Real Estate Glossary

There are many real estate terms you will encounter when you rent, buy, sell, or invest in property. If you don’t have real estate experience, some of them may be unknown to you. Our handy glossary can help you get definitions to common real estate jargon so you can feel confident in your ability to pursue your property goals.

A

ABSTRACT OF TITLE 
ACCELERATION CLAUSE 

ACCESSION 
ACCRETION
ACCRUED ITEMS 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
ACRE
ACTUAL EVICTION 
ACTUAL NOTICE 
ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE (ARM) 
ADJUSTED BASIS 
AD VALOREM TAX 
ADVERSE POSSESSION 
AFFIDAVIT OF TITLE 
AGENCY 
AGENCY COUPLED WITH AN INTEREST 
AGENT 
AIR LOT 
AIR RIGHTS 
ALIENATION
ALIENATION CLAUSE 
ALLODIAL SYSTEM 
AMERICAN LAND TITLE ASSOCIATION (ALTA) POLICY 
AMORTIZED LOAN 
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) 
ANTICIPATION 
ANTITRUST LAWS 
APPRAISAL 
APPRECIATION
APPURTENANCE
APPURTENANT EASEMENT 
ASSEMBLAGE 
ASSESSMENT
ASSIGNMENT
ASSUMPTION OF MORTGAGE 
ATTACHMENT 
ATTORNEY’S OPINION OF TITLE 
AUTOMATIC EXTENSION 
AVULSION 

B

BALANCE
BALLOON PAYMENT 
BARGAIN AND SALE DEED 
BASE LINE 
BASIS 
BENCH MARK 
BENEFICIARY 
BILATERAL CONTRACT 
BINDER 
BLANKET LOAN 
BLOCKBUSTING 
BLUE-SKY LAWS 
BOOT 
BRANCH OFFICE 
BREACH OF CONTRACT 
BROKER 
BROKERAGE
BUFFER ZONE 
BUILDING CODE 
BUILDING PERMIT 
BULK TRANSFER 
BUNDLE OF LEGAL RIGHTS 
BUYDOWN 
BUYER-AGENCY AGREEMENT

C

CAPITAL GAIN 
CAPITALIZATION
CAPITALIZATION RATE 
CASH FLOW 
CASH RENT 
CAVEAT EMPTOR
CERTIFICATE OF REASONABLE VALUE (CRV) 
CERTIFICATE OF SALE 
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE 
CHAIN OF TITLE 
CHANGE 
CHATTEL
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1866 
CLOSING STATEMENT 
CLOUD ON TITLE 
CLUSTERING 
CODE OF ETHICS 
CODICIL 
COINSURANCE CLAUSE 
COMMINGLING 
COMMISSION
COMMON ELEMENTS 
COMMON LAW 
COMMUNITY PROPERTY 
COMPARABLES 
COMPETITION
COMPETITIVE MARKET ANALYSIS (CMA) 
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 
CONDEMNATION 
CONDITIONAL-USE PERMIT 
CONDOMINIUM 
CONFESSION OF JUDGEMENT CLAUSE 
CONFORMITY 
CONSIDERATION
CONSTRUCTION LOAN 
CONSTRUCTIVE EVICTION 
CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE 
CONTINGENCY 
CONTRACT
CONTRIBUTION
CONVENTIONAL LOAN 
CONVEYANCE 
COOPERATING BROKER 
COOPERATIVE 
CO-OWNERSHIP
CORPORATION
CORRECTION LINES 
COST APPROACH 
COST RECOVERY 
COUNTEROFFER 
COVENANT
COVENANT OF QUIET ENJOYMENT 
CREDIT 
CURTEST

D

DATUM
DEBIT
DECEDENT
DEDICATION
DEED
DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE 
DEED IN TRUST 
DEED OF TRUST 
DEED OF TRUST LIEN 
DEED RESTRICTION 
DEFAULT 
DEFEASANCE CLAUSE 
DEFEASIBLE FEE ESTATE 
DEFICIENCY JUDGEMENT 
DEMAND 
DENSITY ZONING 
DEPRECIATION 
DESCENT
DEVELOPER
DEVISE
DISCOUNT POINT 
DOMINANT TENEMENT 
DOWER 
DUAL AGENCY 
DUE-ON-SALE CLAUSE 
DURESS

