Monday, 25 August 2014

Should Real Estate Sales Professionals be Requesting Credit Reports?

You work hard for your clients and unfortunately you don’t get paid until your deal closes – often from the seller’s equity. Also, if you are representing a buyer, your deal may also depend on your client’s ability to get a mortgage. 

These are two reasons why some real estate sales professionals are left feeling vulnerable and considering different methods to vet new clients. Nowadays, some even go as far as to ask the client to provide a copy of their credit report.

In an extremely competitive market, questions like this can leave a client feeling bad about their experience with you. They may surmise that you have decided based on their appearance or interactions with you. You also know, that in such a competitive market, there is likely another real estate sales professional around the corner waiting to snatch up your client.

So what is the balance and how far should a real estate sales professional go to validate that their client has the ability to meet financial requirements?

You might want to start by assessing if your client is an existing homeowner. If they’re not, a credit report may be your only way to vet their ability to be approved for a mortgage (unless they have a large down payment). Or ask for a mortgage approval letter from their bank.

If they are a homeowner, leverage tools you likely already have access to, such as GeoWarehouse.

-        You can validate the number of mortgages registered on title, the amounts they were registered for, the presence or liens, etc…

-        Then it is simple math. Take the value of the home and subtract the estimated encumbrances and you will have an idea of whether there is sufficient equity to cover the closing costs which include your fees. Also, the presence of liens or a number of mortgages could be a sign that you may want to look at a credit report to assess if it is likely that your client can even qualify for a mortgage on their next home.

As you know, especially in areas where the real estate market has been booming, a number of homeowners have an abundance of equity. Massive equity = the ability to make massive down payments which makes one’s credit standing much less relevant.

Validating this information will enable you to identify deals where there is an abundance of equity – meaning that there is little point in risking offending your client by requesting a credit report, which should be your last resource.

For more information about how you can validate the information provided to you by your client please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.


Monday, 18 August 2014

The Differences Between GeoWarehouse and ViMO and Why You Need Them Both

We have had so much positive feedback about the new ViMO (Virtual Mobile Office) product and also continual positive feedback about GeoWarehouse. We have also had some real estate sales professionals ask us if GeoWarehouse and ViMO are one and the same – or are they tools that complement one another? The answer is the latter – they are tools that complement one another. For this reason we decided to put together a little table to help you understand the commonalities and differences between the applications.
Having  both solutions gives you a powerful combination of both, access to reliable data and information; but also, to sales and marketing support tools that will make you better connected to opportunities, leading to more closed deals – whether or not you have time to go to the office. 

For more information about ViMO please visit For more information about GeoWarehouse please visit

Monday, 11 August 2014

How Your Listing Shows From the Street Matters!!

Wouldn’t you agree that social media and this new digital era have completely changed the way that people share, engage and communicate? Search engines like Google and social sites like Facebook and Pinterest have given people the ability to investigate and research things that they are interested in far quicker and easier than ever before.

It used to be that a real estate sales professional would meet a client and review properties of interest with the client in the office and then go out to see them.  Now however, individuals can access the MLS right from their home computers. People driving by one of your listings can snap a photo of your listing and share it instantly with their networks on social media or even by email. Furthermore, other real estate sales professionals, when researching your property using tools like GeoWarehouse, can access aerial and street view imagery of the property without even going there with their client.

How your listing shows from the street matters! 

1.      Make sure the house number is easily visible.
2.      Clean the area at the front of the house entirely, removing anything unsightly.
3.      Landscape, landscape, landscape. Ensure the grass is cut at all times and that there is no garbage or junk on the front lawn.
4.      Make sure your client’s trees are pruned.
5.      Suggest that your client may want to consider:
a.      Giving the front door a fresh coat of paint.
b.      Giving the driveway a fresh coat of paint.
c.      If they have a wood patio, giving it a fresh coat of paint.
d.      Changing lighting and door fixtures.
6.      If the steps leading up to the house are in rough shape, your client can consider precast cement steps as an affordable, good looking viable option.
7.      If there is a patio your client can consider staging a couple of new chairs out front.

Implementing some or all of the above can make a major difference. However, Google, for example, trolls the streets and can sometimes take up to a year to update imagery so you can’t wave a magic wand if there are already bad photos of your listing online. What you can do is ensure that the most current images of your property are promoted online so that if someone is researching your property they are likely to come upon them. 

Not only can you post these updated photos on your website, you can also promote them on social media sites and real estate sites. Ensuring that you include the address in the listing title will ensure that when your address is searched there will be a higher likelihood that your listing will appear not only on Google but on other websites as well. 

For more information about this blog or about GeoWarehouse please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.

How to Uncover a Lien on a Condo Listing – 3 Life-Saving Tips

Well it seems that the condo market continues to boom in Canada. Just a couple of months back The Globe and Mail reported that developers broke ground on a surprisingly high number of condo developments across the country this past February.

The Globe and Mail also reported that “Construction of multiple units in cities rose this past month by more than 13 per cent to almost 116,500, CMHC said, while starts fell by 2.4 per cent in the single-detached category.” You can read the full article here:

While the condo market can be a lucrative one, it can also carry risk to real estate sales professionals and their clients because the condo owners have obligations to the condominium corporation in addition to their mortgage holder. Even if there is no mortgage, the condo owner still has an ongoing responsibility to pay condo fees.

The challenge is, when a condo owner doesn’t pay their condo fees for an extended period of time, it can result in arrears that can change the seller’s equity position and also result in a potential lien that will involve legal and administration fees that will need to be removed – even if the condo fee arrears are paid in full.

There are a variety of different ways that you can uncover a lien on a property as a result of unpaid condo fees so that your client can address/plan for the issue, well before a closing. If the seller’s property is encumbered with a number of mortgages, leaving the equity position tight with respect to the equity to pay your commission, it also pays to know the seller’s status as it relates to condo fees.

Here are some different ways that you can uncover a lien on a property:

You can request a Parcel Register in the GeoWarehouse Store. Some real estate sales professionals wait for the real estate lawyer to request this search on closing, but it pays to perform this search any time you retain a new client. Why? Not only will a Parcel Register uncover a condo lien, it will also verify who the legal owners of a property are, when the property was purchased, the amount of the transfer, and any registered mortgages and liens.

If your Parcel Register uncovers a lien you may use the reference number to obtain the Instrument Image for the lien. This will give you more details about the lien, including the registration amount, the condo corporation details and the information for the solicitor who registered the lien.

Lien or no lien, another great way to find out a condo owner’s status with a condo corporation is to request a status certificate. If there are condo arrears but they are not to the point of registering a lien on the condo, this is still an issue that can impact a closing because the real estate lawyer will also request a condo status certificate and if there are arrears they will have to be paid prior to closing.

You can request a condo status certificate from the condo corporation directly. There is usually a nominal fee to do this. You can either write to the condo corporation directly and send the fee with the request, or you can check to see if the condo status certificate is available on GeoWarehouse. If it is, you can pay the fee online and obtain the condo status certificate online as well.

A little bit of extra due diligence goes a long way. Knowing your deal inside and out will lead to more closed deals because you will be able to identify and address issues faster, thereby mitigating time wasted. Uncovering issues like liens is one way to do this.

For more information about how you can uncover a lien on a property please visit or call 1-866-237-5937.