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Land Registration Act - LRA - Migration of Title

What is Land Registration ? 
If you are buying or selling a home in Nova Scotia you will hear about Land Registration(LRA) and migration of title. In order for property title to change hands the title of the property must now be moved to or " MIGRATED" to this new electronic system from the old system. There is a one time cost to do this and an additional amount of time involved. The cost can vary considerably. The average cost as of Title Migration is about $600 plus HST. This cost can be paid by the buyer or the seller but in all cases in our office since it's implementation the seller has paid it.
There is additional time to transfer title as well. The way the system works is the lawyer enters the title information online and a government official checks the information and either approves it or asks for changes. If changes have to be made then the lawyer must make them and submit the information again. The process can take a few weeks or more. What this could mean is a closing cannot be completed as fast as before so closings of less than a few weeks are almost impossible unless the property is already migrated. Sellers can migrate the title before the property is sold and many do just that. On the MLS listing information sheet for a property there is now a section that states whether the property has been migrated or not.

What should I do as a buyer/seller regarding LRA?
The most important thing for a buyer or seller to do is make sure that the section in the standard agreement of purchase and sale that deals with Land Registration is handled properly. There are boxes that both the buyer and the seller must initial. This may change but there likely will be a section in the agreement dealing with this.
The second thing is to be prepared for a closing of at least 3- 4 weeks. Anything shorter than this will be difficult unless the seller has already migrated the property. If the property has been migrated a short closing of a week or even less is possible.

How will I know if the property is migrated or not?
There is a section on the MLS listing sheet that is titled " Migration". There is usually a "Yes" or "No" next to this. Even if there is a "No" the property still may be migrated. Often the property is not migrated at the time of listing but the agent has advised the seller to migrate the title. Sometimes the MLS listing sheet is changed after the title is migrated but more likely it will remain the same as it was input at the time of listing. If you are interested in a property, require a short closing and migration is important have your agent confirm the current migration status.

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