Archive for the 'Property Title Search' Category

2019 is right around the corner. A new year means a new approach — especially for property searches.

We’ve written about how the Canadian real estate market is in a state of flux. And that’s likely to continue in 2019. This means you need to evaluate the methods you’re using in your real estate business and look for a better way of working.

If the last time you reviewed your property search technique was when interest rates were still 0.5%, read on.

Tip #1: Be Non-Traditional

Traditional housing styles, like single-family detached homes, are still popular, but there are many non-traditional dwelling types rising in the ranks.

Condos, row houses, multi-family living, and the like are becoming the new norm, especially in larger areas.

Consider shifting your sales focus to include dwelling types you may not have thought about before.

Tip #2: Think Outside of the Box… or the City

Large cities like Toronto and Vancouver are still popular but are also some of the least affordable areas of the country. More and more people are opting to live further away and commute in for work… or potentially not commute at all if they have the option of working remotely.

Some people are leaving the GTA for homes in Niagara Falls, for instance. This may seem like a long trek, but if you only have to be in the office one or two days a week (or less) it may be worth it.

Don’t be afraid to consider properties outside of your normal selling area and tell clients about opportunities they might not even have thought about.

Tip #3: The More, the Merrier

Another trend that’s been blowing up in 2018: friends buying homes together and multi-generational living.

As homeownership becomes more expensive, some buyers are choosing to go in on real estate together rather than continuing to rent. This is happening across generations, from younger women buying a house together, to widows moving in together and hiring help rather than moving to an assisted care facility.

Check out this story about these modern day Golden Girls:

If a buyer is not finding anything in their price range, consider suggesting some outside-of-the-box living arrangements.

Tip #4: Use Demographics

A savvy property searcher doesn’t only look for dwellings that are already on the market. They put them on the market themselves.

While it’s ideal when a client approaches you for help selling their home, you can also source homes to sell by using demographic reports. For instance, if you search in your selling area for neighbourhoods populated by older couples with no children, you might identify properties where homeowners are looking to downsize.

If you find a neighbourhood popular with millennials, they may be considering starting a family soon and looking for more space.

Demographics can tell you a lot about potential clients and help you discover leads before they are even on the market.

Tip #5: Get Social

Networking has always been one of the most important parts of a real estate professional’s job, and social media has made that easier than ever.

Join neighbourhood groups, participate in discussions, and look for connections online. If you don’t have a social media presence already, start one. If you do have one, consider how you could be making better use of it.

Social networking can help you find new leads and clients before they come to you. See a friend or neighbour who is thinking about starting a new business? Message them to chat about commercial space opportunities.

Have an acquaintance welcoming a baby? You might consider sending a gift basket and asking if they are considering looking for more space.

Tip #6: Review the Tools You’re Using

Are you using the most accurate, up-to-date property search technology available? It may be time to reassess the tools that you’re using for your searches.

For instance, GeoWarehouse’s property data comes from the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System (POLARIS). The information you receive is the most accurate you’ll find. Plus, it’s updated in real time, so you can trust that you’re receiving the latest numbers.

If you’re serious about upgrading your property search techniques, consider switching to GeoWarehouse!

Want to learn more about our tools? Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit

November 12, 2018

A Parcel Register* is an important part of any real estate sales professional’s arsenal.

With one search, you can find an incredible amount of information about a property.

Many real estate agents and other professionals use Parcel Registers* to find the:

  • Legal property address. This is important for contracts.
  • Property identification number.
  • Legal homeowners. Sometimes other people are on title that aren’t disclosed to you.
  • Types and percentages of homeownership. A joint tenancy is the most common, but there can be other strange ones that can come up, such as “life interest.”
  • Registration and transfer history. This can identify real estate fraud and other issues.
  • The dates, parties to and amounts of transfers and mortgage registrations. This can identify undischarged mortgages that can delay closings, higher mortgages than disclosed, and the like.
  • Liens and charges on title.
  • Other registrations that you may want to look into, like strange restrictive covenants and easements. If there is an instrument registered against the property, you can also take your investigation a step further and get an Instrument Image*.

