Archive for the 'Real Estate Tools' Category

December 3, 2018

We are excited to announce new enhancements for the GeoWarehouse® solution.

Effective immediately, users will now be able to add several new features to their property search repertoire.

Available now:

  1. Basic Client Report

This new, one-page PDF report contains the most essential information. You’ll be able to get a short, but information packed, overview at your fingertips.

  1. Business Card Inserting

 Users can now insert their business cards into the PDF reports.

  1. Easier Condo and Townhouse Searches.

With condos and townhouses rising in popularity across the Canadian housing market this will help you find available properties faster.

  1. Insert Static Street View

 Users can now insert Static Street View images into PDFs.

  1. Saved LRO Available Across Multiple Browsers

Map window displays with saved land registry offices (LROs) are now supported across multiple browsers.

We have worked hard to make GeoWarehouse® a comprehensive solution for you. We hope you enjoy these enhancements when conducting property searches, accessing Parcel Registers and Instrument Images, and more.

If you have any questions, please call us at 416.360.7542 or 1.866.237.5937 or email us at GeoWarehouseFeedback@teranet.ca 

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November 23, 2018

The Canadian real estate market is in a state of fluctuation, which can make determining a listing price difficult to say the least.

Between rising interest rates, mortgage stress testing regulations, uncertain house prices, increased competition, and the like, there are many factors that might be affecting your usual process for determining property value.

That said, there are several practices that you can use to set a listing price no matter what is happening in the Canadian housing market. Here are our top picks.

  1. Assess the Property Details

This is step number one because it should be on your list regardless of market conditions. You need to understand the property details. For instance, what year was the home built? What data is included in the Land Registry?

In order to start thinking about your listing price, you need to know the answers to these questions and more.

  1. Get an AVM

You may have considered getting an appraisal done — this can be a great idea. But have you thought about an automated valuation model (AVM) report as well?

An AVM report can confirm home value, ownership, and other details quickly and efficiently. It can estimate property value by comparing and analyzing property characteristics against public record data.  It doesn’t replace an appraisal, but it is a good companion to one.

While an AVM can’t review interior and exterior property conditions, some include street view imagery that can help identify issues with exterior conditions, such as property boundary discrepancies. It’s great to leverage automation and historical data analysis to generate the latest information on pricing and ownership and create a big picture report.

  1. Consider the MPAC Assessment

MPAC is the largest assessment jurisdiction in North America. It determines revenue requirements, municipal tax rates, and property tax collection for the Government of Ontario.

An MPAC assessment isn’t always the same as a property appraisal, and often listing prices are different from MPAC’s valuation. That said, it is still valuable information that can be used in your determination.

  1. View the Sales History

Along with the property details, you will also want to consider the sales history. While today’s market may be very different from the last time this house sold (particularly if it is an older home), that data is still important to review.

  1. Look Up Comparable Sales

One of the best ways to determine home value is to see how comparable properties are selling. You can get a real-time view of what similar houses have sold for and use that to set your listing price.

You can also narrow your search by neighbourhood to specifically understand the area where you are selling. Certain regions will be more desirable based on factors like school proximity, parks, shopping areas, and the like. This will stay in style even with a market shift.

  1. Use a House Price Index

The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index is released every month with up-to-date information on house prices across Canada. This digs into 11 different markets and the house price trends those regions are experiencing.

This is important for you to know when making your assessment.

  1. Examine Market Insights

In a shifting real estate market, you want to stay on top of the latest real estate trends. For instance, if you know that condos are some of the most popular dwelling types for millennials, and you are trying to set a listing price for a condo in an area that appeals to millennials, that will help make your decision.

The Teranet Market Insights Report is released regularly and contains data that you can use for your property valuation needs.

While it may be simpler to set listing prices during non-turbulent housing market conditions, it’s still possible to do so in more uncertain times. Be sure to do your due diligence and assess information from multiple sources. Trends can change so fast that you need to stay on top of the data.

Luckily, GeoWarehouse makes it easy to stay informed up-to-the-minute. Our property reports take data from the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System (POLARIS), so you can trust the reports you receive are accurate and timely. They are also available almost instantly, so you can make a decision with the latest figures.

Learn all about our GeoWarehouse reports today. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

Want more information on determining a listing price? Download our free eBook, Digital Property Evaluation in 1-2-3! Get your copy here: http://www2.geowarehouse.ca/property-evaluation-general/.

