Monday, 27 May 2013

How to Identify a Property’s Municipal Address

Identifying a property’s correct municipal address is one of the many things that you as a Realtor® have to do when representing a client in a real estate transaction. With FSBO and all of the ‘DIYers’ out there, sometimes a Realtor’s® role in a real estate transaction is underestimated. You know, the Realtor’s® role is multi-dimensional and requires a wide range of knowledge. Your clients look to you to help them find the perfect property, in a great neighbourhood, and then negotiate a great deal. In the meantime, behind the scenes you are performing property searches and research to make their home ownership dream a reality. 

The offer, acceptance of it and deal-closing process can be a long and grueling legal one that you, as the client’s Realtor®, administer. When working on a real estate deal you will need to have the property’s correct address but different sources may report a different address. What happens when you’re working on a deal and the address from the Land Registry Office doesn’t match the municipal address? Which address is correct? The municipal address is always correct, which is why identifying and confirming the municipal address of a property is important.

In a business as fast-paced as real estate it is important to have access to tools and technology to quickly validate information that your clients provide to you. In almost all cases clients unintentionally omit or provide you with information that is incorrect – which can happen more often than not. When you are provided with information that is incorrect, this can create problems when the time comes to close.

GeoWarehouse is a tool that real estate professionals like yourself use to validate client data. GeoWarehouse provides quick access to valuable data that answers most questions that a Realtor® may have about a property or neighbourhood. Case in point: the municipal address. By using GeoWarehouse you can access the GeoWarehouse Store where MPAC Assessment Reports are available for purchase. With an MPAC Assessment Report, in addition to other information, you can access the property’s municipal address with ease. 

For more information about determining the correct address of a property or about GeoWarehouse please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Key Take-Aways of Seminar for REALTORs and Mortgage Industry Professionals

Genworth Canada 2013 Homeownership Education Week Seminar 
Author Credit: Kiki Sauriol-Roode, VP, Strategic Alliances, Genworth Canada

On April 9, 2013, Genworth Canada hosted a half-day seminar for REALTORs and mortgage industry professionals. Craig Alexander, Chief Economist at TD Group, delivered the keynote speech about the current state of Canada’s economy and real estate market. His presentation was followed by a review of Genworth Canada’s annual Homeownership Study.

The results of the survey were discussed in a panel discussion featuring Phil Soper of Royal LePage, Stuart Levings of Genworth Canada, Henrietta Ross of the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services, and David McDonald of Environics Research Group. Following this discussion, Paul Belanger of Blakes LLP, and Mark Tamburro of Get A Better Mortgage Inc., deliberated over a number of probing regulatory issues. 
Here are some key take-aways from the seminar:

  • Canada has out-performed the U.S. during the economic recovery
  • The Canadian economy is expected to deliver moderate economic growth in 2013 and 2014
  • A soft-landing is expected in Canadian real estate.  Home sales have fallen in response to the tightening of mortgage insurance rules and slower economic growth, but there has not been a price correction (outside of Vancouver). This reflects the fact that listings have declined in tandem with sales.  The result is balanced market conditions in most Canadian cities
  • The effects of the recent tightening of mortgage insurance rules will abate with time. There is no catalyst for a major correction in real estate, as Canada’s labour market will remain healthy and interest rates will remain low
  • Consumers have reduced their willingness to take on additional debt. This will constrain household spending, but it is a healthy outcome and spending will likely continue to advance at roughly the pace of income growth
  • TD Bank does not expect interest rates to rise until late 2014 to early 2015
  • The exception would be if the housing market rebounds and it leads to acceleration in debt growth, in which case the Bank of Canada could be forced to raise interest rates sooner or the government could tighten mortgage lending rules further.  An option that does not get attention, but could be prudent, is a change in the qualifying interest rate
  • People are putting more money down, but people are also buying smaller homes – both indications that people are opting for more affordable mortgages
  • There is still a need for increased financial literacy among Canadians (27% do not know what their credit rating is)
  • The Canadian government was concerned with a rising debt-to-income ratio and changes to mortgage regulations were a quick way to address the issue
  • This is likely not the end of changes in the mortgage industry; much depends on how changes made to date continue to affect the industry
To find out more about Homeownership Education Week visit

Monday, 13 May 2013

Kobo Contest for Ontario Realtors®

Summer is here, so why not take advantage of the many great tools available on GeoWarehouse and win a Kobo e-reader at the same time. Ontario Realtors® who become fans of the GeoWarehouse Facebook page between now and the end of June will have the chance to win a Kobo – and it is as simple as clicking ‘like!’ GeoWarehouse provides real estate professionals with the tools necessary to increase your efficiency and productivity – all accessible online. GeoWarehouse simplifies the entire process – so why not get started today!

Monday, 6 May 2013

How to Get a Condo Status Certificate Online

Anytime a condo is sold the buyer’s lawyer will ask for a current dated condo status certificate. 

A condo status certificate is a large document that can be 100 pages in length or more. The condo status certificate must be provided when requested by an owner. It can come with an administrative charge, charged by the condo corporation at a cost of over $100, and can take up to ten days to be provided.

A condo status certificate is essential because it provides important information about the financial status of the subject condo (unit). It will provide the prospective owner with intelligence, such as whether or not the previous owner was up to date paying their condo fees, if there are increases in condo fees that are about to come into effect and if there has been a lien placed on the condo for any reason.

It also provides vital information about the condo corporation. This information includes by-laws, the amount of the reserve fund, the condo corporation’s insurance, minutes of the most recent annual meeting, disclosure of any lawsuits pending against the corporation, the condo corporation’s budget, and more. It can also reveal rules about the condo such as whether or not owners can have pets.

Historically, the process of obtaining a condo status certificate has been as follows:
1.     A REALTOR® or lawyer would request the condo certificate from the condo corporation or management company in writing.
2.     At the time of the request, payment for the administrative fee had to be made.
3.     The property management company on behalf of the condo corporation may have taken up to 10 days to prepare the condo status certificate.
4.     Once ready, the condo status certificate had to be retrieved from the condo corporation or property management company.
Delays obtaining a condo status certificate prior to making an offer can pose certain challenges.. In addition, the time, effort and cost to obtain the condo status certificate can be a source of frustration.
Fortunately for REALTORS®, in many cases a condo status certificate can now be requested online through GeoWarehouse.  REALTORS® can request the condo status certificate online, make payment online using a major credit card, receive an email notification when the condo status certificate is ready, download an electronic file containing the condo status certificate, and then email it to the solicitor who is acting for the purchaser.

Obtaining a condo status certificate online through GeoWarehouse takes the pain out of going through the motions of obtaining a condo status certificate for your clients.

For more information about how you can obtain a condo status certificate online please visit or call 866-237-5937.