Some real estate sales professionals use Parcel Registers* only when something feels “off” about a deal. This is by no means a bad strategy — you need to trust your instincts, especially if you’ve been in business for a while. Even if nothing turns out to be untoward, it’s still vital that you do your due diligence.

Other real estate sales professionals use Parcel Registers* for every deal, whether something feels off or not. This can also be a good strategy. After all, you know the costs of a bad deal going through or of having trailing liabilities. A Parcel Register* gives you an easy way to vet your clients and property information.

At GeoWarehouse, our Parcel Registers* come from property data taken directly from, the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System (POLARIS). You can trust this data is the most accurate information available.

Want to dig deeper? Parcel Registers*, as well as Instrument Images* and many other documents, are available online through the GeoWarehouse eStore.

Visit today.

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


Who Registered the Property Lien?

Author: GeoWarehouse
June 13, 2016

geo1You worked hard to land your deal and know you are excited to get the property sold. Now it’s due diligence time. You not only need to research the property, you also you need to look into your client. There is no better time to do so than at the very beginning!

You turn to your tools and begin looking at the property, sales history, sales comps and other initial checks and balances. Check. Check. Check. Things are looking good.

Now it’s time to vet the financial positioning on the property. The financial information on the property details report revealed that the client has 3 mortgages registered! Could these be a sign that the client has an underlying financial problem?

You decide to run a Parcel Register* and search and the worst outcome happens – there are 2 liens registered against the property. One lien indicates a company name and the other an individual’s name. You ask your client and they have no idea what you’re talking about. It is time to dig deeper. At this point, a consent for third parties to disclose information to you makes sense because further investigation will be needed and you don’t want to be blocked by third party privacy concerns.

Suddenly, you feel that you have been launched into a game of Deal or No Deal. Depending on what is potentially owed on the liens, there could be no equity left to pay you. What started out as promising has now become potentially problematic.

You have to find out who registered the lien and the amount required to get it discharged. The only way to find out who registered the lien is to get the details about the individual who registered it – this would be your starting point.

At this point, you have to go back to your tools. In the GeoWarehouse Store you can use the registration number of the lien to request an instrument image. This document will reveal the party who registered the lien, which is usually the lawyer who represents the person who is owed, as well as their contact information.

Now you can write to the other side to request what would be required to discharge the lien. Do not count on the amount registered on title, as the balance could be greater. If your client has not been making payments or the lien registrant has not been successful in collecting then expect new interest, potential penalties, legal fees and discharge fees to get the lien removed.

A registered lien can cause big problems throughout the process, and too much money owing elsewhere can lead to a client’s inability to pay you – which is always to be avoided. GeoWarehouse can help you identify issues at the very beginning.

Find out more by visiting

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


geo1When a real estate lawyer performs a property title search, one of the most critical documents they rely upon is the Parcel Register*. The Parcel Register* is a document that provides significant details about a property and its financial history. Real estate lawyers are not the only professionals who have access to Parcel Registers* – you do to.

While you likely would not perform a complete title search on a deal (that is the real estate lawyer’s role), requesting a Parcel Register* will give you great insight and enable you to identify potential problems with respect to your deal – problems that could surface later.

While there is so much information in a Parcel Register* that is useful, today we wanted to provide you with a 5 Point Parcel Register* check with some of the most important:

1. Legal Description of the Property – Verify the legal description of the property.

2. Property Ownership and Type of Ownership – Validate who is on title to the property as owners, as well as types and percentages of ownership. Sometimes other people can show up on title, even in a very small percentage of ownership, but if this happens it can present a real issue. Sometimes your client may honestly have forgotten that a parent or guarantor is on title.

3. Registered Mortgages – Review all registered mortgages, dates registered, amounts and who issued the mortgages. This can reveal if the property is encumbered which is an issue when it comes to paying closing costs from the proceeds of a sale. Discovering this at the point when a client is engaged enables you to make financial arrangements with your client.

