As of 3rd February 2016, the regulation of Scaled Settlement Agents’ capped fee has ceased. Settlement Agents are now able to charge their worth for their services in executing the transaction. The new fee disclosure rule in found in the rule 6B & unforeseen significant change for scope of work under 6C of the Settlement Agents Code of Conduct & Act.
Removing the ‘Maximum Scale’ and de-regulating fees has allowed Settlement Agents greater flexibility to cater to the differing needs of their particular clientèle and complexity of work involved.
Pursuant to the the new rule, a Settlement Agent must provide their client with a written costs disclosure setting out the maximum amount they will be charging for their services, before the client signs the Form 1 Appointment to Act.
Some agencies may differ by supplying you with a low cost fee, but refer or attach additional costs disclosure of their ‘add-on’ or ‘additional charges’ inside a disclosure statement -similar to that of a lender where they might detail their rights to charge the consumer fees that could exceed the old ‘Scale’.
Things to be careful of might include;
- Off the plan or reading a contract fee.
- Delayed settlement /re-attendance fee.
- File cancellation fee.
- Legal advice from their in-house counsel.
- Postage, Telephone, Petties and miscellaneous fees.
- along with many more… which often exceeds our inclusive fee.