E

EARNEST MONEY 
EASEMENT
EASEMENT BY CONDEMNATION 
EASEMENT BY NECESSITY 
EASEMENT BY PRESCRIPTION 
EASEMENT IN GROSS 
ECONOMIC LIFE 
EMBLEMENTS 
EMINENT DOMAIN 
EMPLOYEE 
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT 
ENABLING ACTS 
ENCROACHMENT 
ENCUMBRANCE
EQUAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITY ACT (ECOA) 
EQUALIZATION 
EQUALIZATION FACTOR 
EQUITABLE LIEN 
EQUITABLE RIGHT OF REDEMPTION 
EQUITABLE TITLE 
EQUITY 
EROSION
ESCHEAT
ESCROW
ESCROW ACCOUNT 
ESCROW INSTRUCTIONS 
ESTATE (TENANCY) AT SUFFERANCE 
ESTATE (TENANCY) AT WILL 
ESTATE (TENANCY) FOR YEARS 
ESTATE (TENANCY) FROM PERIOD TO PERIOD 
ESTATE IN LAND 
ESTATE TAXES 
ESTOPPEL 
ESTOPPEL CERTIFICATE 
ETHICS 
EVICTION
EVIDENCE OF TITLE 
EXCHANGE 
EXCLUSIVE-AGENCY LISTING 
EXCLUSIVE RIGHT-TO-SELL LISTING 
EXECUTED CONTRACT 
EXECUTION 
EXECUTORY CONTRACT 
EXPRESS AGREEMENT 
EXPRESS CONTRACT 
EXTERNAL DEPRECIATION

F

FAIR HOUSING ACT 
FANNIE MAE 
FARMER’S HOME ADMINISTRATION (FmHA) 
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC) 
FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION (FHLMC) 
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION (FNMA) 
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 
FEE SIMPLE ABSOLUTE 
FEE SIMPLE DEFEASIBLE 
FEUDAL SYSTEM 
UPON THE DEATH OF THE INDIVIDUAL 
FHA LOAN 
FIDUCIARY 
FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP 
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS REFORM, RECOVERY AND ENFORCEMENT ACT 
FINANCING STATEMENT 
FISCAL POLICY 
FIXTURE 
FORECLOSURE
FRACTIONAL SECTION 
FRAUD 
FREDDIE MAC 
FREEHOLD ESTATE 
FRONT FOOTAGE 
FUNCTIONAL OBSOLESCENCE 
FUTURE INTEREST

G

GAP
GENERAL AGENT 
GENERAL LIEN 
GENERAL PARTNERSHIP 
GENERAL WARRANTY DEED 
GINNIE MAE 
GOVERNMENT CHECK 
GOVERNMENT LOT 
GOVERNMENT NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION (GNMA) 
GOVERNMENT SURVEY SYSTEM 
GRADUATED-PAYMENT MORTGAGE (GPM) 
GRANTEE 
GRANTING CLAUSE 
GRANTOR 
GROSS INCOME MULTIPLIER 
GROSS LEASE 
GROSS RENT MULTIPLIER (GRM) 
GROUND LEASE 
GROWING-EQUITY MORTGAGE (GEM)

H

HABENDUM CLAUSE 
HEIR
HIGHEST AND BEST USE 
HOLDOVER TENANCY 
HOLOGRAPHIC WILL 
HOME EQUITY LOAN 
HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE POLICY 
HOMESTEAD 
HYPOTHECATE

I

IMPLIED AGREEMENT 
IMPLIED CONTRACT 
IMPLIED WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY 
IMPROVEMENT 
INCOME APPROACH 
INCORPOREAL RIGHT 
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR 
INDEX METHOD 
INFLATION 
INHERITANCE TAXES 
INSTALLMENT CONTRACT 
INSTALLMENT SALE 
INTEREST 
INTERIM FINANCING 
INTERSTATE LAND SALES FULL DISCLOSURE ACT 
INTESTATE 
INTRINSIC VALUE 
INVESTMENT 
INVOLUNTARY ALIENATION 
INVOLUNTARY LIEN

J

JOINT TENANCY 
JOINT VENTURE 
JUDGEMENT 
JUDICIAL PRECEDENT 
JUNIOR LIEN

L

LATCHES
LAND
LAND CONTRACT 
LAW OF AGENCY 
LEASE 
LEASEHOLD ESTATE 
LEASE OPTION 
LEASE PURCHASE 
LEGACY 
LEGAL DESCRIPTION 
LEGALLY COMPETENT PARTIES 
LESSEE 
LESSOR
LEVERAGE
LEVY
LICENSE
LIEN
LIEN THEORY 
LIFE 
LIFE ESTATE 
LIFE TENANT 
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 
LIQUIDATED DAMAGES 
LIQUIDITY
LIS PENDENS
LISTING AGREEMENT 
LISTING BROKER 
LITTORAL RIGHTS 
LOAN ORIGINATION FEE 
LOAN-TO-VALUE RATIO 
LOT-AND-BLOCK (RECORDED PLAT) SYSTEM

M

MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT 
MARKET
MARKETABLE TITLE 
MARKET VALUE 
MASTER PLAN 
MECHANIC’S LIEN 
MERIDIAN 
METES-AND-BOUNDS DESCRIPTION 
MILL 
MINOR
MONETARY POLICY 
MONTH-TO-MONTH TENANCY 
MONUMENT 
MORTGAGE
MORTGAGE BANKER 
MORTGAGE BROKER 
MORTGAGEE 
MORTGAGE LIEN 
MORTGAGOR 
MULTIPERIL POLICIES 
MULTIPLE-LISTING CLAUSE 
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS)

N

NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT 
NET LEASE 
NET LISTING 
NET OPERATING INCOME (NOI) 
NONCONFORMING USE 
NON-HOMOGENEITY 
NOTE
NOVATION
NUNCUPATIVE WILL

