When working on a deal, one of the strongest assets you have is your own intuition. Sometimes your client will say things or provide information that may lead you to believe that there may be more to their story – as it relates to the property.
Always trust your intuition and if something doesn’t seem quite right, it may be time to dig a little deeper. Technology has made it that much easier to do so and a few clicks of the mouse can lead you to valuable information that will help you get the answers you need.
Here are some tips for gathering more information about a property or a client:
- Property Sales History – The property sales history is an excellent way to identify potential fraud as it relates to a property. Pay attention to transferees (were they arms-length or is there a transferee who is a corporation?) and also times between transfers (has the property changed hands multiple times in a short period of time?). These are the very same things mortgage agents and lenders look at when underwriting a deal, so even if there isn’t something nefarious going on you are in a position to ask questions and provide broker partners with this information as it could interfere with the buyer getting property financing.
- Parcel Register* – Have you looked at registered mortgages and now have concerns that the seller may have financial issues? Perhaps checking the property for liens is a good idea. Income tax, property tax, construction and condo liens occur often. You can quickly find out as of the day in question if a lien is registered on title to any given property in Ontario by requesting a Parcel Register*, which can be obtained online.
- Instrument Image – Have you uncovered a lien and want further information, such as the individual or company who registered it? This can be obtained by requesting a copy of the Instrument Image online.
- Registered Plans & Private Surveys – Are there discrepancies in property measurements, what your client thinks vs what you have uncovered through your research? Perhaps there is no survey at all. An existing plan may meet your needs and save the cost of a new survey.
- Condo certificate – Maybe you’re concerned that there is more you need to know about a particular condo development or perhaps your client has indicated that there are condo fee arrears. Historically, obtaining a condo certificate was a drawn-out, paper-laden process – but not anymore. Now you can obtain a condo certificate online to quickly get answers to all questions related to the financial positioning of the condo corporation, the condo in question, as well as bi-laws and more.
Fortunately, thanks to technology, the sky is the limit where digging deeper is concerned as most information is available online through GeoWarehouse. Find out more about the NEW GeoWarehouse by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca or calling 1-416-360-7542.
*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.