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Real Estate Glossary of Terms & Definitions
The title & escrow industry, including most aspects of real estate, has many unique and interesting terms. This glossary has been prepared for the Title & Escrow School of Utah. Many of the terms and definitions are focused on the title and escrow industry. There may be other definitions which apply to some of the terms. The focus of this glossary in on real estate, and more specifically on title and escrow as taught in the Title & Escrow School. This glossary may be update from time to time. A date of preparation will be included with are copies to insure accuracy and timeliness. (Last updated 03/01/03)


ABA NUMBER -- Originated by the American Bankers Association, it is the number which identifies the bank upon which the check is drawn.

ABSTRACT -- An abbreviation of the basic and important information of all recorded deeds, mortgages, leases and other instruments affecting the title to a particular piece of land.


ABUT -- To touch or border upon. A piece of land bordering on a street, or an adjoining tract of property is said to abut such street or property.

ACCELERATION CLAUSE -- Clause used in an installment note and mortgage (or deed of trust), which gives the lender the right to demand payment in full upon the happening of a certain event, such as failure to pay an installment by a certain date, change of ownership with lender's consent, destruction of the property, or other events which endangers the security of the loan.

ACCRETION -- Due to natural forces of the earth A natural increase of land along the shores of a body of water.

ACCRUE -- To accumulate or be added periodically. To have due after a period of time.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT -- the formal certification of a signature as written evidence before and individual duly authorized to take acknowledgments, that the instrument is his/her act and deed. Necessary for recording.

ACRE -- A measure, usually of land, equal to 160 sq. rods (43,560 sq. ft)

ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE -- Mort--gage loans under which the interest rate is periodically adjusted to more closely coincide with current rates.

ADJUSTMENTS -- A settlement of a claim or debt in a case in which the amount involved in uncertain or in which full payment is not made. A correction or modification to reflect actual conditions.

ADHESION -- Where uncertainty or ambiguities are construed against the preparer.

ADMINISTRATOR / ADMINISTRATRIX -- A person appointed by a probate count to administer the estate of a person who dies intestate; that is without leaving a will.

ADVANCE -- Consideration, usually money, in the form of fees, charges and/or assessments levied at the beginning of the payment period. Made, sent, or furnished ahead of time.

ADVERSE POSSESSION -- Claims of ownership of property based upon open and hostile possession and occupancy.

AD VOLOREM – "According to Value". A method of taxation using the value of the thing taxed to determine the amount of tax. Taxes can be either "ad volorem" or "specific".

ADVERSE POSSESSION -- A method of acquiring title by possession under certain conditions. Generally, possession must be actual, under claim of right, open, continuous, notorious, exclusive, and hostile (knowingly against the rights of the owners).

AFFIDAVIT -- a voluntary, written statement or declaration sworn to before a notary public or other person authorized by to law to administer oaths.

AFFIRMATION -- a formal and solemn declaration or pledge made as a substitute for an oath.

AFTER ACQUIRED TITLE -- As applied to a judgment lien, it means that the lien will attach to property of the debtor acquiring after the judgment.

AGENCY -- An individual or corporation authorized to act for another person or corporation. The scope of an agency depends upon the authority given to the agent.

AGREEMENT -- A legally binding compact made between two or more persons. One of the elements of a contract as with an offer and acceptance.

ALEATORY -- Depending on uncertainty, as an aleatory contract when the outcome depends on an uncertain event.
ALIENATION CLAUSE -- A clause in a Note or Trust Deed permitting the Payee to declare the entire unpaid balance immediately due and payable upon subsequent transfer of the property. Also referred to as a "Due on Sale" clause.

ALL--INCLUSIVE -- a debt which includes an underlying debt. The payment made includes the payment of the other debt.

ALLUVION --The enlargement of land due to natural water forces. The increasing of land, especially along river banks, caused by the natural deposit and build--up of sediment. Such sediment is called alluvion.

ALTA – American Land Title Association

AMBIGUITY -- Vagueness, confusion, doubtful, uncertain. Capable of being understood in two or mor possible senses or ways.

AMORTIZATION -- Provision for the payment of a debt or obligation by payment of principal and interest at a stated amount for a stated time until debt is extinguished.

ANCILLARY -- Subordinate, subsidiary, auxiliary, supplementary. A judicial action held in another jurisdiction, as to where the real property is located, after the completion of the main action. When an individual dies and has his estate probated in another state, there is an ancillary proceeding the state where other property is located.

ANNUAL -- On a yearly basis.

ANNUM -- Year

APPURTENANCE --That which belongs to another thing. A right or privilege that is incident to, but outside of, the principal property such as a right of way or water rights.

APR (Annual Percentage Rage) -- The yearly interest percentage of a loan, as expressed by the actual rate of interest paid. The APR is disclosed as a requirement of federal truth in lending statutes.

ARBITRATION -- the process by which parties who cannot agree among themselves submit the dispute to the judgment of an impartial party.

ARB(S) -- An abbreviation of "arbitraries. A title industry work, used primarily in abstracting information to a specific parcel in a title plant.

ARM'S LENGTH -- Legal slang meaning that there existed no special relationship between the parties involved in any matter which would taint the result.

ARREARS -- The opposite of "in advance". Payments made after it is due is in arrears. Interest is said to be paid in arrears since it is paid to the date of payment rather than in advance.

