Property Title Search

So the time has arrived, and you are in the position to acquire that prime chunk of land. How do you start the process? The first step to buying property is the title search. You need to apply yourself through all the resources to chase it down. It will contain vital information, firstly, on whether the real estate is purchasable, secondly; if not, what the difficulties are.

Property transactions are dynamic, and certain factors are affected by their location and current ownership. The latter may be relevant to the purchase. Besides successfully finding the title, you need to get it interpreted. So you must ensure you’re aware of the processes involved. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to make decisions.

What’s in the Land Registry?

The Canadian land registry contains official documents of ownership, past transactions, and records, which include:

  • Title –  a legal term for a bundle of rights to a piece of land. The latter is either held by a single entity or corporation. Sometimes, more than one party has rights and shares ownership of a piece of land.
  • Deed – the legal document that transfers the title between owners in a property transaction
  • A mortgage and all other relevant land documents

How Property Title Search Works

All private property ownerships register with the Canadian government. You, as a member of the public, can access these documents too.

Anyone can search for real estate records at the registry office; please note that fees will apply here. Historical and registration books are available to the public online. Note, though, that an individual wishing to register property documents would require special permission.

You’d have to meet a particular set of conditions to apply for authorization if you want to register property documents online. In states like Ontario, no fees apply to the Electronic Land Registration System.

Additionally, using a legal attorney’s services for registrations is faster and ensures peace of mind. The latter comes with a fee attached.

Ways to Search for Title

  • Title search services are easily accessible online. The Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia and many other government agencies offer these search services. Before accessing the information held by the databases mentioned above, you’d need to sign-up for an online registry account.
  • Another way of attaining information is to request it by mail. To use this method, you’ll have to order a State of Title Certificate. The latter is a certified copy of a title to a property, with documentary proof of ownership.
  • Your third and easiest option would be to hire a professional. Bear in mind that direct access to the hard copy is limited to the Land Registry employees, surveyors, historical researchers, and registry agents. Registry agents and other professionals can request copies of documents electronically and assist with their interpretation.

Set your priorities straight and consult an expert Diamond & Diamond lawyer for your title search needs.

Will I Be Able to Do the Title Search on My Own?

The process of a title search is a long one. In most cases, it involves a lot of paperwork. 

The first step would be to find the legal description; this is a unique identifier. It contains information like parameters, lot numbers, special features, parallels and meridians, and total acreage. This information is available on the property’s tax documents.

You then go to either the Recorder’s Office or The Office of The Title Examiner with the Legal Description. The details you’ve acquired should help you locate the deeds of the land in question.

I recommend you request public access to the records before attaining the documents. The latter should give information about the legal owner of the property in question. Ideally, you need to gather documents that go back as far as 70 years.

When you’ve collected all the correct documentation, you can either attempt to interpret it yourself or have a lawyer define the home or estates’ status. The proper execution of these initial processes is vital to your peace of mind. Any oversights at this point could very well land you in a lawsuit in the future. 

Contact an Expert That’ll Help You

The title search is one of the critical processes in buying a home, but it’s not the only procedure that could be potentially difficult. While it’s possible to do it yourself, it is not advisable. There’s a ton of obscure and confusing jargon, so it’s better to hire a professional. Professionals are skilled and experienced in dealing with property transactions and can make the title search process a lot easier.


“Talk to an expert before you proceed with your real estate transaction.”

Property Title Search FAQs 

When does the title search happen in a real estate transaction?

The Property Title Search is the first step a prospector takes to buy a parcel of land with or without buildings. It’s a formalized action of research into real estate or home.

How to prevent title search issues?

The current deed holder may cause issues for the title search. You can’t prevent this because the search’s function is to disclose all information related to the title and not prevent it. The best way is to have an experienced professional search for the relevant documents.

What do you do if there’s a problem with the title?

It depends on the kind of problems the estate might have, including unpaid tax, inheritance, or hidden debt. Should any of this appear after the sale, the accountability falls on the parties commissioned to perform the search.

If you find out about it before the transaction, it could make the property unfeasible if the seller can’t rectify it. If there are ways around the issue, a professional who knows what is involved in a property title search will iron out the problem.

Title Search Timeframe

A title search takes about a week to complete.

Risks of Conducting Title Searches

It can be expensive but the risk of not doing a title search outweigh the cost.

Payment of Property Title Search

Since the buyer’s lawyer conducts the search, the buyer is responsible for payment, which includes the title insurance.

Talk to an expert before you proceed with your real estate transaction

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