4. Transfer History – Review the property’s transfer history to see the number of transfers, from/to information and transfer amounts. Too many transfers in a short period of time and many non-arms-length transfers could be a sign that, at the most, real estate fraud is present and, at the least, something is off and digging deeper makes sense.

5. Undischarged Encumbrances and Liens – Review the property for liens and if it seems that there are more mortgages on title than what the client told you, it could be that they are simply undischarged mortgages (not owing, but still registered). Undischarged mortgages can be a real pain because they will have to be discharged before your deal can close.

As you can see, a Parcel Register* is your frontline resource for discovery. Don’t get stuck not knowing – this could cost you time and money.

Hopefully you have found this blog helpful and please note that you can obtain a Parcel Register* right in the GeoWarehouse Store.

Not a GeoWarehouse customer? Find out why you should be! Visit

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




geo2Have you heard the buzz about the new GeoWarehouse? The buzz is with merit because GeoWarehouse has been redesigned to bring you a new and improved customer experience!

A major change is the new enhanced mapping and search capabilities. A new ‘Single Search Bar’ makes it easy to perform a search by address, name, PIN or ARN that also includes recent search activity! You receive real time suggestions as you type your search criteria into the new Single Search Bar. Faster, easier searching – that’s what we’re talking about.

Now, we mentioned property search capabilities on overdrive and we meant it. Do you like searching using the map? New improved map search means that you can perform a ‘Single Click Map Search’, receive quick links to the property report and check out full screen street view. You can use the new location detection feature to quickly find other properties near you.

These changes have been made to make performing searches that much easier. If you are interested in participating in the beta of the new GeoWarehouse visit



geo1This week we are getting back to basics! Why? Well, when it comes to this topic, it is one that real estate professionals get confused with all the time. Property title search or Parcel Register*: many think they are one and the same when in fact they are quite different.

The Parcel Register* is an electronic document that contains the transfer and financial history of a property -along with a host of other important information. Often when real estate sales professionals refer to getting a title search, they actually mean Parcel Register*. However, a Parcel Register* is actually just a part of a property title search.

Real estate lawyers commonly perform a full property title search as part of a real estate closing with the Parcel Register* being one element of the full search. Title insurance however has eased this burden and often real estate lawyers won’t perform a complete title search as many things are protected by title insurance. That being said, they will always obtain a current Parcel Register*.

The Parcel Register* is actually one of the most helpful documents in the real estate process because it contains the most current information available and includes a lot of useful information. Some examples include:

  • A legal description of the property and property identification number
  • The legal homeowners of the property
  • The type and percentage of ownership
  • A history of property transfers and transfer amounts
  • A history of registered mortgages and registration amounts
  • Any property liens and more

This is a great way to validate that your client is the legal homeowner. You can also validate that there is enough equity to pay for your services and that there are no financial issues present that you aren’t aware of – not to mention those instances which sometimes arise where something shows up on title that the client is unaware of. This is why many real estate sales professionals will obtain a Parcel Register* when engaging a new client.

You can help your client dig deeper – this is a great practice in due diligence.

Anything registered on a Parcel Register* contains a registration number. You can then use the registration number of any transfer or charge and request the according instrument image. This will enable you to see the document that was registered and the name and contact information of the representative of the party who registered. You can use this to help your client resolve issues that could cause a problem on closing before it gets that far.

So, when you want to verify something simple, know that you don’t need a full property title search to do it. A Parcel Register* can often give you the pertinent information required without doing a full property title search.

GeoWarehouse gives you easy access to the Parcel Register*. To find out more visit

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




geo1If there is one thing that can impact a real estate closing, it’s the discovery of a lien. Often liens are revealed on closing when the real estate lawyer performs searches to certify clear title to the new buyer. Does the real estate lawyer request a lien search? Actually, the real estate lawyer will perform two searches:

  1. An execution search to see if there are any judgements against the party’s name
  2. A Parcel Register* to see if there are any liens registered on title

A Parcel Register* is an component of a property title search which reveals a host of information, including:

  1. Who legally owns the property
  2. A history of property transfers
  3. Registered mortgages
  4. Easements
  5. Liens and more…

Amongst other things, the Parcel Register* provides somewhat of a financial snapshot as it relates to the property. The Parcel Register* contains the most current information available which is why real estate lawyers rely upon it when certifying title.