ASSESSMENT --The act of fixing the amount of taxes and special improvement charges. The amount of taxes or special improvement charges. Special improvement charges are usually for the costs of street, sidewalks, sewers, etc.

ASSIGNMENT -- the act of transferring ownership of something from one person to another. The instrument or paper by which one transfers ownership of a right or an object to another.

ASSUMPTION -- A taking to or upon oneself. The action where a buyer becomes responsible for the payment of a mortgage debt entered into by the seller prior to the sale.

ATTACHMENT -- A seizure of property by Judicial Process during the Pendency of an Action.

ATTORNEY IN FACT -- The legal representative appointed as agent by a principal under a Power of Attorney.

ATTORNMENT AGREEMENT -- A letter from a grantor to a tenant, stating that the property has been sold, and directing rent to be paid to the grantee (new owner).

AUTHORITY -- power to influence or command thoughts, opinions, behavior, and/or actions. The power granted or obtained to preform certain actions.

AVULSION -- A change or shift in a water boundary resulting in loss or land by an owner and the acquiring of such land by another.

AZIMUTH -- Distance in degrees from North to an object.

BALLOON -- The final payment due under a note calling for periodic payment which are insufficient to fully amortize the face amount of the note prior to maturity, so that a principal sum is due at maturity.

BANKRUPTCY -- Proceeding under federal bankruptcy statutes to relieve a debtor from insurmountable debt.

BASE LINE -- A survey line used in the government survey to establish township lines. The base line runs East and West through a principal meridian (line running North and South).

BARGAIN & SALE DEED -- A deed of conveyance which presumes that the grantor holds title, but which makes no warranty with respect to the title. The deed used when a contract payments are completed.

BENEFICIARY -- a person who is entitled to receive funds or property under the terms and provisions of a will, or trust, or insurance policy, or deed of trust.

BENEFIT OF THE BARGAIN -- A rule of damages under which a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the actual and misrepresented value of the property purchased, even though greater than the actual loss suffered.

BIANNUAL -- Twice per year, Semiannual.

BIENNIAL -- Every two years.

BILATERAL (RECIPROCAL) CONTRACT - Contract under which the parties expressly enter into mutual promises, such as sales contracts.

BILL OF SALE -- an instrument which transfers the ownership of personal property.

BINDER -- A preliminary title report as to the condition of a title and a commitment to issue a title insurance policy in a certain manner when certain conditions are met. Also, an agreement to issue an insurance policy (liability and/or casualty) when the premium is paid.

BOND -- A written promise to pay to the bearer or owner a stated sum of money at a specified time, with interest.

BROKER -- One who acts as an agent for another in negotiating sales or purchases in return for a fee or commission.

BULK TRANSFER -- involves the transfer of inventory in a commercial transaction. Suppliers must be given notice of sale to protect any rights of debts owned on the inventory supplied to a business.

BUYER -- An individual or other entity which acquires possession and/or ownership of something. The person making a purchase.

BY--LAWS -- Rules adopted by an organization for the governing of its members and the regulation of its affairs.

CANCELLATION -- The act to destroy of force, effectiveness, or validity of something.

CERTIFICATE -- any formal declaration in writing.

CERTIFIED -- To attest authoritatively. A document which has been approve and attested (confirmed) as to its validity and/or authority. A recorded document which is certified is sometimes used in place of the original.

CHAIN OF TITLE -- A chronological list of recorded instruments affecting the title to land.

CHATTELS -- personal property

CHECKS -- A written order directing a bank to pay money as directed.

CLAIM -- A demand for something due or believed to be due. A title to a debt, privilege, or other thing in the possession of another. An assertion open to challenge.

CLAUSES -- A distinctive article in a written document.

CLOSING -- Sometimes called settlement, the process of completing a real estate transaction during which the required documents are signed and delivered, an accounting between the parties is made, the money is disbursed, the papers are recorded, and all other details are attended to.

CLOUD -- An irregularity, possible claim, or encumbrance which, if valid, would adversely affect or impair the title.

CODICIL -- An amendment, revision, supplementation, or cancellation of a will.

CO-INSURANCE -- Two or more policies of insurance issued by different insurers, each covering a portion of the same risk, with interlocking provisions and which, when taken together, provide total coverage of the risk.

COLLATERAL -- Any property pledged as security for a debt.

COLLUSION -- An agreement of two or more people to do something unlawful.

COLOR OF TITLE -- That which gives the appearance of good title, but actually contains some defect.

COMMINGLING -- To mix funds held in trust with other funds.

COMMISSIONS -- The amount due a broker (real estate and/or mortgage loan) for services performed in such capacity.

COMMITMENT -- Title insurance term for the preliminary report issued before the actual policy. Said report shows the condition of title and the steps necessary to complete the transfer of title as contemplated between the parties. Also, one of the guiding principles: meaning the state of being bound emotionally and intellectually to some course of action. Being place in trust or charge; entrusted.

COMMON AREA -- The area owned in common by the owners of condominiums or planned unit development homes in a subdivision.

COMMON LAW -- The system of laws originated and developed in England which was the outgrowth of customs, usages, and arbitrary court decisions as distinguished from written laws enacted by legislative bodies.

COMMUNICATION -- One of the guiding principles, meaning to express oneself in such a way that one is readily and clearly understood.

COMMUNITY PROPERTY -- Property owned in common by a husband and wife, which was not acquired as separate property. A classification of property peculiar to certain states.

