UT Newsletter

May 2021 

News from Within Universal Title

Welcome to Spring 2021! 

Oh what a difference a year makes.  This time last year we found ourselves in the throws of a pandemic, adjusting daily to the “new” normal.  We were faced with situations that we never thought we would be, but oh how our UT Teams rallied together.  

Fast forward to May 2021 and what have we learned?  

  • We have the best teams in the business – always ready, willing and able to adjust and pivot while still providing the top notch customer service.
  • We can efficiently and effectively work remotely – we have a good mix of in office and remote staff, allowing us to accommodate schedules and some unforeseen challenges i.e., continued distance learning.
  • Technology is our friend – Qualia, ZOCCAM, and Universal Agent One were all in place last year but this year the efficiency has been taken up a notch.  The ease of which agents can check the status of their files, deposit an EMD, or get a quote at their fingertips has all become second nature.  
  • We have the best clients – before, during and well into the pandemic our clients have stood by us as we adjusted and pivoted to accommodate growing changes to how we all conduct business. 
  • We aren’t going anywhere – 2020 saw record growth for Universal Title and 2021 has been no different.  

What’s next? 

In the words of Lou Holtz “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.”  We take those words to heart and continue to grow our teams, locations and offices.  In the first four months of 2021 we have added 37 new team members from preprocessing to managing attorneys, launched three new offices and moved into a beautiful  new space in Old Town – be on the lookout for the grand opening invitation.  As we continue to grow in 2021 we are looking to add more team members and all referrals are welcome. 

I leave you with this – 

With 2020 solidly in our rearview, and our masks on we will meet the new challenges of 2021 wherever they may be.  We continue to embrace change and challenge the status quo regularly to provide the best experience for our teams  and our clients.  If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.


Teresa Darnell
Executive Director of Business Development & Sales


Why the Way You Hold Title, Makes a Difference 

The phrase “Holding Title” is the legal way of saying that you own real property. In Maryland, DC and Virginia the most popular ways to hold title to real property are: Sole Owner, Tenants in Common, Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship, and Tenants by the Entirety. The way you choose to hold title is included in the deed and the deed then becomes the record of the ownership.

But what do these terms actually mean and why does it matter?

Choosing the best way to hold title when purchasing property can help you avoid problems in the future. How the title is vested not only affects how the property is owned now, but how the property passes in the event of the death of the owner later Below is a brief description of the four most common ways to hold title:

Sole Owner: When one person or legal entity (Trust, Corporation, LLC …) owns the property and no one else has an ownership interest in the property. Upon the death of the sole owner, the property passes as directed by their will or the state laws regarding inheritance.

Tenants in Common: The default way to hold title when 2 or more people or entities are owners of the property. Tenants in Common can have unequal ownership interests in the property and may sell or borrow against their ownership interest independent of the other owners. Any debts of one of the co-owners attaches to the property. Upon the death of one owner, their portion of the property passes as
directed by their will, not automatically to the other owners.

Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship: Another option when 2 or more people have an ownership interest in property. The agreement of all the owners is needed to sell the property or to borrow against the property. Debts of the co-owners attach to the property. Upon the death of one owner, their interest passes to the surviving owners automatically. There is no need to include the property in any probate
matter or rely on a will.

Tenants by the Entirety: An option only available to a legally married couple. This option assumes that the married couple is “one entity” and that the marriage has an undividable interest in the property. Debts
of an individual owner cannot attach to the marital property. Both owners must agree to sell or borrow against the property. In the event of the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse owns the property without the need for a will. If the owners divorce, the tenancy defaults to Tenants in Common.

If the needs of the owners change over time, tenancy can be changed by recording a new deed in the land records.

Universal Title’s attorneys can discuss in detail with buyers their options and what may be best for their


Sarah Tozer, Esq.
Managing Attorney, McLean

Tech Tip


Tip Presented By:


Courtney Byrnes
Director of Business Development & Sales

Social Media Tip

Facebook Live

Everyone is talking about the power of video, and yet you may be struggling to come up with a topic or wondering how to keep your audience engaged. Look no further than Facebook Live! Yes, going “Live” may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a great way to interact with – and bring value to – your sphere!

With a paid Zoom account, you can go Live on Facebook with another real estate expert, such as a lender, a home inspector, or a member of your team at Universal Title, even if you are in two different locations. Then you can “interview” the other person, which brings valuable information to your audience with the added bonus of keeping you from having to do all of the talking! 

Here is how you do it: (1) Register for a Zoom “Pro” account ($14.99/month) (2) Schedule a Zoom meeting as you normally would with your expert guest (3) Once you are both in the Zoom meeting, click “More” on the toolbar and select “Live on Facebook.” 

*Troubleshooting tip: Check your Zoom “settings” and ensure you enable “Facebook” under “allow livestreaming of meetings” if you don’t see the “Live on Facebook” option on your toolbar. 

And remember: You look how you look and sound like you sound! Don’t be self conscious! When you meet these clients in person they are going to see and hear you, so there is no reason to be shy about being on camera!

Social Media tip brought to you by the Universal Title Sales Team
Tip Presented By:


Stephanie Granlund
Director of Business Development & Sales
McLean & Reston

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