Category Archives: Education

Turner Title Prospector

Turner Title Prospector

The Turner Title Prospector is a tool you need to be using! Not only does it offer leads on potential sellers in your target neighborhoods, it also provides analytics that will help you refine your marketing materials and message.

Still need more convincing? Here’s what else this amazing prospecting tool can do for you.

  1. Provide data about the turnover rate in a certain neighborhood.
  2. Tell you whether homes in a given neighborhood are primarily owner-occupied or investment properties.
  3. Help you determine which neighborhoods would be most lucrative to begin farming in.
  4. Maximize your marketing dollars by targeting your message to specific home owners and potential sellers.

Collecting the data is only step one of marketing your real estate business. Once you’ve determined who you’ll be marketing to, the next step is to develop and share your message. While we love automating our marketing process as much as you probably do, we strongly recommend checking carefully to make sure every communication you send is well targeted to your new-found audience.

Our own Lisa Gudath is an expert Turner Title Prospector trainer, and offers free training sessions to help you become a prospecting pro. For more information about joining one of her sessions, call the Turner Title office at (727) 914-4590 or email us at this link. We can’t wait to meet you at one of our upcoming free trainings!

Why Do We Need Flood Insurance?

Depending upon your mortgage scenario, you may be required to obtain flood insurance in addition to your homeowner’s insurance policy. But even if a flood insurance policy isn’t required for your property, it may be a good idea to consider one anyway. Here’s why!

Homeowner’s insurance rarely covers flood damage. 

While your homeowner’s insurance will usually cover water damage from burst pipes or a broken window during a rainstorm, flood damage is a different story. Especially if your home is in a flood zone, you’ll want to read up on your policy’s fine print. Flood insurance is unique in that it covers damage from heavy rains or from a sudden overflow of a nearby river or lake. 

Flooding happens even outside of flood zones.

If it can rain, it can flood. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 20% of flood-related claims come from what might be considered a low to moderate-risk flood area.

It doses’t take much.

It only takes 18 inches of water to cause potential damage to high-cost items such as electrical and heating/cooling systems. Even one inch of water can do in your carpet, vinyl flooring, and baseboards. Water damage is no joke. On its heals comes wood rot, mold, and even insect damage.

While the added policy is sometimes optional, it’s still worth considering to ensure that flood damage doesn’t turn into a major setback for you and your family.

Turner Title is sharing lots of title and mortgage tips here at the Turner Title Blog! And don’t forget to visit us on Youtube and subscribe to our channel!

What is a Short Sale (And Is it Right for You as a Buyer?)

A short sale occurs when a property sells for less than what is still due on the homeowner’s mortgage. Thus, the seller will come up “short” when paying off his or her lender. Buyers may think they’ve nabbed a bargain. But the wary home buyer will consider all of the factors involved in a short sale, including those that are less often discussed.

Approval From the Seller’s Lender

Because the short sale is likely occurring due to financial distress that makes it difficult for the seller to pay off his mortgage, the seller’s lender will need a say in the process. If you’re wondering why a lender would ever agree to a short sale, it does happen… on occasion. If the loss from a short sale would be less than the loss resulting from initiating a foreclosure, then the lender might agree. However, be ready for a long and arduous approval process. While a traditional home purchase process will usually take a month or so from offer to closing, some short sales take up to a year to finalize!

Fixer-Upper Central

If you’re handy, a fixer-upper might be just the opportunity you want! But for those of us with two left hands, a short sale may prove to be more expensive than we’d originally thought. Because of the nature of short sales, the sellers won’t likely be coming from a place of wanting to sink their own capital into repairs and maintenance. Be ready for some added repair costs after closing. 

All That Work for Nothing

It is entirely possible that at the end of an extremely long process, the sale might fall through. Or you might receive a counter offer at a much higher price than you can afford. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting months for a response to your offer letter, only to finally be told “no”. If you’re a frequent real estate investor, a little bit of lost time may not be a big issue for you. But if you’re shopping for a home for your family to live in, don’t forget to factor the potential cost of futile efforts into the equation. 