COMPETENT -- Legally fit. Having the necessary age, ability, and authority to accomplish any given acts or duties.

COMPOUNDED -- interest charged on previously accrued interest.

CONDEMNATION -- The exercise of the power of Eminent Domain. The taking of private property for public or quasi public use..

CONDITIONAL -- Subject to, implying or depending on a premise upon which the fulfillment of an agreement depends. A provision making the effect of a legal instrument contingent upon an uncertain event.

CONDOMINIUM -- A building containing units with individual ownership of each unit in the multi-unit structure.

CONGRUOUS -- Suitable or appropriate.

CONSIDERATION -- A necessary part of a contract. Involves the transfer of something of value.

CONSENT -- Agree to an action.

CONSTRUCTION -- The process of building improvements upon real estate.

CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE -- Notice given by the public records of a claim of ownership or interest in property. Generally, the law presumes that one has the same knowledge of instruments properly recorded as if one were actually acquainted with them.

CONTIGUOUS -- Being in actual contact; adjoining or touching.

CONTINGENCY -- The dependence upon a stated event which must occur before a contract is binding.

CONTRACT -- A legally enforceable promise.

CONVERSION -- A taking of something for one's own use which was originally in his possession only to hold for the owner.

CONVEYANCE -- A written instrument transferring the title to land or and interest therein from one party to another.

CORPORATION -- A legal entity created through a statutory process approved by a state.

COURT ORDER -- The direction given by a judicial court authorizing or confirming certain actions.

COVENANTS -- Agreements contained in deeds and other instruments for the performance or non--performance of certain acts, or the use or non--use of property in a certain manner.

CURTESY -- A right which a husband has in his wife's property at her death.


DBA -- "doing business as". An identification of the owner or owners of a business and the business name. Not a partnership or corporation.

DEBIT -- Accounting term used to indicate a reduction.

DEBT -- Money owing from one person to another.

DEBTOR -- One who owes a debt.

DECEASED / DECEDENT -- The person who has died.

DECLARATION -- An announcement. A statement made by a party to a legal transaction, usually not under oath. The instrument contain the announcement.

DECREE OF DISTRIBUTION -- An order of the probate court distributing property to person entitled thereto.

DEDICATION -- The setting aside of certain land by the owner and declaring to be for some public use.

DEED -- An instrument by which title to real property is transferred (conveyed) from one party to another.

DEED IN LIEU -- A conveyance given to a creditor prior to the foreclosure of a debt.

DEED OF TRUST -- A written instrument by which title to an interest in land is transferred by the Trustor to a Trustee as security for a loan or other obligation due a beneficiary.

DEFAULT -- Failure to perform a promised task or to pay an obligation when due.

DEFEASIBLE TITLE -- Title which is not absolute but possibly may be annulled or voided at a later date.

DEFECT -- A blemish, imperfection or deficiency. A defective title is one that is irregular and faulty.

DEFICIENCY -- The amount left after the satisfaction of a debt.

DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT -- When property at a foreclosure sale does not bring enough money to pay the debt, plus costs of foreclosure, the court will enter a deficiency judgment against the debtor for the difference between the sale prices and the debt plus costs.

DELIVERY -- In conveyancing, the placing of the property in the actual or constructive possession of the grantee.

DEMANDS -- The acts of asking with authority. The presentation and request for payment.

DEPOSITS -- Items, usually in the form of money, placed with someone for the payment of items owed. Something placed for safekeeping.

DEPRECIATION -- Loss in value occasioned by ordinary wear and tear; destructive action of the elements; or functional or economic obsolescence.

DEVISE -- A gift of real estate made by a will.

DEVISEE -- One who is given real estate under a will.

DILUVION -- The washing away of land due to water forces.

DISBURSEMENT -- The act of paying out funds. To make a payment to settle a charge, assessment, or amount owing.

DISCOUNT -- A reduction made from the gross amount or value os something. A deduction taken or allowance make.

DISPERSION OF MINORITIES -- Fair housing interpretation, usually by cities and their housing boards, that minority group members, especially blacks, should be evenly distributed among all neighborhoods.

DISPOSSESS -- Take away the right to use real property.

DISTRIBUTION -- In probate, dividing and apportioning intestate's estate among legal heirs after payment of debts and expenses under authority of probate court.

DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURT -- A specialized state court that handles divorce and other marital cases, including the attendant disposition of real and personal property.

DOCUMENT -- An legal, original paper or instrument, relied on as the basis, proof, or support of something. A writing conveying information.

DOMICILE -- The location or residence of an individual or other entity. The state in which a corporation was formed and operates its main office.

DOMINANT ESTATE -- The estate which controlling, or responsible for the creation, of an interest.

DONEE -- Person receiving gift.

DONOR -- Person who gives gift.

DOWER -- A right which a wife has in her husband's property at the time of his death.

DUAL AGENCY -- Real estate agent represents both the seller and the purchaser in a transaction. This is lawful (but not recommended) as long as the dual agency is disclosed to both purchaser and seller and is unlawful if not disclosed to both.

DUE CARE -- Reasonable care; not negligent.

DUE ON SALE CLAUSE -- See Alienation Clause. A clause often present in mortgages that gives the mortgagee/lender the right to call the entire debt due should the mortgagor/borrower sell or otherwise change the ownership of the mortgaged realty without first obtaining the mortgagee/lender's consent.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY -- A power of attorney that is not affected by any subsequent disability of principal.