In Ontario, Teranet is the exclusive provider of land registry data and so real estate lawyers use a software called Teraview to request searches like a Parcel Register* and eventually electronically transfer title once the deal closes.

Real estate lawyers are not the only real estate or legal professionals using Parcel Registers* in the course of their day-to-day activities. Mortgage brokers and real estate sales professionals have also begun to rely on the Parcel Register* as an integral part of the real estate closing process.

Most real estate professionals and mortgage brokers alike are paid on a real estate deal, when the deal closes. Commissions and fees are deducted from the proceeds of sale. When a lien comes up on closing an immense amount of time is wasted: the real estate sales professional, mortgage broker, lender and real estate lawyer are all vested in the deal and at risk of losing.

The sooner the Parcel Register* is requested, the better, because the earlier a lien is discovered in the process, the sooner it can be resolved. Your client may not even know that there is a lien – this is very common with tax liens. The presence of a lien doesn’t mean that the deal is over either. Though a closing date being missed because of one is inconvenient and in some cases expensive, a real estate sales professional can work with their client to resolve the issue before the 11th hour.

Also, a lien that consumes all of the property equity and can’t be resolved means there is no equity to pay you! Working on a deal and want to request a lien search? Access the GeoWarehouse Store to obtain a Parcel Register* today.



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



geo1Your life is fast paced. You have to navigate between driving in new leads, representing buyers, dealing with showings and open houses, negotiating offers and more – we don’t need to tell you, you know what a day in your life looks like…

The faster you can get your job done, the better. Thankfully, gone are the days of having to manually go through MLS listings to research properties and generate sales comparables thanks to technology bringing us new tools and capabilities that do more.

In today’s market, many real estate sales professionals perform property searches on any deal because they: validate homeowner information, registered mortgages, property sales history, sales comps, neighbourhood demographics and more…

A property search is a must because is serves so many purposes:

Representing a buyer

Property searches are used:

  • As a marketing tool
  • As an information tool for clients
  • When a client wants to make an offer you can check the property to ensure that there is equity to cover closing costs, including your commissions

Representing a seller

Property searches:

  • Enable you to verify that your client is the person listed on title
  • Enable you to check if the property has sufficient equity to pay you
  • Can be used as a marketing piece in open houses and to send to other real estate professionals

Running a property search means that you will waste less times on deals that are no good and even mitigate the likelihood of taking on a client who plans or is in the process of committing real estate fraud. You also become more efficient because instead of looking for the information in many different places the property search consolidates everything into one report. It is also an amazing marketing tool.

Property sales reports can be used to send to buyers who are in the market, either by email or as discussion tools when on the road with clients (if you don’t already have the ViMO app). Your property details report represents excellent value to sellers because it is a report that can be generated at a click and emailed to the buyer’s real estate sales professional.

With a property sales report from GeoWarehouse, you can be sure that all the relevant and required information you need is obtained, protecting both yourself and your clients.

Not a GeoWarehouse customer yet? What are you waiting for? Find out more today about all the benefits of the tools available through GeoWarehouse, including the property sales report. Visit today.



landing good real estate dealsDeals go POW all the time…. Most times deals go POW when they weren’t “a deal” in the first place. Landing good real estate deals depends upon discerning good deals from POW-destined deals right from the get-go.

What does that mean? Well, when you meet a client and conduct a new client interview, the prospective buyer or a seller provides you with available personal information. But at this point in your relationship with them, the information provided is all you have with which to assess them…. So what do you do next?

Often times, a client may often innocently omit information they could have provided you. Many times a prospective client could have been confused or simply forgot about other documents that would have been of appropriate interest to you. Other times a prospective client may intentionally omit providing information he or she well knows positions them to reap some personal gain, perhaps even at your expense.

