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Archive for September, 2013

Electronic Purchase and Sales AgreementsIt is a widely known fact that the Ontario Land Registry System has been fully automated for many years now. Electronic registrations of sales transactions and mortgages have also been in place and have resulted in much faster closings.

In June of 2013, John Gregory of SLAW (one of Ontario’s online legal magazines) reported on a recent and major amendment to Ontario’s Electronic Commerce Act. The amendment will remove the exclusion on land transactions.

Furthermore, Cassels Brock wrote that “the purpose of the bill is to facilitate the use of electronic signatures in real estate transactions by removing the exception in the Act which prohibits land transfer documents from being signed by an electronically generated signature.”

In June of 2013, OREA issued a release of the passage of the amendment, thrilled with the idea that the amendment could mean that electronic real estate agreements of purchase and sale in Ontario may become a reality sooner than later.

Electronic real estate agreements are thought by many, including OREA, to be a major step towards improving the speed, efficiency and reliability of real estate transactions.

As you know, when you are negotiating the purchase and sale of a property, everything is pretty much paper-based and back and forth exchange generally occurs through the faxing and emailing of documents. When in a situation where there are counteroffers and amendments going back and forth, transactions can become complex,  as each time there is a change all parties must be available to sign off on changes.

Real estate lawyers have long enjoyed the luxury of automation which enables two solicitors to work together on a real estate transaction. In the mortgage industry, platforms like Filogix Expert have created a way for mortgage brokers to work electronically on deals with lenders. So it is exciting that the amendment may mean the same opportunity for real estate sales professionals in the future.

How do you think this will impact the negotiation process? Do you embrace the change? Do you think that these changes will cause considerable improvement to the negotiation process?

You can read more about the amendment at:

Stay tuned for mobile tools that will enable collaboration as a result of this amendment potentially in the area of realtor to realtor collaboration and also realtor to consumer collaboration.

If you would like information about GeoWarehouse, please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937.

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Home Ownership SearchWhen representing a client, whether it is a buyer or a seller, the more information you have about a property and its owners, the better. Most real estate sales professionals will turn to a search in GeoWarehouse to get the information they need quickly. A property ownership search can be performed in GeoWarehouse by leveraging different reports and searches to obtain the information that you need.

When requesting a Property Details Report in GeoWarehouse, you will get access to not only the sales on the subject property, but also the property’s PIN (Property Identification Number). Say you want to know how much the subject property is encumbered for, what current owners paid for the home, when they purchased it, etc.  Armed with the property address and PIN, you can request a Parcel Register in the GeoWarehouse Store and instantly identify who is on title to the property, the type of ownership, when they purchased the property, what they paid for it and any mortgages or liens registered.

This can make you more efficient in so many ways:

  • You can validate that the client engaging you actually is the homeowner. What does this mean to you? It means that, if there are other people on title, they are consenting to the sale of the property and that you in fact contract all of the relevant parties.
  • You can learn of encumbrances and liens on the subject property and protect your interests and other closing costs. What does this mean to you? Incredible time savings. You can quickly identify if your deal is in fact a practical deal and address financial shortfalls before investing your valuable time and energy into representing a client.
  • You can identify any prevalent issues that could impact the deal from closing. What does this mean to you? There is nothing worse than being at the 11th hour on a closing and getting a call from the real estate lawyer advising you that there are issues on title that will prevent your deal from closing. Seeing what is on the Parcel Register will greatly mitigate this and enable you to assist your client to resolve any issues well before your closing date.

Validating property ownership can play a key role in any real estate transaction, and having this information will lead to increased efficiency and a smoother closing.

We want to hear from you. Have you ever had a deal go south on closing because of title related issues?

If you would like more information about GeoWarehouse, please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937.

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Mortgage Rates IncreaseAs Canada’s housing market continues to thrive, it appears that CMHC has taken yet another step to cool things down. This week, the Financial Post reported on the changes that CMHC announced which will restrict the amount of new guarantees it offers to banks and other lenders on mortgage backed securities.

CMHC advised the financial community of the restrictions this month. In the Financial Post article, Doug Porter, chief economist with the Bank of Montreal, surmised that perhaps the sales prices in the past month led CMHC to take an additional step to further cool the housing market.

According to National Bank financial analyst Peter Routledge, this change may lead to mortgage rates charged by the major banks increasing from between .15% to .45%.

Our question to you is: if the major banks raise their rates, what impact do you think this will have on the real estate market in Canada?

You can read the full article here at http://business.financialpost.com/2013/08/06/cmhc-restricts-levels-of-new-guarantees-for-banks-and-mortgage-lenders/.

If you would like more information about GeoWarehouse please visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937.

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TREB-Market-Watch-LogoTREB has released their analysis of June 2013’s housing numbers through their monthly TREB Market Watch video and the numbers are looking good despite last year’s changes to CMHC lending guidelines.

Jason Mercer, Manager of Market Analysis at TREB, stated that more than 9,000 sales were reported on the MLS system in June – which was a decrease of about 1% in comparison to June of 2012. This rate of decline was substantially less than what was reported in the first quarter. Mr. Mercer surmised that this was due, in part, to households adjusting to the tightened CMHC lending guidelines that were announced last year.

He also indicated that, inside Toronto, the land transfer tax continues to weigh heavily on the minds of folks looking to buy, and this could be the single consideration that pushes a homebuyer to look at buying in the 905 area.

With sales slightly down, the average sale price of a home rose 5% year over year, to an average sale price of over $530k, due to continued demand.

You can view the full TREB Watch video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUK015OspnE

Looking for sales history information on a particular property or neighbourhood? Login to GeoWarehouse to find all of the information you need to investigate a particular property or community. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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