DURESS -- Forcing a person against his or her will to perform the act.

EARNEST MONEY -- The advance, by a purchaser, of a small part of the purchase price as evidence of good faith.

EASEMENT -- A right held by a person to enjoy or make limited use of another's real property.

EASEMENT APPURTENANT -- Easement wherein one owner of a particular parcel fo realty has the right to use and benefit from another landowner's parcel of realty.

EASEMENT IN GROSS -- Right to use realty for specific purpose, as held by a person or commercial entity.

EGRESS -- The right to a path or right--of--way over which a person may leave or to away from his own real estate.

EJECT -- To throw out from possession of land.

EMPLEMENTS -- Vegetable chattels annually produced by labor.

EMINENT DOMAIN -- The right of a government to take privately owned property for public purposes under condemnation proceedings upon payment of its reasonable value.

ENCROACHMENT -- The extension of an improvement onto the property of another.

ENCUMBRANCES -- A lien or charge on land. A claim, right, or lien upon the title to real estate, held by someone other than the real estate owner.

ENDORSEMENT -- A writing place on the back of a negotiable instrument. ALSO, an instrument used to modify, amend, or extend the coverage of an insurance policy.

ENFORCEABLE -- In contracts, refers to a contract that the law will uphold and find a breach of when one party fails to perform.

EQUAL ACCESS -- Fair housing interpretation, usually by real estate licensees and professional affiliates, that a person, regardless of who or what he or she is, can get housing anywhere.

EQUAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITY ACT -- Law making it illegal for financial institutions and other creditors to discriminate against applicants for credit based on race, religion, sex, or national origin.

EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS -- No person is subjected to any greater burden, punishment, or restriction to the courts, liberty, or property than other persons within the same jurisdiction.

EQUITABLE CONVERSION -- A legal fiction applied to a land contract which treats the vendee's (buyer's) interest as real property interest even though the seller holds legal title, and the seller's interest as a security interest (personal property).

EQUITABLE TITLE -- Title of the Purchaser under a contract of sale or the right to acquire the legal title.

EQUITY -- The money value of a property or of an interest in a property in excess of claims or liens against it.

EQUITY OF REDEMPTION -- A period of time wherein the former mortgagor can obtain his or her real property back by paying the entire debt, including interests and costs.

ERROR -- Mistaken application of law used as grounds for appeal to a higher court.

ERRORS & OMISSIONS INSURANCE -- Insurance covering losses caused by errors and omissions of professions other than medicine.

ESCHEAT -- The reversion of property to a State

ESCROW -- A deed, a bond, money, or a piece of property held in trust by a third party to be turned over to the grantee only upon the fulfillment of a condition.

ESCROW CLOSING -- Disinterested third person is chosen by both seller and purchaser to accept all documents and funds necessary to close real estate purchase transaction. When all terms and conditions have been met, this escrow agent closes the transaction; the purchaser obtains his or her title to the realty and the seller his or her net sales' proceeds.

ESTATE -- The whole of one's possessions, especially all of the property, assets, debts, and liabilities left by a deceased or bankrupt person. Also, the nature and extent of an owner's right in real estate.

ESTATE BY ENTIRITIES -- An estate or interest in real estate predicated upon the legal fiction that a husband and wife are one person. a conveyance or devise to them (unless contrary intent is expressed) vests title in them as one person. Upon the death of either husband or wife, full title passes to the survivor.

ESTATE FOR YEARS -- Leasehold estate in land for some definite period that has a specific beginning and ending date.

ESTATE FROM YEAR TO YEAR -- Leasehold estate in land that continues to renew itself for another identical period unless the parties notify one another that the next period is the final one.

ESTOPPEL -- A legal restraint which stops or prevents a person from contradicting or reneging on his previous position or previous assertions or commitments.

ET AL -- And Others.

ET CON -- And Husband.

ETHICS -- Moral standards of practice that members of a profession are bound to follow.

ET UX -- And Wife

ET VIR -- And Husband

EVICTION -- By re-entry or legal proceedings ousting a tenant from his or her possession of land.

EVIDENCE -- Proof of an issue's truth or falsity, such as documents and testimony.

EXAMINATION -- To peruse and study the instruments and muniments incident to a chain of title and to determine their effect and conditions in order to reach a conclusion as to the status of the title.

EXCEPTION -- A provision in a title insurance commitment or policy which excludes liability regarding a specific title defect or an outstanding lien or encumbrance.

EXCEPTION CLAUSE -- Clause in purchase contract and deed that specifies parts of estate in land that are not being sold or transferred.

EXCLUSIONARY ZONING -- Usually legal, lart lot, residential zoning scheme that keeps out low to moderate income persons; also can exclude commerce and industry.

EXCLUSIVE AGENCY -- Listing contract for sale of real estate wherein principal is precluded from dealing through another broker/agent but may still act on his or her own behalf.

EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION -- Occurs when only one court has the power to hear a particular case.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL -- Listing contract for sale of real estate wherein a single broker has authority to procure a purchaser. That broker receives the commission regardless of who procures the purchaser. The principal/seller can deal only through his or her real estate broker.

EXCLUSIVE ZONE -- In zoning, when an area may be used for only one purpose. For example, commercially zoned property can only have commercial real property; residential can only have residential real property.

EXECUTE -- To create and make valid a real estate instrument. To perform or do whatever is required.

EXECUTED CONTRACT -- A valid contract that has been performed by the parties.

