Real Estate "Jargon"

(February 17, 2015 )

In the world of real estate, there are numerous terms that are frequently used.  This language isn't always self explanatory so here is some clarification. The following is a list of such terms and what they mean.
Obviously these do not cover all the terms but it is a  snapshot of some of the more commonly used ones. Please contact me if you have anything you need clarification on or if you have another term in question that should be added to the list.

Basic Real Estate Definitions: A-Z.

Adjustments: This happens at closing, where any differences in terms of taxes,lawyers fees, etc. are addressed.

Closing: This is the day that the keys are given to the Buyer and the transaction ends.

Closing Costs: These are handled by the lawyer and usually cover (but are not limited to ) land transfer fees, insurance & adjustments.

Deed: The legal document conveying title to a property.

Easement: A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.

Encroachment: An improvement that intrudes illegally on another’s property.

Equity: A homeowner’s financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage and other liens.Exclusive Listing: A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time.

Fair Market Value: The highest price that a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy, would pay, and the lowest a seller, willing but not compelled to sell, would accept.

Fixtures: Personal property that becomes real property when attached in a permanent manner to real estate.

Home Inspection: A thorough inspection by a professional that evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser.

Lien: A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or first trust deed is considered a lien.

MLS or Multiple Listing Service: A computerized database service used by real estate professionals. Realtors and real estate agents can give their clients updated information from the MLS, in order to see all listed properties in an area – such as Canyon Heights or Shaughnessy – as well as use it as a tool to refine a searched based on their needs and criteria.

Power of Attorney: A legal document that authorizes another person to act on one’s behalf.   A power of attorney can grant complete authority or can be limited to certain acts and/or certain periods of time.

Survey: A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features.

Tenancy In Common: As opposed to joint tenancy, when there are two or more individuals on title to a piece of property, this type of ownership does not pass ownership to the others in the event of death.