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What Does a Settlement Agent Do?

by Kristine Mediate

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Settlement agents are not usually the first person you think of when you are considering buying or selling real estate. But, once you list your property or begin searching for one, it is a good idea to find a settlement agent that will help you achieve your goals. 

Many settlement agents work within title companies as they tend to go hand-in-hand. Let’s take a closer look at what the role of a settlement agent is in a real estate transaction. 

The Title Report and Title Insurance

In order for the sale to move forward easily, a title search will need to be done. This is when title examiners do a deep dive into all the records concerning the subject property. They are looking to make sure there are no issues, such as liens, judgments, easements, outstanding taxes, and so forth. From these results, a title report is drawn up. 

A settlement agent will review the title report and address any title issues as necessary. For instance, if there is a judgment against the property, it will have to be cleared up as a condition of the sale so that the new owner takes possession with a clear title. 

Of course, they also present options for title insurance. Just in case anything was missed in the title search, lender’s and owner’s policies will be offered so that the new owner can be protected going forward. 

Tally the Closing Costs

Getting through the settlement means paying the closing costs. There are so many different amounts that must be accounted for as it all comes to an end. Settlement agents ensure they have everything calculated so that each party knows what they are responsible for at the settlement. 

Some common closing costs include: 

  • Title insurance
  • Title fees
  • Appraisal 
  • Origination fee
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Survey fees

It is important to note that each settlement is different so the type of fees and their amounts will vary. This means that a settlement agent has to be thorough and detailed as they handle each particular file. 

Document Preparation

Just as there are many fees, there are many documents, too. Each real estate transaction comes with a lot of documents to sign. This is especially true if you are taking out a new mortgage. 

A settlement agent collects and organizes the documents that need to be signed at the closing. They have them in order and ready to go so that the settlement moves as smoothly as possible. This also reduces the chance of any delays or hiccups due to missing documents. 

Record the New Deed – and Release the Funds

Once the signing is complete, the settlement agent’s job is not over. They work to record the new deed, as well as any other pertinent documents, to make the transfer official. The funds they have been holding onto will then be released to the seller. 

When working with a trusted settlement agent, you can feel confident that everything will be handled securely at every step. 

Settlement Services at FIT Agency

It is obvious that the role of a settlement agent is significant so you can’t just settle for anyone. At FIT Agency, we provide personalized title and settlement services to sellers and buyers so that you have a hassle-free experience. 

To learn more or to get started, contact us today at (732) 630-0900.

Getting Started

Our goal is to treat you with personalized service by getting to know your goals and helping you to achieve success. We’ll partner with you to provide fast and accurate title and settlement services. By continuously analyzing our processes and integrating the newest technologies, we streamline our processes so you get faster turnaround times to meet your important deadlines. Start building a professional relationship with us today. Send an inquiry now.

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