EXECUTION -- Writ the court issues to sheriff authorizing him or her to perform some act, such as selling real property.

EXECUTION OF DEED -- All acts necessary to operative effect of instrument, including signing, attestation, acknowledgment, and delivery, are complete.

EXECUTIVE ORDER OF 1962 -- Guarantee of nondiscrimination for housing owned, operated, or assisted by the federal government.

EXECUTOR /EXECUTRIX -- A person names in a will to carry out its provisions.

EXECUTORY CONTRACT -- A contract where some on the provision still need to be performed.

EXPANDABLE CONDOMINIUM -- Developer is allowed to add on additional individual and common area property to the individual and common area property already in existence within period of time set by statute.

EXPERT WITNESS -- Persons with specialized knowledge who are allowed to give their opinions, in their professional fields, as testimony.

EXPRESS CONTRACT -- The terms of the contract have been specifically set forth between the parties, usually in a writing.

EXTRAORDINARY REPAIRS -- Major repairs that landlord remains responsible for, such as changing plumbing from galvanized plumbing to copper plumbing.

FAIR HOUSING ACT -- Modern fair housing law prohibiting discrimination in housing, lending, and so on, because of race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, and family status.

FAIR HOUSING INITIATIVES PROGRAM -- Agreement between HUD and the National Association of Realtors for an organized program of testing real estate agents using their mutually agreed upon standards.

FAMILY STATUS -- Person protected under the Fair Housing Act because he or she is under age eighteen and lives with a parent or guardian.

FEDERAL COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT -- Law requiring regulatory agencies for federal banks to supervise and assess the lender's records in meeting an entire community's lending needs.

FEDERAL TAX LIEN -- Lien the federal government has against all real estate in the country when persons owe it money, such as failure to pay income or estate taxes.

FEE SIMPLE (ABSOLUTE) -- The least restricted and most desirable form of ownership; ownership of land by a person, subject only to public and private controls.

FEE SIMPLE DETERMINABLE -- Estate in land that ends automatically upon the happening of a stated event.

FEE SIMPLE TITLE -- The highest degree of ownership which a person can have in real estate. An interest in real estate which gives the owner unqualified ownership and full power of disposition.

FEE TITLE -- The group of fee estates which include various forms of full ownership to real property. Examples: Fee Simple, Fee Remainder, Fee Determinable.

FHA -- Abbreviation for Federal Housing Authority, an agency of the federal government, which insures mortgage loans.

FIDUCIARY -- A person who bears a special relationship of trust, confidence, and responsibility to others.

FIDUCIARY DEED -- Deed used when grantor is fiduciary, that is, trustee, executor, guardian, which contains limited warranties for the grantee.

FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP -- Agency relationship between broker-salesperson and principal, usually the seller, wherein principal is owed a high degree of trust, loyalty, full disclosure, due care, and no self-dealing.

FIFTH AMENDMENT -- Section of the United States Constitution requiring due process of law and payment of just compensation when government takes private property for public use.

FINANCING STATEMENT -- A personal property security instrument which replaces a chattel mortgage upon adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code.

FINDER'S FEE -- Professional fee paid to broker by purchaser for finding real property for him or her to purchase. This realty is usually not even on the market for sale.
FIRST AMENDMENT -- United States Constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech, expression, association, and religion.

FIRST MORTGAGE -- First lien against the real property determined by its being first filed in the county recorder's office.

FIXTURE -- A thing which was originally personal property but which has been attached to and is considered a part of real property.

FIXTURE FILING -- Financing statement, which is recorded in county where realty is located, as required by the Uniform Commercial Code; retailer thus perfects security interest in financed fixture he or she has sold for real property.

FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER -- Gives possession of land back to the person wrongfully deprived of its possession through summary legal proceeding.

FORECLOSURE -- A legal preceding for the collection of a real estate debt or lien, such as a mortgage, which results in cutting of the right to redeem the property and usually involves a judicial sale of the property to pay the debt.

FOREIGN -- Situated outside a place. Not being within the jurisdiction of a political unit.

FORFEITURE -- The taking of an individual's property by a government, because the individual has committed a crime. In the United States, private property cannot be taken, except by eminent domain upon payment of just compensation, or for nonpayment of taxes.

FORGED / FORGERY -- Fraudulently executed; counterfeited.

FORMAL CLOSING -- All persons involved in the closing of a real estate purchase contract show up in person to complete their tasks. At the end of this actual meeting the purchaser receives title to the real estate and the seller receives his or her net sales' proceeds.

FRAUD -- A deception deliberately practiced in order to obtain an unfair or unlawful gain.

FRAUDULENT CONVEYANCE -- Conveying or transferring realty to another to defraud creditors; prevents creditors' collecting through forced sale of the realty.

FREEHOLD -- Estate in fee or for life; if a freehold estate, it is the right of title to land; estate in land of uncertain duration.

FRUCTUS INDUSTRIALS -- Growing things on land by the efforts of people and thus considered personal and not real property.

FRUCTUS NATURALES -- Growing things on land that are capable of living and producing without the efforts of people. These are fixtures and remain with the real estate.

FUNDS -- A sum of money or other resources whose principal or interest is set apart for a specific objective.

GARNISHMENT -- A statutory proceeding whereby property, money, or credits of a debtor in possession of another are seized and applied to payment of the debt.

