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Archive for September, 2016

September 26, 2016

real-estate-sales-professional-smDifferent types of properties mean a different closing process and the difference between representing a buyer and a seller means different responsibilities when representing the client. Representing the seller is especially onerous because everything originates with you. The pressure is on…

In most deals, everything rides on the accuracy of the seller’s information, especially with regard to closing costs, meaning your commission, the other side’s real estate sales professional and sometimes even the mortgage broker’s commission will come out of the closing costs of the transaction.

When you represent the seller, you not only represent your client but you will also have to work and exchange information with the real estate sales professional representing the buyer, the mortgage agent or broker and the real estate lawyer – each of these professionals is going to look to you for accurate information.

Responsibilities to seller – your client

Don’t expect your client to accurately know their information. People live in their homes over extended periods of time so they may have forgotten or not even be aware of material facts that could impact the clean sale of their home. It is always a smart idea, at the point where you are engaged by your client, to perform preliminary research, including:

  • Verifying the legal description and property details, including the legal homeowners
  • Reviewing the property’s sales history
  • Reviewing the registered mortgages on title against your estimate list value

Optional extra steps that we recommend taking when representing a seller:

  • Obtain a Parcel Register* which will contain (as of the date it is obtained) the legal description of the property, homeownership information, registered mortgages, liens and more. This is an excellent snapshot of aspects of the property’s title that other parties to the transaction, including your client, will be interested in looking at.
  • A HomeVerified Report reveals information about the claims history on a particular property. A clean property report is an excellent selling feature that your seller can present to a prospective buyer.

Taking the steps to validate/review the above information enables you to do the best possible job for your client and shows them that you are more than committed to protecting them in the sale of their home.

Representing the seller – you are the first in the process and the buck stops at you.

Who is relying on you? The buyer’s real estate sales representative and the real estate lawyer are going to require information from you to ensure a smooth closing. The level of quality that you deliver providing complete disclosure and knowing everything there is about the property that is being sold helps increase the likelihood of all parties seeing the deal close.

At GeoWarehouse, we have the tools that make your responsibilities easy. Don’t take chances, get the information you need today.

Find out more by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca.

*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.

 

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September 20, 2016

protect-your-deal-smYou’re working on a deal with a 60-day closing. You work your way through the entire process, negotiating all required documents and aligning all required professionals. Closing day is approaching, but then boom, you hit a snag. The only way to predict your revenue is to know that all the deals that you are working are solid.

While some situations are completely out of your control, like a sale being conditioned on the buyer selling their home, or a buyer coming down with a serious case of buyer’s remorse, many of the reasons that deals fail are well within your control. Here are some of the challenges and how you can overcome them.

Buyer Financing Challenges

Buyer financing challenges can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a mortgage pre-approval is issued and then the client’s information changes or they have difficulty providing the information requested by the bank. Other times, the client incorrectly estimates their equity, leading to a smaller down payment than originally anticipated and even difficulty covering closing costs. The best way to overcome buyer financing challenges is to work closely with your broker partners to better understand what they will be looking for to close the mortgage and work with your client to meet these requirements as early in the closing process as possible. Want to strengthen relationships with your broker partners and create more alignment? Ask them what they need. What is required on every deal? Proof of down payment? Proof of income? The list goes on… Why not ask your client for this documentation at the mortgage pre-approval stage? Another step that you can take if the buyer is also selling their home or the proceeds for their down payment are coming from the sale of another property is to search the property in GeoWarehouse. You can validate the value of registered encumbrances to estimate the equity they will have available.

Disagreement Over Property Value

Gone are the days of a formal appraisal being required on all deals and hello are the days of Automated Valuation Models (AVM). Ever wonder why the bank often doesn’t order an appraisal? Over the past 2 decades, banks have come to rely on AVMs, which are essentially automated property valuations that generate a property value estimate. The buyer and seller can agree to whatever value they want, but if the bank runs an AVM that disagrees with the value then the deal will come to a grinding halt. The best way to overcome this challenge is to run your own automated valuation of the subject property in GeoWarehouse. Especially in hot urban markets like Vancouver and Toronto, it is not uncommon for bidding wars to push a property’s value far above what may be considered market value at the time of the offer and acceptance. Anticipating discrepancies in value enables you to prepare your client to have more down payment or plan in the event the bank doesn’t want to offer full financing.

Property Title Issues

Property title issues such as other people on title, the presence of liens, strange transfers or discharges, undischarged mortgages and many other title-related issues can emerge and quickly delay, and even prevent deals from closing. Don’t wait for the real estate lawyer to uncover these types of challenges – at this point you will be so far into the process that you will have incurred significant time and expenses, as will the other professionals involved in the transaction. Want to ensure that there are no title issues existing on your deal? Check the Parcel Register* first. This will reveal who the legal homeowners are, the type and percentages of ownership, registered mortgages, liens and more. You can quickly access a property’s Parcel Register* through the GeoWarehouse Store in GeoWarehouse.