Whether you are trying to prevent fraud or simply keep a deal from going POW, you should perform your due diligence at this crucial application stage. So what information is vital to confirm at the application stage? Here are some essentials:

Verifying a Seller’s worthiness

  • Verify your client’s identification by asking to see it
  • Verify that your client is the legal homeowner
  • Verify that your client is the only legal homeowner and if they are not, insist on knowing who all other legal homeowners are
  • Check registered mortgages to ensure that there is enough equity to pay for closing costs (including your commission)
  • Check the sales history on the property to make sure that there is no funny-business or reason to suspect the property has issues

Verifying a Buyer’s worthiness

  • Check the client’s identification
  • Ensure that your client is able to finance a mortgage
  • If a client tells you their purchase depends on the sale of their other property – check that the other property has enough equity to finance the purchase of another (including land transfer taxes and related closing costs)

Conducting an airtight interview is the first vital component to your landing a good real estate deal as a real estate sales professional. Utilize tools to validate information about your clients ahead of all other business to pave the way for a successful deal – and close. Some real estate sales professionals perform due diligence at various stages in the real estate process and for good reason. If something comes up the deal could go POW.

Even if the client provides you with documents like the deed or MPAC assessments – you should still independently verify all information provided by a client or prospective client. Tools like GeoWarehouse, Google and even the MLS are great ways to do this and can save you substantial money and headaches in the long run!

For more information about how you can validate the information your client provides to you please visit


Property Title SearchEvery real estate transaction will involve a title search; all parties involved in the transaction (the Real Estate Sales Professional, the mortgage broker, the lender and the real estate lawyer) will require a property title search for different reasons.

Historically, the Real Estate Sales Professional, mortgage broker and lender would rely on the real estate lawyer to perform the property title search, as it is one of their formal responsibilities. The only challenge is that sometimes, when the real estate lawyer performs the property title search, issues can arise that can complicate and delay closing; in some cases, these can even prevent a deal from closing altogether.

Advancements in technology have made relevant aspects of a property title search available to land professionals, like Real Estate Sales Professionals.

GeoWarehouse provides Real Estate Sales Professionals with online access to Parcel Registers which are an integral component of a property title search. Parcel Register data comes from the POLARIS database and is the most current and accurate information of its kind available. Accessing a Parcel Register online saves you an incredible amount of time and provides you with an abundance of information, including the legal description of a property, the property’s PIN, property owners, types of ownership, a history property of transfers, liens, and mortgages.

A Parcel Register helps you uncover issues that may delay, complicate or prevent a real estate transaction from closingsuch as:

  • Un-discharged mortgages – Too often mortgages that are paid off do not get formally discharged by the lender’s lawyer.  Un-discharged mortgages must be discharged before a future real estate transaction can take place.
  • Liens or encumbrances (property tax arrears, condo fee arrears, construction liens etc…) – liens often come as a complete surprise to sellers and it should be identified if they exist.
  • Other people on title.
  • Lack of property equity – if a seller has no property equity they cannot pay you. Finding this out quickly is important to see if there are other arrangements that can be made for payment, otherwise you may want to pass on the client.
  • Restrictive covenants, easements, and other registrations…

Issues like previously un-discharged mortgages that ended up being paid off can be overcome by obtaining proof and providing it to the lawyer, as can liens that have also been paid off. However, other people on title who do not want to consent to the sale of the propertyor insufficient equity to cover real estate and legal closing costs, can stop a deal dead in its tracks.

While it may end up ultimately being the real estate lawyer’s responsibility to perform the property title search, it pays to perform a Parcel Register and identify any potential issues, determine if they can be addressed, and address them long before the transaction ends up with the real estate lawyer. This will lead to higher closing rates, better time management (you will not be wasting time on deals that won’t close), strengthened relationships with partners, as more of your deals will close, and heightened due diligence that will prevent you from taking on clients who are unable to pay for your services.

If you would like more information about how you can obtain a Parcel Register online please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.


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