When vetting a settlement agent, here are some steps you can take:
- Check their credentials: Make sure the agent is licensed and in good standing with the state regulatory agency. Ask for their license number and verify it with the state agency.
- Ask for references: Ask the agent for references from previous clients and contact them to get an idea of their experience with the agent.
- Research their reputation: Look for online reviews of the agent and their company. Check if they have any complaints or negative feedback.
- Ask about their experience: Find out how long the agent has been in the business and what types of transactions they typically handle.
- Get a clear understanding of their fees: Make sure you understand all the costs associated with the transaction and that you are comfortable with the agent's fee structure.
- Check their insurance: Verify that the agent has the necessary insurance, such as errors and omissions insurance, to protect you in case of any mistakes.
- Check if they are compliant with the laws and regulations of the state they operate in.
- Check with professional organizations: Many professional organizations, such as the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Association of Settlement Agents (NASA), have directories of member agents who have met certain standards.
It's important to remember that you should choose the agent that you feel most comfortable with and who you believe will best meet your needs.