The settlement agent must be a disinterested third party and each state
has different requirements for licensing. In some areas of the country,
only a licensed attorney may act as the settlement agent.
There are two important reasons for selecting an established company:
1) The processing and closing of real estate transactions require a
tremendous amount of technical experience and knowledge; 2) The
settlement agent is responsible for safe-guarding and properly
distributing funds and documents required to successfully complete the
Settlement agents with established firms, such as Fidelity National Title,
generally are experienced and trained in real estate procedures, title
insurance, taxes, deeds and title insurance.
A settlement agent must remain completely impartial throughout the entire escrow
settlement process. He or she will normally adopt a courteous but rather formal
manner when dealing with parties to the escrow, keeping conversation to the matters
at hand in the escrow. This formal behavior is meant for the benefit of all concerned,
since the settlement agent must follow the instructions of both parties without bias.