DEFINITION of 'Settlement Agent'

1. The party involved in completing a transaction between a buyer and seller. This is done through the transfer of securities to the buyer and the transfer of cash or other compensation to the seller.

2. A real estate professional who functions chiefly for the buyer by conveying the selling interest from the buyer to the seller and ensuring the orderly transfer of the legal title from the seller to the buyer through the closing process.

Also known as a "closing agent" or "conveyancer".

BREAKING DOWN 'Settlement Agent'

1. The settlement of a trade in which actual securities and money are exchanged will occur several days after the original transaction. Settlement agents are responsible for settling the accounts of traders and making the process more efficient.

2. The duties of a settlement agent can extend to examining land titles for accuracy, pro-rating property fees for the current year of the transaction and interacting with local and state agencies to notify them about the transfer of ownership.

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