GENERAL JURISDICTION -- A court's power to hear a wide array of civil and criminal cases.

GENERAL LIEN -- Lien can be satisfied by any real property owned by obliged owner.

GENERAL TAX LIEN -- Tax against realty that applies generally and uniformly throughout the local taxing district.

GENERAL WARRANTY DEED -- Grantor warrants within his or her deed to protect grantee's right, title, and interest in subject real property against the world.

GIFT -- Owner parting voluntarily with his or her property without receiving consideration.

GOOD FAITH -- Honest and lawfulness of purpose.

GORE -- A sliver of land usually of triangle shape between two tracts, resulting from failure of land descriptions to adjoin.

GRACE PERIOD -- A period of time past the due date for a payment (mortgage, insurance, etc), during which time a payment may be made and not considered delinquent.

GRANT -- A transfer of real estate, between individuals, by deed.

GRANT DEED -- Deed form used in the western states; warranties are implied into the deed by state statute.

GRANTEE -- One to whom a grant is made.

GRANTOR -- One who makes a grant.

GROSS LEASE -- Type of lease where lessor pays regular charges upon the real property, such as real estate taxes.

GROUND LEASE -- Type of net lease where tenant leases vacant lot and erects the building himself or herself.

GUARANTY -- An agreement in which a guarantee or assurance of a state of facts or performance of an objective or obligation is given.

GUARDIAN -- A person who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of one who is legally incompetent to manage his own affairs.

HABENDUM CLAUSE -- That provision in deeds which begins with the words "to have and to hold" and which, in effect, defines the quality of the estate or interest which is being conveyed to the grantee.

HABITABILITY, IMPLIED WARRANTY OF -- In landlord-tenant law, protection for the tenant by requiring that the premises be fit for its intended use per the housing code. Capable of being resided within.

HANDICAP -- Person who qualifies for protection under the Fair Housing Act because he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

HAZARD -- A danger, peril or risk. It relates to the risk assumed under an insurance policy.

HEALTH CODE -- Regulations for the public health that affect real property, such as standards for septic systems, and are enforced by health department.

HEIRS -- The persons designated by law to succeed to the estate of a decedent who leaves no will.

HEREDITAMENTS -- Any and all kinds of estates, interests, and rights in real estate which can be inherited.

HIATUS -- A separation, gap or unaccounted for area.

HOLD -- Possess by lawful title; to be the grantee.

HOLD OVER -- Tenant keeps possession after the expiration of leasehold and the landlord agrees by acceptance of rent.

HOMEOWNER'S ASSOCIATION -- Organization within a subdivision responsible for enforcing restrictions on use of the land.

HOMESTEAD -- Property designated by the head of a family as his home, which is protected by law from forced sale to pay his debts.

HUD -- Abbreviation for the federal government agency, Housing and Urban Development, which administers fair housing and other federal real estate laws.

HYPOTHECATE -- To give a thing as security without parting with possession.

IMPLIED CONTRACT -- Intent to form a contract found by conduct of parties and their relationship.

IMPLIED NOTICE -- A form of actual notice not expressly given.

IMPLIED WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY -- Doctrine requiring landlord to maintain leased premises in compliance with the housing code.

IMPOSSIBILITY OF PERFORMANCE -- Unforeseen, objective inability by a party to perform a contract because no one could perform it. Performance on contract is then excused. Personal impossibility is not sufficient and person suffering from personal impossibility is in breach of contract.

IMPOUNDS -- The funds held in escrow for the payment of taxes, assessments, insurance and other matters, for the protection of a creditor.

IMPROVEMENTS -- items, including structures, place on land for the benefit of the owners.

INCENTIVE ZONING -- The community exempts industry or commerce from some zoning requisites if the industry or commerce will include certain amenities for its residents on the property too. For example, more stories on the building in excess of the zoning code in exchange for a theater in the bottom of the building.

INCHOATE -- Immature; not fully developed; an early stage; incomplete; only partially existing.

INCOMPETENT -- Incapable of managing one's affairs.

INCORPORATE -- Create a corporation pursuant to requirements of state law.

INCORPOREAL RIGHTS -- Intangible rights in realty such as those found in easements and licenses.

INDEMNIFY -- To pay for a loss or give security to cover a loss.

INDEMNITY -- Insurance against possible loss or damage. The legal principle of insurance where payment on a claim is only paid for actual loss.

INDEMNITY AGREEMENT -- An agreement by which one party agrees to repay another for any loss or damage the latter may suffer.

INDENTURE -- A deed or other real estate contract executed between two or more parties.

INDEX -- To file in a book for research purposes. The book used to compile information about recorded documents so research can be accomplished on individuals and property.

INGRESS -- The right or permission to enter; also the means or place on entry such as a right--of--way across adjoining land.

INJUNCTION -- Court, using its equity powers, directs a party to a lawsuit to either do an act or refrain from doing some act.

INQUIRY DURING NEGOTIATIONS -- Asking questions during the offer, counteroffer, and acceptance stages as opposed to actually making a counteroffer to the offeror.

INSTALLMENT -- One of the parts into which a debt is divided when payment is made at intervals.

INSTALLMENT CONTRACT -- Purchase of real property whereby purchase price is paid by periodic payments rather than in lump sum.

INSTRUCTIONS -- Any written document by which something is done regarding right or interests in real estate.

INSURANCE -- Coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril.