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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 www.geowarehouse.ca today.

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

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November 6, 2018

Real estate sales professionals, do you serve the condo market in your sales territory? If not, you should consider starting. If you already do, read on for tips to help you sell even more.

In many cities, the condo market is a sweet spot because it is the cheapest entry point into the housing market. For example, in Toronto or Vancouver you can still buy property for $500,000 in the condo market — handy for new homeowners who would be priced out of larger homes.

Whether you are selling in the Toronto condo market, the Vancouver condo market, or another area, there’s a lot of room for opportunity — especially if you use a real estate tool like GeoWarehouse.

In the past, when real estate agents would search for a condo address, it would be difficult to source the unit or suite. Now, however, they filter by floor, parking, or even by storage level in GeoWarehouse to get the unit data they seek.

With these search functionalities, the possibilities expand. Now you can use GeoWarehouse to get the same property report information on the condo market that you would on other dwelling types.

For instance, you could:

  • See all condo units in a building.
  • Search by level if the suite number or address is missing.
  • Look up related Property Identification Numbers (PINs) for condos to find the property report, including plans and surveys, valuation information, and sales history.
  • Access the full legal description for every condo unit.
  • Find out if the condo owner has additional assets, such as parking or storage lockers.
  • Look up common name information.
  • Search for condominium corporation information.
  • Find the date of condominium declaration.

The GeoWarehouse data team has been hard at work updating the addresses for close to a million condo properties in the past year. Can you think of how you could use this information?

Access your condo market data today to use in your real estate marketing and property searches. It’s all part of your GeoWarehouse subscription.

Not a subscriber? Contact us today. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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There are many advantages to being a paperless real estate professional. And with electronic real estate technology, it’s easier than ever.

Traditional handwritten signatures can be an inconvenient process. You might find yourself scanning and faxing paperwork back and forth between agents. Electronic signatures can significantly improve your process.

  • It will save you money – you’ll be using less paper, less ink, and less staff resources.
  • It will save you time – there will be less back-and-forth between agents and parties.
  • It is safe – most electronic signature software is tamper-proof and permanent.
  • It preserves the quality of official documents – you’re probably familiar with how faxing documents (especially multiple times) can reduce the legibility of text.
  • You can close deals faster.
  • It complements other electronic real estate technology (more on this in a bit).

If you’re re-entering the real estate market, electronic signature technology is one of the most convenient new tools available. Many deals today are done over email – even money can be transferred electronically. Electronic signing allows you to offer more accessibility to your clients.

There are some great real estate tools available made specifically for electronic signing. DocuSign is one example. Whether you’re buying, selling, or refinancing, DocuSign helps centralize all of your real estate documents, and get electronic signatures to complete agreements faster.

As we mentioned above, going digital can complement other real estate tools in your arsenal. When you can organize and store most client data electronically, you can sync it with your other client databases and create a sturdy data system for finding new real estate leads, marketing opportunities, and more.

Paperless real estate technology is changing the game. Take GeoWarehouse for example. Our tools are completely accessible online, including property reports with information from the Province of Ontario Land Registration Information System (POLARIS), Parcel Registers*, condo status certificates, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about our services. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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Real estate appraisers, developers, and contractors, how do you determine property valuation?

Traditional property valuation and even automated valuation models (AVMs) have historically been geared towards estimating property value, but the digital property valuation of today is so much more.

Our FREE new eBook will walk you through how you can leverage technology to perform a digital property evaluation and reap all the valuable information therein.

This is eBook is perfect for anyone who regularly relies on unique property information, such as a sales history, property ownership information, or home appraisals.

In this eBook, you’ll learn:

  • What a digital property evaluation should include.
  • The critical components to success.
  • Ways to locate and ways to investigate a property.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly how to use property data to both investigate properties and identify new opportunities.

This eBook is available today for free. Just click here to get started downloading.

GeoWarehouse is your source for property searches and more. All of our data comes from the Province of Ontario Land Registry Information System, meaning that it’s accurate, up-to-date, and available when you need it.

Learn more about our digital property valuation tools today. Contact John Singh at 416-360-8863 ext. 2557 or email john.singh@teranet.ca.

 

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Real estate technology is creating a lot of advancements, including when it comes to property surveys. Did you know that you can often access land survey records online?

