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Unfortunately, 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:
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 www.geowarehouse.ca today.
*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.