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Archive for the 'Real Estate Tools' Category

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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DMTI Spatial has announced the launch of its new Location Hub® service with enhanced condo information provided by Teranet. This new report makes it easier for companies to better manage their condominium concentration risk through an enhanced condo building database.

DMTI Spatial noted: “We are excited to add this enriched data source into Location Hub web services as it provides valuable location-based insights down to the condo building and unit level,” said Paul Franc, general manager, vice president of sales. “This is a key data set our clients value for sophisticated market and risk analysis. Having the ability to understand the number of unique condo buildings and the total number of units with a specific market will give companies involved in this market space the ability to power their analytic/BI needs within critical workflows to help with risk mitigation and market penetration.”

Teranet is excited about this new partnership!

Find out more by visiting https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/dmti-spatial-enhances-location-hub-144500001.html.

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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 www.geowarehouse.ca today.

 

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November 25, 2015

geo2Sometimes basic due diligence can uncover things on a real estate deal that would otherwise open a can of worms and trigger a chain of actions that can become a major pain! Unfortunately, in real estate, from people who don’t accurately recount their information to out and out fraudsters, due diligence is one vital activity that is the burden of every real estate sales professionals.

Most real estate sales professionals, at the very least, when taking on a new listing will perform a property search to validate that their client is the legal homeowner. Now, some real estate sales professionals will go a step further to validate that the mortgages registered against a property match what the client disclosed at the time of engagement.

One very common thing that can come up on a new listing is an undisclosed mortgage or lien on the property being listed and depending on the amount borrowed/owed it could consume some or all of the property’s equity – in the worst circumstances, not even leaving anything left to pay commissions and closing costs.

Your due diligence may begin with a basic property search that could generate information that leads you to want to do some more digging. The next step in the evolution of due diligence in this regard would be to look at a Parcel Register*.

A Parcel Register* is going to tell you the legal owners and type of ownership, legal description, registered encumbrances – not exclusive to mortgages, these could be liens, easements and other types of registrations.

Should something solid be revealed on a Parcel Register* you can now go back to your client and question them. Perhaps there is a lien registered and they have the money to pay off the lien – but don’t have the contact information for the registrant.

The next step in the evolution of due diligence is to look at the Instrument Image associated to the registered lien in question. This will provide you with the registrant’s complete information including how to contact the registrant or their legal representative.

Next you may want to have a look at the sales history – particularly the amounts of transactions and who the buyers and sellers were.

Taking the basic measures above will ensure that you are spending your time working on good quality deals that have a high probability of closing which in the end makes you more profitable!

GeoWarehouse has the tools for both basic and more in depth due diligence. Ensure that you are covered – protect your own assets. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca today.

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

 

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October 21, 2015

Being that ViMO is our little brother we thought it prudent to dedicate this week’s blog content to a fantastic new feature that the ViMO team at Teranet rolled out this past month.

As you likely already know, ViMO is a mobile app for real estate that real estate sales professionals use to market listings, collaborate and manage relationships with prospects, clients and partners, administer documents, research properties – and oh, did we mention… market to customers??

Your marketing is your bread and butter and we know it, which is why the developers continually add and develop new ViMO features.

Introducing the Market Intelligence Report!!

Using the Market Intelligence Report you can create customized reports about industry news and neighbourhood sales activities that you can market to:

  • Prospects – generate leads
  • Clients – nurture leads
  • Partners/Colleagues/Referral Sources – generate new relationships!

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Only GeoWarehouse customers can register for ViMO – Visit myvimo.ca to learn more about the Market Insights Report or about the full capabilities offered by the full ViMO mobile app for real estate.

 

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geo2The Bank of Canada has done it again and for the second time this year, cut the nation’s interest rate. Widely publicized, you likely know that Canada’s lending rate is now 0.5%!

This has been in reaction to an underperforming Canadian economy – but interestingly, not so much in the Canadian housing market. In August of 2015, the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index http://www.housepriceindex.ca/default.aspx reported an increase of 1.2% from the previous month, a 7 consecutive monthly increase.

So, the housing market appears to be bustling and interest rates are at all-time lows – is it time to seize the day? 2 ways to maximize your profitability is strong marketing and maximum efficiency in your internal workflow.

