Category Archives: Education

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Learning the ABCs of Real Estate with Turner Title

Embarking on a real estate journey in Florida involves navigating a sea of terms and acronyms that can leave even the most seasoned investors scratching their heads. Turner Title is here to demystify the complexities and guide you through the essential alphabet of real estate title terms specific to the Sunshine State.

Abstract of Title: An Abstract of Title is a concise document summarizing the ownership history of a property, detailing transfers, mortgages, and legal actions. It serves as a vital tool in identifying potential issues before finalizing a property transaction.

Boundary: Boundaries show the extent of a property, crucial for determining ownership. These can be marked by physical features like fences or landmarks, and a clear understanding of boundaries is fundamental to avoiding disputes. Turner Tip: If the boundary lines of your property aren’t clear, especially without obvious markers like a fence, using a survey can be helpful.

Closing: The closing marks the final steps in a real estate transaction, where buyers and sellers complete paperwork, and property ownership officially transfers. Turner Title ensures a smooth closing process, verifying legal requirements are met. Turner Tip: We use a system called Qualia to help ensure a seamless closing process for all involved!

Deed: A Deed is a legal document that transfers property ownership from one party to another. Turner Title verifies the legitimacy of the deed and ensures proper recording with relevant authorities.

Escrow: During closing, funds are often placed in Escrow, held by a neutral third party until all sale conditions are met.

Forgeries: Forgeries in real estate title involves the unauthorized creation or alteration of documents, such as signatures or ownership records, with the intent to deceive.

Grantor: The Grantor is the individual or entity selling or transferring the property. Turner Title ensures the accurate documentation of the transfer for both parties.

Homestead Exemption: Homestead Exemption provides property tax relief to Florida homeowners who make their property their primary residence.

Insurance: Title Insurance protects buyers and lenders from potential title defects. Turner Title helps secure title insurance to ensure a secure real estate transaction.

Joint Tenancy: Joint Tenancy is a form of property ownership where two or more individuals hold equal shares. If one owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s).

Kick-Out Clause: A Kick-Out Clause is a provision in a contract that allows a seller to continue marketing their property even after accepting an offer. If the seller receives a better offer, they can “kick out” the existing offer, providing a specified notice to the first buyer. This clause is often used in competitive real estate markets.

Lien: A lien is a legal claim against a property, requiring settlement upon its sale.

Missing Heirs: In the realm of real estate titles, “Missing Heirs” refers to a common title issue where rightful heirs or beneficiaries are unaccounted for or not properly identified during the inheritance process. This situation can lead to complications in property ownership and potential legal challenges.

Notary: A Notary is a public official authorized to witness and authenticate legal documents. Turner Tip: We use a mobile notary, so you can close anywhere in Florida!

Owner’s Policy: An Owner’s Policy is a type of title insurance policy protecting the property owner against title defects.

Plat: A Plat is a map or plan of a subdivision or community, indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties.

Quiet Title: Quiet Title is a legal action taken to establish clear ownership of a property and eliminate potential title issues.

Restrictive Covenant: A Restrictive Covenant is a legal obligation in a property deed that limits certain uses or activities on the land.

Survey: A Survey is a detailed map or drawing of a property, outlining its boundaries and physical features.

Title Search: A Title Search is an examination of public records to verify a property’s legal ownership and identify potential issues. Turner Title conducts thorough title searches to ensure a clear title.

Underwriter: An Underwriter assesses and evaluates the risk associated with issuing a title insurance policy.

Title Vesting: Title vesting is who owns a certain property and therefore who is required to pay any property taxes as well as how the property can be sold.

Warranty Deed: A Warranty Deed is a legal document that guarantees the property is free from defects and encumbrances.

Exception: An Exception in title insurance refers to any limitation or exclusion in coverage.

Yield: Yield refers to the annual return on an investment.

Zoccam: Zoccam is user-friendly platform for securely sending earnest money electronically. This is one of the many technologies that we utilize here at Turner Title.

