Settlement agents must be licensed by the Settlement Agents Supervisory Board to operate as a real estate settlement agent in Western Australia.
Lawyers must have a current practising certificate in law from the Legal Practice Board to perform conveyancing in Western Australia.
If using a settlement agent, you must be given an Appointment to Act form, that you and the settlement agent need to sign, that authorises him/her to act on your behalf.
A settlement agent must tell you when it is a good idea to get slegal advice about buying a property.
If someone who is involved in buying or selling the property, such as the real estate agent or bank that is lending you money suggests tha you use a particular settlement agent, they must give you a form for you to sign that explains your rights.
Note: you do not have to use a particular settlement agent because someone else has suggested or recommended you do so.
ensures the completion and lodgement of documents to transfer the
details of ownership on the certificate of title;
makes necessary enquiries, such as title, rates and zoning;
double checks that all inspections and other special conditions in the
contract have been completed prior to settlement and ensures that their
client is satisfied that the conditions have been met;
requests funds to proceed to settlement; and
attends settlement on your behalf
The conveyancer should keep you informed about the progress of buying your property and let you know about any problems.
You are free to choose or change your conveyancer at any time. However, if you do, you may be required to pay some money to any previous conveyancer for the work already done on your behalf.
There are some things to remember about the role of a conveyancer:
If using a settlement agent, he/she cannot give you legal advice.
If using a settlement agent, he/she cannot act for both the buyer and the seller UNLESS YOU AND THE SELLER GIVE THE SETTLEMNT AGENT PERMISSION TO DO SO ON THE APPOINTMENT FORM.
A conveyancer must not act (or continue to act ) for you if he/she cannot look after your best interests because he/she has other (opposing ) interests in the transaction.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CONVEYANCERS: conveyancer.
Call the Settlement Agents Supervisory Board on (08) 9282 0839 to find out whether a settlement agent is licensed;
Call the Legal Practice Board on (08) 9325 1311 to find out whether a lawyer has a current practising certificate in law; or
Call the Law Society on (08) 9322 7877 for referrals to lawyers practising in this area.