There are a lot of things that real estate lawyers do: searching title, checking for liens, looking at surveys, and, of course, actually registering the transfer. A common question: what exactly is registration?

In Ontario, we have electronic registration through Teraview. In order to close a deal, both lawyers sign it electronically, and then the purchaser’s lawyer registers the deed. When that happens, it is sent electronically over to the Land Registry Office, where the registration is checked to ensure there are no errors and then filed. From that moment, if I want to find out who is the owner of a property, I can enter the address and look it up to see what is registered on title. Mortgages, easements, restrictions, etc. are all registered the same way.