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What is a Property Title Search?

Author: GeoWarehouse
February 18, 2015

parcel registerWe often blog on this topic because it is a constant source of confusion for many involved in a real estate transaction – mortgage brokers and real estate sales professionals respectively. When many think of a Parcel Register* they reference it as a title search.

A title search is something that real estate lawyers perform. It is a series of searches and documents that are reviewed by the lawyer to certify that title is clear. That said, even a comprehensive title search can miss things, which is why title insurance has become so popular.

However, title insurance can’t prevent your deal from blowing up in your face because something comes up on closing. The Parcel Register* is the aspect of the title search that looks at the history on the property title – making those issues apparent before any real problems arise. A loose example would be kind of like a credit report – but for real property.

Here is what you can learn from the Parcel Register*:

  • The legal description of the property and PIN (Property Identification Number)
  • Who owns a home at the exact time you perform the search
  • The type of ownership
  • The history of title transfers, from/to information and names of sellers and purchasers
  • Registered mortgages – when they were registered, who registered them and the amount registered
  • Registered liens – when they were registered, who registered them and the amount registered and more….

Should something turn up on a Parcel Register*, you can then request an Instrument Image of a particular transaction and view pertinent details, such as the contact information for the registrant to resolve issues that can be resolved.

Sometimes a mortgage can show up on title which is in fact paid off but has not been discharged. When discovered, this type of issue can delay a closing, but if discovered early on can be resolved. Something like uncovering other people on title can enable you to obtain signatures from all legal homeowners. Reviewing registered mortgages may show you that your client doesn’t have enough equity in their home to pay your fees.

The benefits of the Parcel Register* for real estate sales professionals are vast. Here is a sample parcel register that you can review to see the formatting and how easy it is to review.

ParcelRegister-SAMPLE

To find out how to order a Parcel Register* and avoid issues early, before they become major problems, please visit www.geowarehouse.ca today.

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

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