Oxford Dictionary: Conflict of Interest – a situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible.
Wikipedia: A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another.
Using the same settlement agent as the seller is like holding a loaded gun and hoping nobody touches the trigger. The majority of settlement agents do this to earn extra money, however it is simply not worth the heartache it causes to everyone.
Clients often advise information they do not want disclosed to the other party. If we act for both the seller and buyer in the same settlement, this information has the potential to place us in a conflict between the parties and hinder the advice we provide.
There are many varied reasons for a conflict of interest. Sometimes clients circumstances unexpectantly change, I.e. they may need to delay settlement, or even try to get out of their sale/purchase completely. A conflict can be as simple as advising your settlement agent information that you do not wish the other party to know.
Whatever the reason, if you choose the same settlement agent as the seller or buyer, you will not be able to obtain the best advice as to options available to you.
At Stenhouse Settlement Services we will only act for either the seller/s or buyer/s in a settlement – never both. This ensures we act in our client’s best interests always. This guarantee’s that our sole focus in on our customers. Related party transfers are excluded from this. Related party transfers are transactions between spouses, family members etc.
Another type of potential conflict of interest is when the settlement agent is owned by a real estate agency or financial brokers office, which is the majority of the time. The settlement agent may not risk upsetting the real estate agent or finance broker if issues occur.
It is important for your settlement agent to be unbiased. At Stenhouse Settlement Services we are completely independent of any affiliation to ensure we act in our client’s best interests.
Real Estate Agents and Finance Brokers may recommend us to act for a settlement, but not for any gain, (financial or otherwise) and are doing this only because they know that we will look after their clients interests to the best of our ability.
Contact Sharon today!