Is a short sale right for you? It all depends! As with all real estate deals, go into it with your eyes open, and with a good realtor at your side. 


What is Farming in Real Estate?

Sure, you’ve heard of farming… It’s that thing that mostly happens in the midwest, and you are vaguely aware that it’s the reason for the potatoes that were on your plate last night. But why in the world would a Florida realtor need to start “cultivating a farm”? 

First off, farming in real estate means something different – though not entirely unrelated. Just like agricultural farming does, real estate farming requires proper planning, nurturing, and time. And the produce? …Clients. The end goal of farming in real estate is to grow your business by cultivating a specific region of your market, whether that be a geographic region, or a demographic region. 

There are a number of considerations that an up-and-coming realtor will want to think about when choosing a new town or neighborhood to farm. Here are just a few that can help your business take off!

Marketing First

Before sending out that first mailer, give careful thought to your branding. Does your content present you in a positive, professional light? Are the fonts and colors you’ve chosen both functional and aesthetic? Remember… real estate is a largely aesthetic market. If your branding material looks sloppy, how will clients trust you with the presentation of their homes? 


If you’re planning to present yourself as the local expert in a specific region’s real estate market, it’s wise to make sure that you are able to dive in to all that the area has to offer. You can avoid embarrassing conversations that show you really don’t know the street names, or have never actually been to that lunch spot that all the locals rave about by choosing to farm areas that are near your physical location and convenient for you to get to at a moment’s notice. Besides, if a buyer calls about seeing a house in your target neighborhood, you wouldn’t want to drive an hour to get there anyway! 


Farming in real estate can be about more than just geography. If you are familiar with the lifestyle needs of a specific type of buyer or seller (such as first-time homebuyers, military, down-sizers, etc.), you can easily make yourself the local expert for clients who fit your target demographic. 


This is where Turner Title comes in. We at Turner Title offer an outstanding tool called the Turner Title Prospector. The Prospector is designed to help you find motivated sellers in specific cities or neighborhoods with powerful geo-targeting precision. Training on how to use the Turner Title Prospector is offered on a regular basis. Email us with questions, or join the Dalton Wade Real Estate team for access to even more outstanding tools that will make you a better real estate agent!

Virtual Closing

Online Closing is Here to Stay

Online closing makes real estate sales and purchases simple! Imagine this scenario… your real estate client has just accepted a new job in a new town. It’s time for her to pack everything up and put the house on the market!

Even if your seller accepts an offer the very first day that her home is listed, there likely will be at least a three week waiting period before closing. By then, she might have already moved. And now you have to ask her to travel all the way back just to sign the closing documents?

Luckily, the days of relying on snail mail and over-priced airline tickets to close long-distance business deals are behind us. The real estate boom of 2021 coincided with the COVID-19 epidemic at just the right time to fan into flame the growing popularity of online real estate closings. But what does this mean for realtors? 

First, if you haven’t recently brushed up on your Zoom skills, now is the time. In most cases, there will be some sort of online conferencing component to the closing process. Buyers and sellers won’t necessarily be up to speed on their remote technical skills, so be ready to provide some light “IT” help as needed.

Second, make sure that you’re working with a closing company that can handle the online closing process. One of the great things that sets Turner Title apart from other title services is our ability to transition easily between in-person and online closings, and even provide a mobile notary to both the buyer and seller!

Finally, as always, make sure to remind your clients not to respond to emails containing Wire Transfer Instructions. Wire fraud is a growing issue. Help your clients stay safe by personally providing them with the exact contact information of their closing team. A direct introduction is even better! Remember – just because the closing is happening remotely doesn’t mean that the process needs to be impersonal. Let your buyers know that they can reach out directly to a member of Turner Title’s team if they have any questions about the origin of any communication they’ve received. 


Tampa Bay’s Real Estate Market Update


If you’re considering buying or selling a home in the Tampa Bay area shortly, it’s important to understand where the market is currently and where it’s expected to head in the coming months. In this article, we’ll look at recent trends in Tampa Bay’s real estate market and give you an idea of what you can expect in the coming year.