O

OBSOLESCENCE
OCCUPANCY PERMIT 
OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE 
OFFICE OF THRIFT SUPERVISION (OTS) 
OPEN-END LOAN 
OPEN LISTING 
OPTION 
OPTION LISTING 
OSTENSIBLE AGENCY

P

PACKAGE LOAN 
PAROL EVIDENCE RULE 
PARTICIPATION MORTGAGE 
PARTITION 
PARTNERSHIP
PARTY WALL 
PATENT 
PAYMENT CAP 
PAYOFF STATEMENT 
PERCENTAGE LEASE 
PERCOLATION TEST 
PERIODIC ESTATE (TENANCY) 
PERSONAL PROPERTY 
PHYSICAL DETERIORATION 
PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT (PUD) 
PLAT MAP 
PLOTTAGE 
POINT OF BEGINNING (POB) 
POLICE POWER 
POWER OF ATTORNEY 
PREPAID ITEMS 
PREPAYMENT PENALTY 
PRICE-FIXING 
PRIMARY MORTGAGE MARKET 
PRINCIPAL 
PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN 
PRIOR APPROPRIATION 
PRIORITY 
PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI) 
PROBATE 
PROCURING CAUSE 
PROGRESSION 
PROMISSORY NOTE 
PROPERTY MANAGER 
PROPERTY REPORTS 
PROPRIETARY LEASE 
PRORATIONS 
PROTECTED CLASS 
PUFFING 
PUR AUTRE VIE “FOR THE LIFE OF ANOTHER.” 
PURCHASE-MONEY MORTGAGE (PMM) 
PYRAMIDING

Q

QUANTITY-SURVEY METHOD 
QUIET TITLE 
QUITCLAIM DEED

R

RANGE
RATE CAP
RATIFICATION 
READY, WILLING AND ABLE BUYER 
REAL ESTATE LAND 
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT SYNDICATE 
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) 
REAL ESTATE LICENSE LAW 
REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE INVESTMENT CONDUIT (REMIC) 
REAL ESTATE RECOVERY FUND 
REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (RESPA) 
REAL PROPERTY 
REALTOR® 
RECONCILIATION
RECONVEYANCE DEED 
RECORDING 
RECTANGULAR (GOVERNMENT) SURVEY SYSTEM 
REDEMPTION 
REDEMPTION PERIOD 
REDLINING 
REDUCTION CERTIFICATE (PAYOFF STATEMENT) 
REGRESSION 
REGULATION Z 
RELEASE DEED 
REMAINDER INTEREST 
RENT 
RENT SCHEDULE 
REPLACEMENT COST 
REPRODUCTION COST 
RESOLUTION TRUST CORPORATION 
RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS 
REVERSE-ANNUITY MORTGAGE (RAM) 
REVERSIONARY INTEREST 
REVERSIONARY RIGHT 
RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL o RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP 
RIGHT-OF-WAY 
RIPARIAN RIGHTS 
RISK MANAGEMENT 
RULES AND REGULATIONS

S

SALE AND LEASEBACK 
SALES COMPARISON APPROACH 
SALESPERSON 
SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE 
SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET 
SECTION 
SECURITY AGREEMENT 
SECURITY DEPOSIT 
SEPARATE PROPERTY 
SERVIENT TENEMENT 
SETBACK
SEVERALTY
SEVERANCE
SHARECROPPING
SHARED-APPRECIATION MORTGAGE (SAM) 
SITUS 
SPECIAL AGENT 
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT 
SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED 
SPECIFIC LIEN 
SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE 
SQUARE-FOOT METHOD 
STATUTE OF FRAUDS 
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS 
STATUTORY LIEN 
STATUTORY REDEMPTION 
STEERING 
STRAIGHT-LINE METHOD 
STRAIGHT (TERM) LOAN 
SUBAGENT 
SUBDIVIDER
SUBDIVISION
SUBDIVISION AND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCES 
SUBDIVISION PLAT 
SUBLEASE 
SUBLETTING
SUBORDINATION
SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT 
SUBROGATION 
SUBSTITUTION
SUBSURFACE RIGHTS 
SUIT FOR POSSESSION 
SUIT TO QUIET TITLE 
SURETY BOND 
SURFACE RIGHTS 
SURVEY

T

TACKING
TAXATION
TAX DEED
TAX LIEN
TAX SALE 
TENANCY IN COMMON 
TESTATE 
TESTATOR
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE 
TIME-SHARE 
TITLE
TITLE INSURANCE 
TITLE SEARCH 
TITLE THEORY 
TORRENS SYSTEM 
TRUST DEED 
TRUSTEE

U

UNILATERAL CONTRACT 
USURY

V

VALID CONTRACT 
VARIANCE
VOIDABLE CONTRACT 
VOLUNTARY ALIENATION 
VOLUNTARY LIEN

W

WASTE
WILL
WRAPAROUND LOAN

Z

ZONING ORDINANCE