A survey can provide potential issues, such as fencing that extends past the property line, or an overhanging garage roof. In the past, obtaining a survey has been a major cost and inconvenience, especially when a new survey is required. But some services offer the ability to access online property surveys and plans.

A survey can also reveal important information to your client. For example, if they plan to put in a double garage, they’ll need to check if the property is zoned for one. Or maybe your client wants to use part of their property for a business. A survey can reveal these restrictions that may pose problems later.

Whether your client is buying or selling a house, a property survey may be required.

  • When buying a home, you might need to confirm that what is being sold is actually for sale.
  • When selling a home, you may need to confirm what land is actually available for sale.  
  • If considering building or renovating, permits for many exterior projects require survey plans.
  • Boundary disputes: a survey plan can help quickly resolve this.

GeoWarehouse offers online property surveys and plans, so if your client needs a survey, check our store first — we might have one available for the property in question.

In our online store, subscribers can access plan images, such as reference plans and plans of subdivision. This can help identify property boundaries and their location. You can also view an image of the Survey Plan portion of a Surveyor’s Real Property Report, Building Location Survey, or other undeposited Plan provided by third-party surveying firms. This can grant you dimensions of boundaries and structural elements on the land.

If a survey is available online, it can save you a lot of time and money and make you look even better to your client. Online property surveys cost a lot less than requesting a whole new survey! The time to get it is also vastly reduced as its delivered electronically.

Don’t let a sale be delayed because of a lack of survey — the next time your client needs a property survey, check online first. Search for surveys and plans in the GeoWarehouse Store. If you’re not already a subscriber, become one today at www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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July 9, 2018

Use Appraisal Technology to Boost Your Business

Do you want to become the “Agile Appraiser?” Besides sounding like a superhero name, increasing your appraisal agility will help you work faster, adapt to changes, and boost your client appeal. The secret doesn’t lie in a red cape or a radioactive spider bite, though — instead, it’s in your appraisal technology.

Real estate tools are enabling home appraisers to approach their profession and automate their workflows like never before. With streamlined tools, easy searches, and instant results, you can do more from your desk. Multi-property search functionality makes finding the data you need easier than ever.

According to Canadian Property Valuation Magazine, when they’re relevant to the appraisal, a desktop review can dramatically increase production rates (valuations/reviews per day). Most jurisdictions conducting a desktop review can complete it in approximately 10 minutes, whereas a site visit can take approximately 40 minutes, not including travel. This can allow you to spend more time in analysis, rather than building the data.

Don’t wait to get started. Want to become the “Agile Appraiser?” Here are the tools that will get you there:

  1. Access Property Details Virtually

Appraisal technology like the GeoWarehouse Property Details Report lets you access gives you valuable Land Registry information, MPAC Assessment data, property ownership information, sales history, images, and more. Plus, it’s completely customizable. Use this when determining a property’s market value — all the information you need in one place.

  1. 3D Virtual Property Tours

In many cases, you can view a property without ever stepping foot on it. StreetScape and PivotView Imagery lets you virtually “walk” around a property, even peering around corners. With crisp, clear images that can rotate 180 degrees, you can get a good overview of the site without leaving your desk.

  1. Surveys and Plans at the Click of a Button

Property surveys and plans can oftentimes be accessed online. Data includes legal boundaries, easements, encroachments, and rights of way, plus the location of physical buildings and structures and their dimensions. In our GeoWarehouse store you can access reference plans, subdivision plans, and condominium plans.

If you’re looking to increase your appraisal agility, you need high-quality, accurate, and dependable data. That’s where GeoWarehouse comes in. Our reports are easy to access, up-to-date, and most download instantly.

Find out how to become a GeoWarehouse subscriber today to access our appraisal technology. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca for more information.

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When the spring housing market heats up, you need to be able to react quickly. That’s where real estate technology comes in.

When a new real estate lead lands on your desk, you want to get the sales process started as quickly as possible, particularly in the busy spring/summer season. Luckily, gone are the days of long wait times and having to travel to in-person offices to access vital information. With real estate technology you can get the property data you need in real-time, all from the comfort of your computer.

Real estate tools not only can you save time and money in the sales process, but you can also take it even further — quickly identify new leads, determine property value, find out the property’s sales history, and much more, all with the use of technology!