Current Trends

Currently, the average home price in Hillsborough County is $257,000, while the average home price in Pinellas County is $229,000. These prices are up from last year’s averages of $245,000 and $215,000, respectively, and they’re expected to continue to rise in the coming months. In fact, according to Zillow’s latest Home Value Forecast, home prices in Hillsborough County are predicted to increase by 2.5% over the next 12 months, while prices in Pinellas will rise by 3.2%.

In Bradenton, home prices are currently averaging $233,000. This is up from last year’s average of $225,000, and it’s predicted to rise by 2.6% over the next 12 months. The job market in Bradenton is also expected to improve in the coming year, with an estimated 3% increase in employment.

The average home price in Wesley Chapel is currently $261,000. This is up from last year’s average of $248,000, and it’s predicted to rise by 2.4% over the next 12 months. The job market in Wesley Chapel is also expected to improve slightly in the coming year, with an estimated 0.5% increase in employment.

Several factors are driving real estate market recovery in Tampa Bay’s real estate market.

Low-interest rates:

Low-interest rates are one of the main drivers of Tampa Bay’s real estate market recovery. With interest rates remaining low, more and more people can afford to buy a home. In addition, low-interest rates make it easier for people who already own a home to refinance their mortgage and get a lower interest rate. As a result, more people can afford to stay in their homes, driving up the demand for housing.

A limited supply of homes:

Another factor driving the real estate market recovery in Tampa Bay is the limited supply of homes. The number of homes for sale in the Tampa Bay area is down significantly from last year, keeping prices high. In addition, the number of new construction homes being built is also down, further limiting the supply. As a result, buyers compete for a limited number of homes, driving up prices.

Strong job market:

The Tampa Bay area has a strong job market, another factor driving the recovery of the real estate market. The area’s unemployment rate remains low, and many good-paying jobs are available. This is attracting people to the area and driving up demand for housing.

What to Expect in 2022

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in the Tampa Bay area in 2022, you can expect prices to continue rising. In fact, Zillow’s Home Value Forecast predicts that prices will increase by 3.3% in Hillsborough County and by 3.1% in Pinellas County.

The job market is also expected to improve in the Tampa Bay area in 2022. According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area is projected to add about 43,000 new jobs in 2022. This would represent an annual growth rate of 2.4%.

If you’re considering buying a home in the Tampa Bay area, it’s important to be aware of these trends and start preparing now. Prices are expected to continue to rise, so it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for a home sooner rather than later.

Sellers should also be aware of the current trends and anticipate that buyers will be willing to pay more for a home in the coming months. If you’re considering selling your home in the Tampa Bay area, you may consider doing so sooner rather than later to maximize your profit.


What to Expect When You’re Inspecting

What to Expect When You’re Inspecting

For many first-time homebuyers, the process of purchasing a home can be extremely stressful. At Turner Title, we’ve had the pleasure of walking many first-time buyers through the process to a successful and smooth closing! Why are so many of our first-time buyers so happy with our services? Well, outside of outstanding customer service and communication, we pride ourselves on the joy with which we educate those of our customers who have questions about just what exactly goes into buying a home. Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the most important parts of the home buying experience: the home inspection.

So what’s so important about a home inspection? A home inspection lets the buyers know exactly what they’re getting into when they’re making the biggest investment of their lives. The purpose of a home inspection is to find any underlying issues with the property, particularly with regard to electrical, plumbing, and the foundation. If you’re planning on obtaining a mortgage with which to purchase you’re new home, it’s likely your lender will require you to obtain a home inspection before they mark your transaction as “clear to close.” Still, even if your lender doesn’t require a home inspection, if you want to protect yourself from buyer’s remorse, it is generally recommended you invest in a home inspection. Many contracts have a clause that allow the buyer to back out of the sale if something unexpected comes up in the home inspection, so that’s important to keep in mind.