Navigating the ABCs of real estate title terms with Turner Title equips you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions on your real estate journey. As your trusted partner, we are committed to ensuring a seamless and secure experience throughout the entire process.

Person signing a closing document.

Navigating the Closing Process

The closing process is a crucial step in any real estate transaction, marking the final stages before property ownership officially changes hands. At Turner Title, we understand the significance of a smooth and transparent process for our clients in Florida. In this post, we will walk you through the various aspects of the closing process, shedding light on the essential steps and considerations.

1. Earnest Money Deposit:

Once your offer is accepted by the seller, and the executed contract is received, a file is initiated, and an assigned escrow officer takes charge. This officer will initiate contact to coordinate the submission of the earnest money. Typically, this amount is deposited into an escrow account, where it remains securely held until the closing date. Acting as a neutral intermediary, the escrow account securely holds both funds and essential documents until all sale conditions are met. Turner Title plays a pivotal role in overseeing this process, guaranteeing a smooth and well-organized transition. Thanks to Zoccam’s mobile deposit app, your agent can conveniently deposit the check from virtually any location worldwide, eliminating the need to physically transport it to our office.

2. Title Search and Examination:

A crucial step in the closing process is the title search, conducted to identify any potential issues with the property’s title. Turner Title’s team of experts painstakingly examines public records to uncover any liens, judgments, or other encumbrances that may affect the property’s ownership.

3. Title Insurance:

One of the key services provided by Turner Title is title insurance. This crucial protection offers peace of mind to buyers and lenders, safeguarding them against potential legal and financial risks associated with the property’s title. Our YouTube video on the importance of title insurance can provide more in-depth information on this topic.

4. Preparation of Closing Documents:

Once the title is clear, Turner Title works with all parties involved to prepare the necessary closing documents. These documents include the Closing Disclosure, which outlines the final terms of the loan and costs, ensuring transparency for both buyers and sellers. Using our software, Qualia, you are informed every step of the way – from opening your file through closing it.

5. Closing Day:

The closing meeting is the culmination of the entire process. Turner Title facilitates this meeting, bringing together buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and possibly lenders to finalize the transaction. During this meeting, all required documents are signed, and funds are disbursed accordingly. We offer a mobile notary, convenience to close anywhere, or closings can be done in our office.

6. After Closing:

After the closing meeting, Turner Title ensures that the new deed is recorded with the appropriate county office. This step is crucial for officially transferring ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. Finally, Turner Title oversees the distribution of funds, ensuring that sellers receive their proceeds, and any outstanding payments or liens are settled. This attention to detail is what sets Turner Title apart in delivering a seamless closing experience.

Understanding the closing process is essential for anyone involved in a real estate transaction. At Turner Title, our commitment is to guide our clients through each step, providing expert knowledge and ensuring a smooth and successful closing. If you have any questions or require further clarification on any aspect of the closing process, feel free to reach out to Turner Title – your trusted partner in real estate transactions in Florida.

An open field with a person's hand holding house keys.

Safeguarding Your Land Purchase Investment

Investing in land can be a rewarding venture, whether you’re planning to build your dream home, develop a commercial property, or simply hold onto it as an investment for years to come. However, amongst the excitement of a land purchase, it’s important to consider protecting your investment with title insurance. Turner Title, your go-to trusted title insurance company here in Florida, is here to shed light on why title insurance is a crucial aspect of land transactions.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a specialized type of insurance that provides protection against financial loss due to title defects or other issues that may arise with the ownership of a property. In the context of land purchases, it ensures that the buyer receives clear and marketable title, free from any legal claims or disputes.

Why is Title Insurance Necessary for Land Purchases?

