property settlement company or a law firm. Indeed, they are quite different. It may get confusing since the latter can be appointed to advice on a few real estate transactions. However, what you are looking for is someone who gives both legal advice and is an expert in the settlement process. And a lawyer would not have the complete knowledge of how to close a deal. Just beware though. Designations may overlap with each other these days, making it hard to distinguish. So always examine the license and related documentation to back up any claims.

 

2. Do You Act On Behalf Of Buyers Or Sellers?

Settlement agents Melbourne, or any conveyancer in your area, can work for either buyers or sellers. But there are also those who cater to both. They deal with the end of transactions for either or both parties. So if you have found a house you like and have already negotiated the process of buying it, your agent will be involved in the process up to the settlement. For the sellers, the settlement agents will facilitate the transfer of securities, cash and compensations to the seller, wherever applicable. And for the buyers, all the necessary documentation will be prepared by them, ready to be signed. Regardless, the agent you choose should be dedicated on acting on your behalf and avoid conflict of interest.

 

3. How Do You Charge

Money is, most of the time, the single defining factor that influences a person’s decision to hire a settlement agent. After all, you want someone who charges a fixed fee. You would also want to know if you are going to incur additional charges in case the transaction hits a block. The amount presented to you need to include settlement fees and government taxes. This can total up to a fair bit. Therefore, it is better to know the amount outright rather than get an unwanted surprise later. As a general rule of thumb, the fee charged by the agent should not be so high as to rob you blind. But it should neither be too low. The world of real estate and transactions costs money in every turn. Anyone offering to help you for a free or with a discount would be quite suspicious. To find out an approximate fee, contact at least three settlement agencies.

 

These are only the first three things to ask when you decide to make the big investment leap. But do not forget that depending on the property and your situation, you can always change or ask new questions. Trust your instincts always and also do your research. If, at any time, you feel uncomfortable with the agent, move on to someone else. Good luck!

About the author

Lis Meitner