Here are our tips for how to see a strong finish to 2015:

Marketing your listings

Be everywhere! Posting your listings on the MLS isn’t enough anymore. Ensure that you register with mobile apps for real estate that are marketing tools, like ViMO, Zoocasa, etc. Make sure that your listings are showing there. The more exposure you get to your listing, the better.

Marketing the brand that is you – what makes you different?

Leverage social media and mobile apps for real estate to market yourself. Outside of being able to share helpful information with prospects nurturing leads that may not be ready to buy or sell, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and a go-to source for real estate information and questions. You also increase your accessibility and connectivity to clients, prospects, partners and colleagues. Talk about what makes you different. What tools you use, what you do that makes you different from other real estate sales professionals and the best choice! You can demonstrate this by what you share.

Use the best tools to get the fastest most accurate results

The best way to maximize results in a hot market is to maximize efficiency. The more you can do in less time, the more profitable you will be. Let’s talk technology again. When taking on a new client there is immediate research that needs to be performed both related to the client and the property. Tools like GeoWarehouse provide a central place to research a property or borrower and obtain a host of other searches and documents. This platform enables you to go to single place to validate all the information you need to determine if you can move forward with your client.

Get rid of the paper – embrace electronic document signing

Remember we talked efficiency? Thanks to recent changes to the Electronic Commerce Act this past summer, you can now sign real estate documents with your clients electronically. A minor investment in a tablet and a mobile app for real estate like ViMO sets the stage for you to make your transactions paperless – whether in a face to face meeting with a client or if you are transmitting documents back and forth.

We hope that these tips help you to seize the day while interest rates are at all-time lows. For more information about the tools mentioned in this blog please visit:

Teranet-National Bank House Price Index http://www.housepriceindex.ca/default.aspx

ViMO (mobile app for real estate) http://myvimo.ca/

GeoWarehouse (web based tool) http://www.geowarehouse.ca/

 

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Instrument Images and You

Author: GeoWarehouse
September 1, 2015

geoWhen you hear the words Instrument Images – do they mean anything to you? Why would Instrument Images be important if you don’t know what they are or how you could be using them? That is the very purpose of the blog you are about to dive into.

As a real estate sales professional you likely use one tool or another to run searches to verify legal home ownership information all the time. The place to get the most current, up-to-date home ownership information is through the Parcel Register*. While some think a Parcel Register* is a title search, it is actually just one part of a title search.

The Parcel Register* not only provides the home ownership information as it relates to the property but also a history of transfers, discharges and registered encumbrances. Each item will have a registration number which can then be used to pull an Instrument Image – an image of the actual document registered and associated to the transfer, registration or discharge.

To use an analogy, the Parcel Register is like popping the hood of a car but the instrument image is like putting the car up on the hoist!

The Parcel Register will show you the date, registration number, registrant (just name) and amount.

The Instrument Image will show you the registrant’s complete information as well as the lawyer who registered the registrant’s complete information and other details that would appear on the relevant document, whether it is a mortgage charge, mortgage discharge or mortgage transfer.

Not every situation will call for such in-depth research as requesting an Instrument Image – but some will, and having it will give you that much more knowledge and, after all, knowledge is power, right?

If you don’t know how to get Instrument Images already, here is a quick video:

 

 

Not a GeoWarehouse customer? Find out why you should be by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca.

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

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August 26, 2015

geoPreventing real estate fraud is a major challenge that most real estate sales professionals, and even lenders for that matter, encounter. Real estate fraud presents itself in many forms – some more common than others.

Title fraud: Though this doesn’t happen often, it is a costly form of fraud that one hopes they are protected against with their title insurance. As a real estate sales professional, do you want to be associated with the origination where title fraud is present on a deal? Absolutely not. The best ways to combat title fraud are to meet the borrowers, request identification, independently verify who is on title to the home and ask them questions about the home, sales history, even things in the area that may help you identify if something seems a bit off!

Value fraud: in a recent publication, the Law Society of BC had an excellent example of this type of fraud that we thought it would be prudent to share.

“Value fraud in this situation, back-to-back purchases of the same property are arranged from a legitimate vendor. The first purchase is for the arranged sale price — say $300,000. Then a subsequent (fraudulent) deal (from one fraudster to another) is arranged (i.e., a “flip”) for $400,000. Both purchases are set to close on the same day. The fraudster arranges for a high-ratio mortgage on the basis of the second deal. The high-ratio mortgage funds are used to close the real estate deals, since the amount of the mortgage (95% of $400,000 = $380,000) is enough to cover the deals. The fraudsters are counting on the financial institutions not doing their full due diligence or having an on-site appraisal done of the property to verify the stated property value. Sooner or later, the balance of the mortgage funds and the fraudster disappear, leaving the bank holding a mortgage for far more than the property is worth.”

