Archive for the '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.


For a limited time only, you could win a $500 Best Buy gift certificate when you order property reports from the NEW GeoWarehouse e-store!

You get one contest entry for every property report purchased from the GeoWarehouse store. If you purchase a Parcel Register* you get two contest entries.

The contest is on until August 31, 2018.

In the GeoWarehouse store, you can access title search products from the Province of Ontario Electronic Land Registration Information System (POLARIS), MPAC reports, condo status certificates, property surveys, and more.

The GeoWarehouse e-store is open to real estate sales professionals across Canada. To learn more about the e-store, check out our video here.

Have questions? Our GeoWarehouse team is happy to help. Call 1-866-237-5937.

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


September 18, 2017

Without a doubt, a Parcel Register* is many things, but it’s not a title search. It’s part of a title search and is one of the most informative and accurate information snapshots of registrations that exist against a property.

A Parcel Register* is a record containing the property’s description and list of instruments registered against a property within the Land Registration System of Ontario as of the date of the property search. That’s a real-time, up-to date-report. The Parcel Register* includes:

  • A 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
  • A history of registered mortgages
  • A history of registered liens
  • And so much more.

Did you know that the Parcel Register* is the fastest, most accurate way to find out if there is enough equity to pay you? That’s an important factor in every real estate transaction, don’t you think?

Are there other people on title to a property not disclosed to you? Are there challenges with equity or surprise information you and your client may not have known? Obtaining a Parcel Register* can help answer these questions.

Also, if you want to know if there are any registered mortgages against a property, a Parcel Register* can tell you the lender, registration date, amount and value. Want to know if there are any registered liens? With a Parcel Register*, you can find out and get information on the registration date, amounts and the individual or company who registered it.

This is powerful information for a real estate sales professional when trying to get the maximum amount of research available to help make informed real estate transactions. You can use it at any stage in the process – from listing to buying – but when your intuition suggests some more investigation, a Parcel Register* can help you make an informed deal.

When you simply want to confirm something, a full property title search isn’t required. With a Parcel Register*, you can get the right information required without doing a full property title search.

To learn more about how a Parcel Register* can benefit you, or want to find out how to order one, visit today.

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




geo-title-of-a-propertyUnfortunately, during the process of the real estate closing, it is not uncommon for things to come up that the real estate lawyer identifies – things that you likely wish you’d noticed far earlier in the process. Over the years, the role of a real estate sales professional has become far more onerous – some buyers even include in their offer that they expect perfect title – and so we continually strive to make things a little easier.

How can you investigate the title of a property when traditionally it is the real estate lawyer’s role to perform a property title search?

To better understand this is to better understand what’s involved in a property title search. When many think of a property title search they are actually thinking of the Parcel Register*. You can learn a lot about a property’s title before a deal even gets to the real estate lawyer simply by reviewing the Parcel Register*.

The Parcel Register* is a document that includes an abundance of information about a property. It tells you the legal description of the property, who owns the property, the type and percentage of ownership – but what’s more is that it shows you:

  • A history of property transfers, amounts and parties
  • Registered mortgages
  • Registered liens

Some things that emerge on the Parcel Register* could have caused a delay on your deal while other issues could cause your deal to come to a grinding halt!

For example – a very common occurrence that causes delays on a closing are previously undischarged mortgages on title. This commonly occurs when the homeowner has paid off the mortgage but the lender failed to discharge it from the property’s title. While this can be resolved fairly simply once discovered, it can take a week or two to do so which can impact a closing. Learning of the existence of undischarged mortgages long before closing enables your client to take the required steps to resolve the issue and they will thank you for it. In truth, most homeowners are unaware and simply assume when a past mortgage was paid off that it was discharged.

In other situations, a lien can emerge on title which can create a serious issue if the amount of the lien exceeds the value of the property, which is common with tax liens.

Reviewing a Parcel Register* removes questions and ensures that you know as much about the title of the property that is the subject of the deal that you are working on. This leaves you closing more deals and appearing as the stealth professional you are to your client!

Parcel Registers* are available through GeoWarehouse – and not just to real estate lawyers.

Find out more by visiting today.