Predicting revenue means anticipating/estimating what new business you want to bring in, and, just as importantly, that the business you have on the go is good business. Going above and beyond the call of duty for both your client and professional partners, from day one, makes it clear to all that you are a professional who maintains a strong commitment to getting the deal done!

Have you heard about the New GeoWarehouse? It’s coming soon and if you want to learn more visit www.earlyrelease.geowarehouse.ca.

*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.

 

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September 12, 2016

image-1-smWe think it’s pretty universal; there is one question, the main question, that every single homeowner would love the answer to: what is the value of their home? The answer to this question could literally be the determining factor in the homeowners’ decision to sell or stay in their home. This is especially true in super-hot urban markets like Vancouver and Toronto, their suburbs and even beyond – many homeowners have no idea what their home is really worth.

Look at Solange Bedoya for example, the matriarch of a family that moved to Barrie from bustling Toronto a few years ago. Her family’s main reason for buying in Barrie: affordability. Even when looking at increased transportation costs, the sheer cost of a home in Toronto when compared to Barrie made the decision a no-brainer. A mere 1½ hour Go Train ride or 1-hour commute in a vehicle means that many families are deciding to move outside even the immediate GTA suburbs to areas outside the city, which is resulting in home prices being pushed up in those areas.

Solange was recently approached by a real estate agent who asked her one simple question: would you like to know what your house is worth? Of course the answer was yes. Solange was stunned to learn that, in 3 short years, her property had increased in value by over $100,000. The most interesting thing about this interaction was that prior to Solange meeting that real estate sales professional, the thought of selling her home had not even occurred to her. After this interaction, it became a matter for consideration or at least a discussion with her husband.

Being able to tell clients what their home is worth is one talent that you have that you can leverage as a powerful marketing tool to attract new business – even cold business. Solange’s story shows us that this real estate sales professional, who was going door to door talking to owners about their home values, established new relationships that could potentially lead to future clients.

When the real estate professional was leaving, Solange said she didn’t hesitate to provide her contact information to the real estate sales professional who visited her and actually felt quite grateful for the insights she gleaned from the experience.

Targeting areas to market that have seen significant appreciation in value, quickly, are easier to identify than ever before. The very same tools that you use to research properties can also be used to target areas of interest. It’s always a good idea to have a tablet so that when out on the road, if you meet a client interested in talking to you about a potential sale price of their home, you can fire up your tools, like GeoWarehouse, and quickly access and provide the information needed to lead the conversation further.

With GeoWarehouse on your side, you can make endeavors such as this easier, and can take advantage of the possibilities hot markets present. Find out more by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca today.

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September 7, 2016

Parcel Register smThanks largely to technology, today’s buyer is far more informed. Many buyers have experience with real estate, both buying and selling, and they want – and – expect, full disclosure. Some buyers may even go as far as to ask for perfect title right on the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Buyers expect more and real estate sales professionals who want to remain competitive have to provide it!

One of the most insightful documents that you can obtain to get a really accurate snapshot of a property’s title is a Parcel Register*. The Parcel Register* is an electronic document that contains a host of valuable information, including:

  • The property’s PIN (Property Identification Number)
  • A legal description of the property
  • Who the legal homeowners are, the type of ownership and percentage
  • Easements
  • A history of property transfers, transferees/transferors, dates and amounts
  • Registered mortgages against the property – lender, registration date, amount and value
  • Registered liens – registration date, amounts and the individual or company who registered it
  • And much, much more…

Each item listed on the Parcel Register* includes a registration number. This can be used to pull Instrument Images of the actual document that was filed as it relates to the registration. An Instrument Image related to a lien, for example, will reveal further details such as contact information for the lawyer who registered the lien, in the event a discharge needs to be obtained.

A Parcel Register* is an invaluable document to obtain and even provide to your client on every deal.

Another very valuable report that buyers may find interesting is the HomeVerified Report. This is an insurance report that reveals information about a property or area based on insurance claims. For instance, if a property has had flood claims, it could be a sign that there are other problems with the property, or if the surrounding area is well known for a particular type of claim, this may also be considered a red flag. On the flipside, a clean HomeVerified Report gives your client added comfort that they are buying a good property, free of any issues.

If your client is buying a condo, a condo certificate is the best disclosure document that you can obtain to shed light on condo related matters, including the condo corporation’s financial standing, the condo’s financial standing and even restrictions related to the condo.

In this day and age, full disclosure is the name of the game and thanks to tools and resources, providing it is easier than ever.

Don’t get stuck without the information your clients want. Get it today by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca.

*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.

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