  1. Hidden Title Issues: Land transactions can be complex, and there might be hidden title issues that are not apparent during the initial stages. These issues could include errors in public records, undisclosed heirs, or even forged documents. Title insurance helps uncover and address these hidden problems.
  2. Legal Protection: Even after thorough due diligence, unforeseen legal challenges can arise. Title insurance offers legal protection by covering the costs of defending against a title claim. This can be particularly important in the often intricate world of land ownership.
  3. Peace of Mind for Buyers: For buyers, knowing that their investment is protected provides peace of mind. Turner Title conducts a comprehensive title search to identify and rectify potential issues, ensuring a smooth and secure transaction.
  4. Mandatory for Lender Approval: If you’re securing financing through a lender for your land purchase in Florida, title insurance is a mandatory requirement. However, even if you’re making a cash transaction, opting for title insurance is a practical decision, considering the potential risks outlined earlier.

A Few Ways We Help with Title Insurance:

  1. Thorough Title Searches: Turner Title conducts detailed title searches to identify any existing liens, encumbrances, disputes, or other title issues. This helps in addressing these issues before the transaction is finalized.
  2. Expertise in Florida Real Estate: Being a Florida-based title insurance company, Turner Title has extensive knowledge of the state’s real estate landscape. This expertise is invaluable in navigating the specific challenges that may arise in Florida land transactions.
  3. Available Whenever You Need Us: Our team is always accessible to address your questions and offer assistance, extending our support even to weekends in some cases. We understand that real estate transactions may not adhere to a strict schedule, so we’ve made it a priority to be there for you whenever you require guidance or support.

In conclusion, when embarking on a land purchase in Florida, securing title insurance with Turner Title is a wise and practical decision. It provides not only protection against potential financial losses but also the confidence that your investment is built on a solid and secure foundation. Don’t let unforeseen title issues jeopardize your land purchase—choose Turner Title for a seamless and secure real estate experience.

Money wrapped in chains to symbolize wire fraud.

Understanding Wire Fraud and Protecting Yourself and Investment

In the fast-paced world of real estate transactions, the convenience of technology has revolutionized the way we buy and sell properties. However, this progress also brings about new challenges, and one of the most significant threats to real estate transactions today is wire fraud. As a Florida-based title company committed to ensuring smooth and secure property transfers, Turner Title is here to shed light on what wire fraud is and provide valuable insights on how you can protect yourself from falling victim to this dangerous crime.

Understanding Wire Fraud

Wire fraud involves the unauthorized access and manipulation of electronic communication to deceive individuals into transferring funds. In the context of real estate, scammers often target homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals involved in the closing process. The fraudsters typically gain access to email accounts or communication channels and then intercept or manipulate messages related to the transfer of funds.

Common Wire Fraud Scenarios

  1. Phishing Emails
    Fraudsters send emails that appear legitimate, often mimicking the communication style of real estate professionals. They also might use an email address that’s similar to the real one, hoping you won’t notice. These emails may instruct the recipient to wire funds to a specified account, which, unbeknownst to the victim, belongs to the scammer.
  1. Hacked Email Accounts
    Criminals gain access to the email accounts of real estate agents, buyers, or sellers. They monitor communications, waiting for an opportunity to intervene and redirect funds to their accounts.
  1. Impersonation of Professionals
    Scammers may impersonate real estate agents, title companies, or other professionals involved in the transaction. They convince victims to send funds to fraudulent accounts under the guise of meeting financial obligations.

Protecting Yourself

  1. Verify Email Communications
    Always confirm the authenticity of email communications, especially those related to financial transactions. Verify account details and instructions by calling your escrow officer/closer with Turner Title. This information should have been provided to you in your welcome email from your Account Executive.
  2. Educate All Parties Involved
    Ensure that all parties involved in the transaction, including real estate agents, buyers, sellers, and title professionals, are educated about the risks of wire fraud. Establish communication protocols and emphasize the importance of verification.
  3. Implement Two-Factor Authentication on Emails
    Enable two-factor authentication on email and other relevant accounts to add an additional layer of security. This helps protect against unauthorized access to your accounts.
  4. Confirm Account Information by Phone
    Before initiating any wire transfers, confirm the account information by directly contacting the recipient through a trusted and independently verified phone number. Avoid using the contact information provided in emails that contain wire transfer instructions.

