Information in simple English

What is a Settlement Agent?

When buying a house, Settlement Agents are third parties who help a buyer and seller to complete the transaction at the time of closing.

A Settlement Agent is also referred to as a Closing Agent.

A settlement agent can be same as an escrow company and/or a title company.

What they are responsible for?

They make sure all parties involved receive what was planned during the buying/selling process.

They make sure that buyer gets house title and possession; the seller gets the money and all other third parties get their charges for their services. 

Who chooses the Settlement Agent?

Settlement agents are usually chosen by the seller, but the buyer can also choose their own settlement agent.

Who pays for the Settlement Agent?

Usually buyer pays the settlement agent fee at the time of closing.

How much is the Settlement Agent free?

The settlement fee could be a few hundreds 3 figures fee, it could be a small percent of the property price as well. 

Settlement Agent role in term of getting a mortgage vs. paying cash?

When buying house on mortgage, the Settlement agent is also responsible for the closing part towards lender.

If buying house in cash the buyer still needs title to be transferred and seller still needs to get paid, so we still need Settlement Agent.