INTEGRITY -- One of the guiding principles, meaning rigid adherence to a code of behavior. The state of being unimpaired; soundness. Unity, Completeness.

INTENTION TEST -- One of the fixture tests that considers what a reasonable man intended an item to be -- realty or personalty.

INTEREST -- Estates, rights, or legal claims in and to real estate. Also, the amount charge of debt.

INTERROGATORIES -- Written questions sent from one party to a lawsuit to party, who must answer them in writing under oath.

INTERSTATE LAND SALES FULL DISCLOSURE ACT -- Federal law that protects prospective purchasers from land developers who sell lots site unseen through interstate commerce.

INTERVAL OWNERSHIP -- Ownership for only a limited period of time in a condominium.

INTERVIVOS TRUST -- Trust that takes effect while the trustor is still alive.

INTESTATE -- Dying without leaving a legal will.

INVENTORY -- A list of goods on hand. A catalog of the property of an individual or estate.

INVITEE -- A business guest who is invited onto another's real property. He or she is thus owed the highest duty of care for his or her safety on the realty by the owner.

INVOLUNTARY -- Not done by choice or willingly.

INVOLUNTARY LIEN -- Realty owner has not consented to lien's being placed against his or her realty.

IRRIGATION -- The process of running water to and onto a real property for agricultural purposes.

JOINT TENANCY -- An estate in real estate where two or more persons hold title jointly, with equal rights to share in its enjoyment during their respective lives with the provision that upon the death of a joint tenant, his share in the property passes to the surviving tenant.

JUDGMENT -- A conclusion or determination by a court of law usually awarding the payment of money or relief of some kind to one of the parties to a lawsuit.

JUDGMENT LIEN -- Binds the real estate of the judgment debtor; holder can force a sale of realty to satisfy the judgment.

JUDICIAL -- Of or pertaining to courts of law or the administration of justice.

JUDICIARY -- System of courts that interpret the law and declare and enforce liability.

JURAT -- a certificate in an affidavit form, sworn to before a notary public that the document was properly made before the duly authorized officer. Not the same as an acknowledgment.

KNOWLEDGE -- The fact or condition of being aware of something.

LACHES -- Material delay or negligence in the timely assertion of one's rights. Laches is a legal principle under which one is barred from asserting or claiming a right.

LAND -- The solid ground of the earth.

LAND INSTALLMENT PURCHASE CONTRACT -- A real estate purchase contract, drafted in conformance with state law, wherein the seller-vendor accepts installment payments from the purchaser-vendee. Title is conveyed to the vendee only when payments are completed.

LANDLORD -- Owner of real property who rents it to another; also called lessor.

LAND USE -- The way land can be lawfully utilized such as agriculturally, residentially, commercially, or industrially.

LATENT DEFECT -- Concealed or hidden defect in or on the real property.

LEASE -- An agreement granting the use or occupancy of land during a specified period in exchange for rent.

LEASEHOLD -- Estate in land in which the tenant has the right to occupy real property under a lease.

LEASE/OPTION -- Mortgagor/seller leases the realty to a tenant, who is also given the option to purchase the leased premises.

LEGACY -- A gift of personal property by will, usually money.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION -- A writing which adequately identifies a specific parcel of real property.

LEGISLATURE -- A body of elected leaders who enact laws that govern and regulate society.

LENDER -- The entity which lets out (money) on condition that the same or its equivalent be returned, usually with interest (the cost of borrowing).

LESSEE -- A tenant holding a lease.

LESSOR -- One who gives a lease to a lessee.

LEVY -- To collect a sum of money or seize property to satisfy an obligation.

LIABLE -- In civil law, the party who has lost the case now owes legally enforceable obligations, usually money, to the party who won.

LIABILITY -- A legal obligation or responsibility for the payment of a loss or damages, or a debt.

LICENSE -- A revokable easement. Permission to go upon or use the land of another, the permission being a personal privilege and not constituting an in interest in the land. ALSO, the authority issued by a government office to function in a certain capacity.

LICENSEE -- One who is on the owner's real property as a social guest; the owner must tell him or her of any known hazards.

LICENSING LAWS -- State legislation that regulates the real estate profession so as to protect the public.

LIEN -- The liability of real estate as security for payment of a debt.

LIEN THEORY JURISDICTION -- Court empowered to determine cases concerning limited amounts of money and petty crimes and misdemeanors.

LIFE ESTATE -- An estate of ownership in real estate which exists only during the term of a certain person's life.

LIGHT WELL -- The area around a building which must be left open so light can enter windows and other openings.

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY -- A form of partnership which takes on the appearance, liability, and operation of a corporation.

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP -- A partnership consisting of one or more general partners who conduct the business and are responsible (liable) for losses, and one or more special (limited) partners, contributing capital and liable only up to the amount contributed.

LIMITED WARRANTY DEED -- Another name used for the special warranty deed.

LINEAR/LINEAL -- Being in a direct line.

LIQUIDATED DAMAGES -- An amount of money agreed upon by the parties in a contract about the amount of damages a breaching party forfeits to a nonbreaching party.

LIS PENDENS -- A recorded notice of the filing of an action.

LISTING -- An oral or written contract between real estate broker and landowner wherein the landowner agrees to pay the broker a stipulated commission if broker produces a ready, willing, and able purchaser for his or her realty.

LITIGATION -- Legal proceeding, a lawsuit in which a dispute is submitted to a court for determination.

LITTORAL LAND -- Land that borders a lake, ocean, or sea.