Staying vigilant against wire fraud is paramount in today’s world. Turner Title is dedicated to safeguarding your property transactions in Florida. By following these precautions, you can greatly lower the chances of falling prey to wire fraud. Always remember, it’s safest to call and double-check wire transfer details using trusted contact information you already have.

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Please Check Out the Turner Title YouTube Channel

Are you looking to expand your knowledge and stay on top of your game in the dynamic world of real estate? Turner Title has got you covered! We’re excited to introduce our YouTube channel, where we’ll be sharing valuable information about our company and resources you need to know about in the real estate industry. You can find us at https://www.youtube.com/@turnertitle.

Subscribe for Endless Wisdom

Before we dive into the exciting content that awaits you on our channel, make sure to hit that “Subscribe” button. Subscribing to the Turner Title YouTube channel is your ticket to staying updated with essential information that can make a real difference in your real estate journey. Don’t miss out – subscribe today and join our growing community of real estate enthusiasts!

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Watch our First Video: Title Talks – Title Insurance

We’re kicking off our YouTube journey with a deep dive into a topic that is fundamental to real estate transactions – Title Insurance. In our very first video, aptly named “Title Talks: Title Insurance,” we’re unraveling the mysteries and importance of this crucial aspect of property deals. Watch the video below!

Stay tuned for more engaging content, discussions, and insights on our YouTube channel. We’re here to empower you with knowledge and support your success in real estate.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Turner Title on YouTube to get updates and be part of our community, or contact us today to learn more. Thank you for being a part of the Turner Title family.

 

Zoccam Mockup on Phone

A Game Changer In The Real Estate Industry: Introducing Zoccam

In the fast-paced world of real estate, time is of the essence, and every transaction needs to be secure, transparent, and efficient. That’s where Zoccam comes in. Turner Title is proud to offer this innovative solution to simplify your closing process and enhance the overall experience for buyers, sellers, agents, and brokers.

What is Zoccam?

Zoccam is a cutting-edge platform that revolutionizes the way real estate transactions are handled. It eliminates the need for manual delivery, deposit, and document management, reducing risk, transaction time, and increasing security and transparency. The standout feature of this tool is its ability to authenticate the borrower’s identification, adding a crucial layer of trust to every transaction.

Key Features

  • Security at Its Core: Zoccam prioritizes security by not containing or storing any financial information. Unlike wire transfers, it doesn’t reveal sensitive account numbers. Every check is encrypted from capture to delivery, and check images are not stored on your phone. Zoccam employs encrypted handshakes and tokens to ensure checks and data are sent securely.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Your data is safeguarded with the latest encryption technology, including Secure Socket Layer (SSL) with 2048-bit encryption. Zoccam delivers checks using Check 21, and your bank processes the X9 file upon receipt.
  • Simplicity: Say goodbye to the hassle of manual check deliveries. This system simplifies the process: capture the front and back of the check, and send it to Turner Title. All parties involved receive proof of delivery instantly.
  • Safety: Zoccam decreases liability, aligning with ALTA Best Practices (Pillar 3). It also speeds up sales cycles, empowers consumers, enhances transparency, and saves costs.
  • Total Check Encryption: Zoccam ensures complete check encryption, protecting Non-Public Information (NPI). Financial information is not stored, providing an extra layer of security.

The Next Phase in Real Estate Innovation

Real estate agents often waste valuable time and dread the process of delivering escrow checks to the escrow agent or title company. With Zoccam, that’s no longer a concern.

Turner Title is excited to offer this solution to realtors, providing them with the most secure and convenient experience for their transactions.

To recap, Zoccam is a game changer, streamlining processes, enhancing security, and promoting transparency. If you’re looking to simplify your real estate transactions, reduce risk and save time, Zoccam is your answer.

Turner Title specializes in mobile and in-person closing throughout all of Florida.  They are here to make the closing process seamless and worry-free; contact us today to learn more.

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.

https://youtu.be/Cx9-_EBL6nU

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. 

Neighborhood

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? 

Geography

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! 

Demographic

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. 

Tools

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!