Here are some ways that technology can help you stay flexible this spring/summer season:

  1. Show Properties Virtually, Right from Your Office

Some real estate tools, like the GeoWarehouse Property Details report, lets you show the property virtually. While a client will likely still want to see the property in person, being able to get an idea of the house online first can significantly narrow down your showings.

Technology like the GeoWarehouse StreetScape Imagery also lets you virtually walk around the exterior of a property. PivotView allows you to rotate the property 180 degrees for expanded views of the property.

  1. Rule Out Undesirable Neighbourhoods and Narrow Your Focus

Before you accept a listing, you want to make sure that it is one in your target market, or that there aren’t any glaring issues. The Neighbourhood Demographics Report can help you do that. Demographic data helps you learn about age distribution, marital status of residents, owned/rented properties, average household income, dominant language, and more. Not only can this help you weed out properties that aren’t in your wheelhouse, but it can also help you find areas that do fit your list.

  1. Detect Potential Fraud Early

The last thing you want is to go through the sales process only to find out that a client has an undisclosed lien or mortgage on their property.  A POLARIS Parcel Register* will tell you the Property Identification Number, the legal description of the property, the type of ownership, registration (instrument) numbers for items registered on title, and more. If you have an instrument number, you can also go further and obtain an Instrument Image*, an image of a registered document with the Land Registration System of Ontario. These could include liens, mortgages, transfers, and condominium declarations, among others.

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

  1. Easily Find Nearby Schools, Parks, and Other Amenities Remotely

If you have the time, driving or walking around a neighbourhood to see nearby community features is great, but it’s not always realistic. When you’re busy, going on a neighbourhood tour might not always be possible, especially if you have a client in the office asking you how close a house they’re looking at is to area schools. With technology like the GeoWarehouse Aerial Imagery, though, you can find out this information without leaving your desk chair.

  1. Determine Property Values When Listing or Evaluating Offers

With the GeoWarehouse Neighbourhood Sales Report, you can learn about the sales in the neighbourhood where the subject property is located. If you’re evaluating a property for listing or evaluating an offer on a home in an area that you’re not familiar with, this can be a big time-saver.

Real estate technology is constantly changing and adapting, but here at GeoWarehouse we believe whatever tools you choose they need to be easy to use, provide real-time data, and, above all, accurate. We’ve taken care to ensure our technology meets all three categories.

See all the features GeoWarehouse has to offer at www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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May 1, 2017

In an era when many lenders do not require a property survey when a mortgage is being organized for a buyer, and title insurance will suffice, surveys are still very relevant and the buyer benefits from having one.

Why would having a full survey be advantageous to the buyer even if they don’t need it to get their mortgage? A survey can reveal potential property-related issues on a deal like fencing that exceeds the property line or a roof from a detached garage that is over-hanging. These are issues that a buyer may want a seller to correct before a closing.

While the above issues, should they come up, may be resolved with title insurance – because they are pre-existing issues – then the next thing you have to consider is the what the buyer’s future plans for their property are. The buyer may have plans to do improvements on their home or property, such as a pool, a deck, an extension, etc. They may not realize that they’ll need a survey in order to complete them so it is always prudent when discussing the necessity for a survey to learn from the buyer what plans they have in mind.

Often, especially with older homes, it may come to light that the seller simply doesn’t have a survey. This could pose a real challenge because a buyer may demand it. If your seller doesn’t have it, it could delay or even derail your closing.

In any scenario, the seller will have to pay for a survey if they don’t have one, for whatever reason. The time it takes to replace the survey and cost will depend on a few factors. Here is what to do if your seller doesn’t have a survey:

Step #1 – Check to see if an existing historical survey is available online in GeoWarehouse. This is the path of least resistance because, if it is available, you can affordably obtain it for your client at the click of a mouse.

Step #2 – If it is not available online through GeoWarehouse, your next step will be to contact a surveyor or surveying company. Prices and timelines will vary by company – but first calling to see if they have a survey on file already can expedite the process and save your client money.

Step #3 – If it is not available online and the surveyor or surveying company does not have a copy of an existing survey, you will need to have one performed. This is the most expensive and time consuming scenario.

We hope that you have found this blog helpful and if you would like more information about how you can obtain a survey online please visit the NEW GeoWarehouse online today at www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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