“A second value fraud occurs when a legitimate agreement of purchase and sale is entered into between a vendor and the fraudster, say for $350,000. The vendor and the fraudster then sign a one-page amendment that provides a credit of $50,000 against the purchase price (stated to be for repairs). The fraudster does not disclose this credit in obtaining high-ratio financing. The deal closes and the mortgage payments stop shortly thereafter. The fraudster disappears with the balance of the financing leaving the bank with a mortgage greater than the value of the property.”

Check out the full article here: https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/page.cfm?cid=1347&t=Practice-Tips:-Fighting-back-against-fraud-%E2%80%94-the-risks-in-real-estate.

Here are some red flags that can help you to suss out a real estate fraudster:

  • A client is making a large property purchase with cash and cannot evidence this from the sale of another property.
  • The client has documents to confirm the property transfer but not the original purchase and sale agreement.
  • The property’s sales history is showing multiple recent purchases – each showing the value increasing.
  • The client doesn’t want to provide identification, or will, but doesn’t want you to make a copy of it.
  • The seller indicates that there was a deposit made that was not recorded on the purchase and sale agreement – with payment being made directly to the seller and not through you.
  • The client wants the transaction closed very quickly.
  • The client wants you to indicate a higher purchase price on the agreement than the actual purchase price.
  • The sale price is unreasonably greater than that of other homes in the area.
  • The title shows a history of mortgages being registered and then discharged in short time spans.

Above is just a short list of behaviours that can occur that can mean fraud. Your ears might be ringing but here come the words again: due diligence saves the day, most of the time. Think of water, forcefully flowing from the tap as your deals, now think of the spatter that escapes the stream as representing these instances when something on a deal is off. Maybe in these cases it is better to dig a little deeper and perhaps pass on a deal rather than getting caught in the middle of a fraud scheme that can not only get you in trouble, but also put your relationships with your partners at risk.

For more information about tools you can use to identify real estate fraud please visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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geoThis question is fair enough and asked often enough for us to blog about it. There are many different skilled professionals involved in a real estate transaction: you, the real estate sales professional, a lender and/or mortgage broker, a real estate lawyer and many more. You, however, are the first line of defense when it comes to the long list of due diligence measures that have to be taken to prevent mortgage fraud and ensure that good quality deals are taking place.

OREA defines due diligence as “the reasonable analysis or research that is done to check or verify material information about a property.” https://www.oreablog.com/2013/02/what-is-due-diligence/

Real estate sales professionals can and do choose how far they can go with due diligence, making it a time consuming and costly task on some deals. With all the tools and capabilities available, one could spend countless time and a significant amount of money performing due diligence – so is there in fact such a thing as too much due diligence?

One way to mitigate the time spent on due diligence is to evaluate what due diligence to perform and when you do it.

For example, common types of due diligence performed by real estate sales professionals include:

  • Verifying who the legal homeowners are
  • Obtaining a survey
  • Validating the legal description of the property
  • Reviewing the sales history on a particular property
  • Checking for encumbrances like mortgages and liens and more…

Once you know what needs to be verified on every deal, your next step is to look at how you can get it verified. This is going to come down to the tools and technology you use to perform due diligence. Place a monetary value on your time and pursue tools that do as many of the due diligence items you need to perform, in one place – even in a single report. This will reduce the need to do 5-6 things separately, instead doing them all together.

Finally, when should you do it? We firmly believe at the application stage. Once a client has made the decision to engage you, due diligence should begin. Again, getting back to placing monetary value on your time – wasting time on deals that have issues is not good for you or any of your colleagues along the supplier chain. Not only do you stand to save time and expense, but you also stand to save credibility by performing due diligence at the point where a customer signs on.

There can never be too much due diligence when it comes to preventing real estate fraud. Generally speaking, if you establish a standard framework to perform due diligence within a set time and expense parameter, you should never find performing due diligence too time consuming and should be able to get through it with ease.

For more information about GeoWarehouse, a revolutionary tool that helps real estate sales professionals perform due diligence, please visit www.geowarehouse.ca

 

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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 www.geowarehouse.ca.

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