Not all inspectors are created equal. Make sure your home inspector will be sure to thoroughly inspected both the house’s interior and exterior. Inside the house, home inspectors will be looking at wiring, plumbing, smoke detectors, AC units, any appliances that will be left behind per the contract, potential hazards, and more. On the outside, they’ll be testing the foundation, looking at siding, roofing, and any cracks that may appear. Keep in mind, that you will likely need to hire a specialist if the home has a septic tank or a potential for termite or other insect related issues. It’s always a good idea for both you and your agent to be present for the duration of the home inspection in order to address any concerns you may have in the moment.

The cost of most home inspections range within a few hundred dollars. Depending on the negotiations that took place at the time of the contract’s draft and who will be paying for the inspection, it may be within the sellers’ rights or your own to choose a home inspector. Even if the seller is choosing and paying for the home inspection, you may still want to hire your own  private inspector. It is rare that the lender will cover your home inspection if you want to pay out of pocket for the inspector of your choosing, but it may be more than worth it to you in the long run.

That’s the home inspection process in a nut shell. While it may seem to be a bit of a hassle at first, it is for your protection, so take advantage of it! That’s it for this week’s Title Tidbit. If you have a tidbit you’d like to learn more about, shoot us an email or comment it on our Facebook page! 😊


“I Had it First” – Irredentism

“I Had it First” — Irredentism

Who remembers back when the Russian/Ukrainean conflict over Crimea really came to a head?

“Woah, woah, let’s not get political here, Bailee. This blog is supposed to be about title!” Oh, I certainly won’t be offering any opinions on the Crimean occupation, but it is a fantastic example of today’s Title Tidbit: Irredentism.

Irredentism’s etymological roots can be traced back to the Italian word, “irredento,” meaning “unredeemed.” The term was popularized by a 1800s Italian political movement in which Italian political leaders sought to claim Swiss and Austrio-Hungarian occupied lands of which the population was largely Italian-speaking. By reclaiming these lands for Italy, Italian political leaders believe the lands could become “redeemed.”

Today, many consider lands claimed by irredentist means to be those denoted by the term, “Greater X,” with X being the name of the occupying body. Examples include Greater Serbia, or on a continental scale, Greater Europe.

So what’s the difference between irredentism and secession? Irredentism implies the absorption or merging of part of one country with another, whereas secession neither implies nor includes a merging. Irredentism typically implies/invokes an ethnic and/or territorial conflict as it involves one governing body/country taking land from another. What links the subordinate/merging body to the larger body is typically a common ethnic/religious/lingual/historical background (usually all four) which gives the larger body a perception of legitimate claim to said land. The subordinate land was generally once part of the larger body but was separated at some point in history by war, trade agreements, or other such events.

The example of irredentism that is perhaps the most ingrained in the minds of modern citizens of all nations across the globe is Nazi Germain’s irredentist claim to Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, the German occupation of which in 1938 marked a major turning point in World War II. German nationalists cited the primary source of their claim to the Sudetenland’s legitimacy as being the large ethnically German population residing in the area. While Germany’s claim to the Sudetenland may have had some legitimacy (at least in the opinion of the leaders who granted Germany occupation of the same in the 1938 Munich Pact–although, it was more likely they just wanted to avoid another world war), it wasn’t enough to appease German Nationalists, who later invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia just six months after the Munich Pact was signed.

What does irredentism have to do with title? While irredentist movements may not be directly linked to title insurance, the concept is the same. The purpose of title insurance is to protect a buyer’s claim to their new property from people who may have had historical or familial claims to the property. Through thorough research, we at Turner Title meticulously clear all potential claims to your property so that you can rest easy knowing your home won’t soon become “Greater Long-Lost Cousin’s.” That’s it for this week’s Title Tidbit! We’ll see you again next time!

Thank You

Another Year Older

Another Year Older

December is known for being a month of many celebrations: Christmas, the New Year, and a new venture! We are proud to share that Turner Title is officially one year old as of today!

What a year to get started, am I right? Despite state-wide shutdowns, procedural changes, and a new normal, Turner Title has been going strong, closing over $450 million in its first year, growing from a one-woman operation to a team of six, and conducting superb real estate transactions across the state: from Broward to Hillsborough to North Florida to right here in Pinellas County! And we’re not done yet, folks!

