FREQUENTLY USED TERMS IN REAL ESTATE
Abstract of Title - A synopsis of the history of a title, indicating all changes or ownership and including liens, mortgages, charges, encumbances, encroachments of any other matter that might affect the title.
Aesthetic Value - The additional value of a property based on some criteria such as looks and /or appeal.
Affidavit of Title - A sworn written statement signed by the seller stating that he owns the property, has clear title to it, and therefore he has the right to sell it.
Agent - A person who is appointed to act on behalf of another for a particular transaction.
Agreement of Sale - A written agreement by which a buyer agrees to buy and a seller agrees to sell a certain peice of property under the terms and conditions stated therein. It is commonly called a contract.
Amenity - Property featuries that increase the value and/or desirability.
Amortization - The gradual paying out of a loan through the regular fixed payments over a period of time.
Appraisal - The estimate of a disinterested quailifed professional as to the current market value of the property. A report that sets forth the estimate.
Binder - An agreement to purchase a piece of property involving a small deposit to show good faith. It should always include a statement to the effect that the agreement is
"subject to formal contracts to be drawn".
Cancellation - Any clause in a contract that allows the buyer or seller to cancell the contract if a certain specified condition or situation occurs. The mortagage contingency is a cancellation clause sine it allows the buyer to cancel the contract if he cannot obtain a mortgage.
Chain of Title - A history of all the transfers of title from available records.
Chattel - Items of personal property such as furniture, appliances, chandeliers, that are not permanently affixed to the house. If included in the sale of the real estate, each piece must be specifically listed in the contract.
Closing - The meeting of all concerned parties in order to transfer title. The date when the buyer takes title of the property.
Closing costs - Various fees & expenses (not including the price of the home) payable by the seller and the buyer at the time of a real estate closing e.g. title insurance premiums and inspection, appraisals, deed recording, brokerage commissions, attorney fees etc.
Commission - The payment given a real estate broker for their services, usually paid at the closing.
Contract - An agreement between two parties. A valid contract must be dated, in writing, include a consideration, a description of the property, the place and the date of delivery of the deed and all terms and conditions that were mutually agreed upon. It must also be signed by all concerned parties.
Deed - A written instrument that conveys title to real property.
Deed in lieu of - Homeowner gives key to the home to the bank and walks away.
Easement - A right-of-way or access. The right one party to cross or use for some specified purpose the property of another party.
Escrow - Money or document held by a third party until specified conditions of an agreement or contract are fulfilled. The earnest money paid by a buyer with the siging of the contract is usually held in escrow until all contingencies in the contract are met.
Foreclosure - The selling of a property to satisfy the debt of a mortgage. In order to force the sale, the lender must file a Lis pendens with the county clerk, giving due notice to the borrow.
Interest - A fee paid for the use of money, usually calculated as a % of the principal.
Lease - A contract that allows one party the possession of real estate for a specific period of time in return for a consideration (usually rent) paid to the other party.
Lien - A recorded notice that ther is a debt on a piece or property, - a judgement, mortgage, back taxes, unpaid accounts etc.
Listing - The employment of a real estate broker to sell a piece of property.
Market value - The best price that a ready, willing and able buyer is ready to pay and the lowest price a ready, willing and able seller is willing to accept. A meeting of the minds.
Mortgage - A legal document that creates a lien upon a piece of property.
Multiple Listing - An agreement amoung real estate brokers to make their listings available to each other.
Offer - A proposal oral or written, to buy a property as a specified price.
Points - Sometime called discounts, is a fee that the lending institution charges for the mortgage. One point is 1 % of the face amount of the mortgage.
Qualifying a Buyer - A process of checking out the buying potential of a customer. It is necessary to know the family income, availabe down payment and outstanding debts in ordre to "qualify" a buyer.
Right-of-way - An easement; the right of one party to cross or in some way use the property of another party.
Short Sale - selling the home for less then owed the bank. This helps to avoid FORCLOSURE.
Survey - The measurement of a piece of land by a civil engineers or surveyor to determine its area and attest to its boundaries.
Title - Actual ownership; the right of possession; evidence of ownership.
Title Search - A professional examination of public records to determine the chain of ownership of a particular piece of property and to note any liens, mortgages, encumbances, easements, restrictions or other factors that might affect the title.
Zoning Ordinances - Municipal ordinances that kimit and regulate the character and uses of private property in a given area.