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


November 21, 2016

title-searchReal estate sales professional: aka sales guru, aka legal eagle, aka property expert… need we say more? In your role, you literally have to be a jack of all trades – and master of them all as well. With so many parties involved in a real estate transaction, you are the first in line and everyone from your client to all the other professionals that follow are relying on you to get the job done. No pressure or anything…

The biggest challenge you have to overcome is the unknown. It is the unknown that leads to snags on deals that result in closing day surprises that can make a deal extremely stressful for all involved.

So how can we see what we can’t see? Before ironing out the how, we should first iron out the what. What can you look at that will help you to mitigate problems on deals and shine in front of your client? Most of what you will want to look for exists within a property’s title.

  • Who owns the home? Have all of the legal homeowners signed onto your engagement? Is your client the legal homeowner? This information is critical.
  • Is there enough equity to cover the closing costs? Have you checked (despite what the client is telling you) how many actual mortgages are registered on title? Is it possible that there are any liens?
  • Have you validated the property’s legal description?
  • Are there any nefarious transactions on title – strange transfers or discharges?

You may be thinking that these are things that you leave to the real estate lawyer. Not so. Digging deeper is like digging for dollars. For every deal that turns up with an issue, you need to be able to resolve it. If it can’t be resolved, you can quickly move on to deals that will close. Knowing is step one in conquering sure challenges.

As you know, when a real estate lawyer closes a deal they perform a full title search. What you may not know is that the information associated to aspects of a title search are available to you too!

Real estate professionals often confuse the difference between a title search and a Parcel Register*. The confusion: many think that the Parcel Register* is actually a title search, which is why some think it is the lawyer’s responsibly to review the Parcel Register* and therefore beyond their means to access it themselves. Once again, this is not so.

In fact, a Parcel Register* is part of a title search – it is one search/document that provides you with a snapshot of important property-related information at the time it is requested. It provides information such as the property’s legal description, legal homeowners, types of ownership, percentage of ownership, property transfer history, registered mortgages, liens and more…

Is obtaining a Parcel Register* part of your professional, legal and ethical obligation as a real estate sales professional? Short answer: accessing the information contained in one arguably is. While it may not be listed as a requisite, it probably should be!

Not only does digging deeper mean more dollars for you – it means more dollars for the real estate lawyer, mortgage broker, and mortgage lenders that follow you. It means going above and beyond the call of duty, forging stronger relationships and becoming known for the stellar job that you do.

We challenge you: go the extra mile for your client, dig deeper, work on the deals that can and will close and realize the true financial potential that awaits you.

*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.



geo1The grand debate – whose responsibility is what? On most real estate transactions there is a real estate sales professional, a mortgage agent/broker, a lender and a real estate lawyer. Each individual has distinct roles but there is some overlap in each.

A property title search is a classic example of this overlap.

Before we can explore this we first need to clear up what people mean when they say “title search”. A title search is in fact the function that the lawyer performs on closing that includes looking at the property’s transfer history, registrations, tax status, water status, survey and more… Lenders often require title insurance to protect the client from short comings in this regard as a result of a lawyer missing something.

When you hear mortgage agents, real estate professionals and even banks referring to a title search they often are referring to the Parcel Register*.

The Parcel Register* is an aspect of the title search that used to be most often performed by lawyers but in recent years have started being requested at earlier stages in a real estate deal by the real estate sales professional, mortgage agent or lender.

Why? Because the Parcel Register* reveals, as of the date of the search, who the legal homeowners are, the legal description of the property, the property identification number of the property, type of ownership, percentage of ownership, dates, registration numbers and amounts of registered encumbrances like liens, charges (mortgages), transfers and more…

The debate comes in because there is a cost associated to requesting a Parcel Register* and so whose responsibility is it to request one? Really it is not a question of responsibility – it’s a question of doing the best job for your client and due diligence to protect yourself by not wasting time on bad deals. A real estate sales professional should be looking at a Parcel Register* as part of their workflow while the lawyer should as their responsibility.

The Parcel Register* will let you know immediately if you are dealing with the legal homeowner and also if there is enough home equity in the property to pay you – whether it is their home or a home being purchased.

Obtaining a Parcel Register* shouldn’t be viewed as a hassle or someone else’s job when it is in fact an opportunity that only stands to benefit you.

The upside here is that Parcel Registers* are easy to obtain online if you’re a GeoWarehouse customer – just add this to your regular due diligence process and you’re off to the races!

Not a GeoWarehouse customer? What are you waiting for? Visit today to find out more about all the great tools waiting for you.

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



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