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Real Estate Glossary
Agent
A person acting on behalf of another, called the principal.
 
Appraisal
An expert judgment or estimate of the quality or value of real estate as of a given date.
 
Assessed Value
The valuation placed upon property by a public tax assessor as the basis for taxes.

 
Bill of Sale
An instrument which transfers title to personal property (chattels); a "Deed" transfers real property.

 
CC&R's
Covenants, conditions and restrictions: A document that controls the use, requirements and restrictions of a property.

 
Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV)
A document that establishes the maximum value and loan amount for a VA guaranteed mortgage.
 
Certificate of Title
A document signed by a title examiner or attorney stating that the seller has a good marketable and insurable title.
 
Closing Statement (Settlement)
The computation of financial adjustments between buyer and seller as of the day of closing a sale to determine the net amount of money which buyer must pay to seller to complete purchase of the real estate and seller's net proceeds. Also, "settlement sheets," "HUD-1."
 
Commission
Payment to a real estate broker for services performed.
 
Condominium
A form of real estate ownership where the owner receives title to a particular unit and has a proportionate interest in certain common areas. The unit itself is generally a separately owned space whose interior surfaces (walls, floors and ceilings) serve as its boundaries.
 
Contingency
A condition that must be satisfied before a contract is binding. For instance, a sales agreement may be contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing.
 
Deed
A formal written instrument by which title to real property is transferred from one owner to another. Also, "conveyance".
 
Deed of Trust
Like a mortgage, a security instrument whereby real property is given as security for a debt. However, in a deed of trust there are three parties to the instrument; the borrower, the trustee, and the lender (or beneficiary).
 
Due-On-Sale Clause
An acceleration clause that requires full payment of a mortgage or deed of trust when the secured property changes ownership.
 
Earnest Money
The portion of the down payment delivered to the seller or escrow agent by the purchaser with a written offer as evidence of good faith.
 
Equity
The interest or value which owner has in real estate over and above the debts against it. (Sales Price - Mortgage Balance - Equity).
 
Escrow
A procedure in which a third party acts as a stakeholder for both the buyer and the seller, carrying out both parties' instructions and assumes responsibility for handling all of the paperwork and distribution of funds.
 
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)
Popularly known as Fannie Mae. A privately owned corporation created by Congress to support the secondary mortgage market. It purchases and sells residential mortgages insured by FHA or guaranteed by the VA, as well as conventional home mortgages.
 
Fee Simple
An estate in which the owner has unrestricted power to dispose of the property as he wishes, including leaving by will or inheritance. It is the greatest interest a person can have in real estate.
 
Fixture
What was formerly personal property that is now permanently attached to real property and goes with the property when it is sold.
 
 
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