Question 1 – Are you associated with the real estate agent?
When buying property a lot of money is at stake. In a competitive marketplace, kickbacks are commonplace to secure future business. For certain parties involved, efforts could be much more about the bottom line than about providing a high-quality service to you and looking out for your best interest. That's why here at Stenhouse Settlement Services, we recommend you ensure that your conveyancer is independent of the real estate agent.
You want to be sure that the person handling your settlement is working towards the best outcome for you. Using an independent settlement agent ensures that you’re dealing with somebody who wants to complete the job you hired them for and not someone that is worried about their next referral.
Question 2 – Are you acting for the other party?
There is an obvious conflict of interest here and the reasonable person would assume this would never happen in Perth. Unfortunately, this occurs more than you would think and has often caused an endless list of problems for buyers and sellers. It is a huge industry issue that needs to be addressed. In the meantime, double check your settlement agent isn't working for the other party as well.
We are proud to say that we only ever act for one party to a property transaction. This means your settlement is the most important task at hand to ensure you get the keys to your new property on the day that you planned on getting them. Providing a hassle free conveyancing service is our highest priority.
Question 3 – Are you a licensed settlement agent and how much experience do they have?
In the age of the internet, making a company look more credible than it is, is quite easy. Fraud and scams are almost an everyday thing now. If you’re picking based on online searches, always ensure you only engage with a fully licensed settlement agent like ourselves. Using alternatives to cut costs or letting a mate do it because he said “it’s easy” is obviously never recommended. Not to mention potentially illegal.
Documents completed incorrectly or submitted with the smallest mistake can result in delaying settlement day and potentially cost you thousands. With our extensive experience, we ensure the process goes smoothly and you’re not running back and forth endlessly to make corrections on documents.
Question 4 – Do you have a personal assistant?
The need to stay competitive in a shrinking economy and keeping up profit margins has brought about the rise of outsourcing. Virtual assistants based overseas working for $4/hour are potentially doing the majority of your paperwork. While this service might be acceptable in other industries, in the professional conveyancing industry it is not.
Unfortunately, it is common in our industry and many cheap agencies use a PA to do 90% of the work to save costs. A singular licensed settlement agent simply oversees a massive operation. Can you really trust this process to be error free? Mistakes and delays occur all the time because of things being overlooked. The $200 you could save yourself by going cheap, isn’t really worth it.