Some lawyers that is!
Speaking with a friend recently where the Conveyancing/Escrow Company could not, for the life of them, make the figures add up properly leading up to the “settlement” or completion of the sale of a property.
There are all sorts of adjustments to be made before the sale completes. Council or City rates and charges, electricity, water, land tax and so on. I’ve seen statements after transfer has taken place where a travesty of justice has occurred because everyone just “accepted” the figures or someone was too lazy or incompetent to check or challenge.
One item that is oft forgot is the deposit money lying quietly in the Real Estate Agent’s Trust Account.
The moral? Take the time to learn how to read the Settlement Statement to make sure you aren’t being ripped off! If you can’t, at least get a second opinion.
PS – added 08 Nov 12 – I’ve been told to be aware that Bank Settlement Statements can’t be trusted either…so be careful on all fronts!