Property Title Search or Parcel Register? Getting Back to Basics

geo1This week we are getting back to basics! Why? Well, when it comes to this topic, it is one that real estate professionals get confused with all the time. Property title search or Parcel Register*: many think they are one and the same when in fact they are quite different.

The Parcel Register* is an electronic document that contains the transfer and financial history of a property -along with a host of other important information. Often when real estate sales professionals refer to getting a title search, they actually mean Parcel Register*. However, a Parcel Register* is actually just a part of a property title search.

Real estate lawyers commonly perform a full property title search as part of a real estate closing with the Parcel Register* being one element of the full search. Title insurance however has eased this burden and often real estate lawyers won’t perform a complete title search as many things are protected by title insurance. That being said, they will always obtain a current Parcel Register*.

The Parcel Register* is actually one of the most helpful documents in the real estate process because it contains the most current information available and includes a lot of useful information. Some examples include:

  • A legal description of the property and property identification number
  • The legal homeowners of the property
  • The type and percentage of ownership
  • A history of property transfers and transfer amounts
  • A history of registered mortgages and registration amounts
  • Any property liens and more

This is a great way to validate that your client is the legal homeowner. You can also validate that there is enough equity to pay for your services and that there are no financial issues present that you aren’t aware of – not to mention those instances which sometimes arise where something shows up on title that the client is unaware of. This is why many real estate sales professionals will obtain a Parcel Register* when engaging a new client.

You can help your client dig deeper – this is a great practice in due diligence.

Anything registered on a Parcel Register* contains a registration number. You can then use the registration number of any transfer or charge and request the according instrument image. This will enable you to see the document that was registered and the name and contact information of the representative of the party who registered. You can use this to help your client resolve issues that could cause a problem on closing before it gets that far.

So, when you want to verify something simple, know that you don’t need a full property title search to do it. A Parcel Register* can often give you the pertinent information required without doing a full property title search.

GeoWarehouse gives you easy access to the Parcel Register*. To find out more visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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