We’ve been at the forefront of change in our industry–adapting with the times and providing new and convenient (and also FREE) tools for our clientele.

  • We’ve implemented a free net-sheet calculator on our website that allows for agents to create a profile that pre-populates their standard commissions/fees as well as generate and send co-branded PDFs directly to their buyers and sellers from their phone, computer, or tablet.
  • We’ve invested in a free app called ZOCCAM, which allows agents and/or buyers to deposit their Earnest Money with a SNAP–just by taking a picture of a check! They can also upload contracts and addenda along with their deposits. No more trips to the title office or walking buyers through their first wire transfer!
  • We’ve hand-picked a group of proven and trustworthy mobile notaries across the state and the country that we utilize to make our closings flexible and fast!
  • We’ve invested in a membership with Regis offices so that our clients are able to close at any of thousands of locations across the state of Florida if they so desire!
  • We share informational blogs on our Turner Title Website weekly that are FULL of information about title, real estate, loans, insurance, and more as a free resource for YOU!
  • We’ve employed the services of an on-staff real estate attorney as another resource for our clients to assist with more complicated transactions.

And so much more! How can we sum up a year’s worth of achievements in just a few paragraphs? It’s impossible, but we couldn’t have done it all without YOU!

Thank YOU for making our first year of business one for the books!

Escrow Place Like Home for the Holidays

Escrow Place Like Home for the Holidays

Escrow Place Like Home for the Holidays

‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas. Santa was a buying a house (at the end of the month and the year too, no doubt). Mrs. Claus was excited to buy their new home, and by Christmas the elves would all be there to roam. The closing came and went without a hitch, until one bright, spring morning, there appeared an old Grinch.

“Hello,” said the Grinch, “my name is the Grinch, and this home is mine, you must vacate it.” Santa and Mrs. Claus did not know what to do. The elves and the reindeer began to cry—boohoo!

“But how can that be? This is certainly libel!” Mrs. Claus lamented, “We were issued clear title!”

“Title is more than a paper you sign. Title needs more than a stamp to be fine.” The Grinch continued to explain with a grin, the kind of grin you could find malice in. “You want a title company that runs searches for liens, orders surveys, checks permits, and all in between. It should run through the history of your new home and all of its aspects with a fine-toothed comb. Estoppels and payoffs of mortgages too are just scratching the surface of what your title company should do. You signed the commitment and Max signed the deed, but he neglected to mention the other signature you’d need.”

“What other signature?” cried Santa, his head in a fog. “There was only one owner, and that was Max the dog!”

The Grinch began to howl with malicious delight and pulled out a paper. “The dog had no right! Observe this document, and you will see, that his interest in the property was just two out of three. I have a share in this house that was unlawfully deeded, and thus, your vacancy is necessary and incredibly needed!”

Mrs. Claus and Santa, the reindeer and elves then packed up their bags and cleared off their shelves. They left the house and wandered off in the snow. It seemed all was lost, but Rudolph knew where to go.

“Chin up, folks,” said Rudolph, “Where’s your Christmas spirit? I know what to do, if you’ll listen and here it.” They all looked to Rudolph. His input was vital. “There’s only one place I trust, and that’s Turner Title!”

So the group made the trek down to the Sunshine State, and they found Turner Title to be truly great. Monika welcomed the crew at the door with a smile, and Bailee walked them through each process of insuring their file. Robyn looked through the file, commitment, and deed to make sure there were neither grinches nor outstanding liens. Closing with Kelly was such a breeze, and her friendly demeanor put the whole group at ease.

The elves were elated when Santa got their keys, and they moved into the beach house with which they were pleased. They were far from the snow and the gusts and the hail, and after their closing, Ocean sent all their mail. A few weeks later, there was a knock at the door, but there were no grinches present, just one thing more. It was Angie from post-closing, and what a sight to see! She was holding their title policy and clear guarantee!

If there’s one thing to glean from this verbose recital, it’s for a closing you trust, make sure to use Turner Title!