LOAN -- Money granted for temporary use, to be repaid with interest.

LOAN ORIGINATION FEE -- A one time set up fee charged by the lender.

LOAN POLICY -- A title insurance policy insuring a mortgagee or beneficiary under a deed of trust, against loss caused by invalid title in the borrower, or loss or priority of the mortgage or deed of trust.

LOCK IN -- The prohibition of prepayment of a loan secured by a mortgage or deed of trust, so that the borrower is "locked-in" to the loan for a specified period.

LONG-TERM LEASES -- Leaseholds of ninety-nine or more years.

LOSS PAYABLE CLAUSE -- An endorsement to an insurance policy (hazard) specifying parties (lenders) entitled to participate in proceeds in the event of a loss.

MAJORITY -- Above the age of minority, which, depending upon state law, is either age eighteen or twenty-one.

MARKETABLE TITLE -- A title free from reasonable doubt in law and in fact.
MARKETABLE TITLE ACT -- State law that provides that if a recorded title shows a clear, not flawed, chain of title, at least forty years long, that title is good, or marketable enough, to be transferred.

MARKET VALUE -- The highest price a willing purchaser will pay to a willing seller.

MECHANIC LIENS -- A lien on real estate, created by operation of law, which secures the payment of debts due to person who perform labor or services or furnish materials incident to the construction of buildings and improvements on the real estate.

MEDIATION -- A structured settlement process that uses a skilled negotiator working with the parties to a lawsuit.

MEETING OF THE MINDS -- A legal term meaning the mutual agreement necessary to form a contract. It is not based on what may actually be in the minds of the parties, but rather based on whether the acts of the parties and circumstances of the contract indicate that the parties agree.

MEMORANDUM OF LEASE -- Legal instrument for setting forth the names of the parties and legal description of realty, subject to a lease, which can be recorded instead of the lease itself in some states.

MENTAL INFIRMITY -- A person's condition that makes it possible for him or her to declare a contract, which he or she is a party to, void or voidable.

MESNE -- Intermediate; Intervening.

METERS AND BOUNDS -- meaning measurements and boundaries. A type of legal description where the perimeter of the real property is set forth.

MINIMIZATION OF DAMAGES -- Duty imposed upon a nonbreaching party to a contract to prevent damage figure from going higher by him or her being required to exercise reasonable care.

MINORITY -- A person who lacks capacity to contract because he or she has not reached age a majority under his or her state's law.

MISREPRESENTATION -- False representation about a factual matter regarding real property being considered for purchase.

MITIGATION OF DAMAGES -- Doctrine that requires a reduction in the dollar damage figure owed by the breaching party to the nonbreaching party because of extenuating circumstances.

MONEY -- Something generally accepted as a medium of exchange.

MONEY JUDGMENT -- Court judgment ordering the payment of a specific amount of money rather than ordering an act be done or not done.

MONUMENTS -- An artificial or natural object used in metes and bounds legal descriptions to establish boundaries for real property.

MORTGAGE -- A temporary and conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security for the payment of a debt.

MORTGAGEE -- The holder of a mortgage. The party to whom a mortgage is made.

MORTGAGE LIEN -- Lien on the mortgagor's realty securing by the value of the realty the lender's loan proceeds given to the mortgagor.

MORTGAGOR -- A person who mortgages property. A person who executes a mortgage.

MOTION FOR BOOKS, RECORDS, AND/OR TO ENTER LAND -- Discovery device that allows a party to the lawsuit to examine the other party's books and records and/or enter his or her land for inspection, testing or filming.

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT -- Motion brought by a party in trial court asking for judgment in his or her behalf because, even if everything is weighed favorably in the other party's behalf, he or she can still not show genuine issue as to any material fact.

MOTION TO DISMISS -- Motion brought in trial court by the defendant based on lack of jurisdiction, improper venue, insufficiency of process or service of process, or failure by plaintiff to state in its complaint a cause of action for which the law gives relief.

MULTIPLE LISTING -- A listing broker makes a unilateral subagency offer on a mass basis to all other MLS members; also, method of sharing information among real estate companies about the listings each has available.

MUTUAL MISTAKE -- In contracts, a ground for having the contract set aside by both parties having made the same mistake about a central aspect of the contract. For example, both parties having bargained over the wrong piece of real property.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS -- The real estate industry's private, trade association; its national branch.

NATIONAL HOUSING ACT -- Law providing that no federal related mortgage loan or federal insurance, guaranty, or other assistance is to be denied to any person because of sex.

NEGLIGENCE -- The omission or neglect of reasonable precaution, care, or action.

NEGOTIABLE -- Capable of being legally transferred by endorsement from one person to another, such endorsement carrying with it, without written provisions, implications of certain contractual obligations.

NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT -- An instrument in writing and signed, containing an unconditional promise or order to pay a certain amount of money, on demand, or at a definite future date, or the bearer, to order, or in a named or certain drawee.

NET LEASE -- Lease requiring the tenant to pay rent and all costs of maintaining realty including utilities, taxes, insurance, and repairs.

NET LISTING -- A listing contract in which the broker's commission is any and all money over the seller's net sales figure as stipulated.

NOMINEE -- A person who has been granted certain duties and/or responsibilities.

NONCONFORMING USE -- A use that was once within the zoning code and no longer is; it is permitted to continue despite the new zoning regulation but will end upon certain, stated events.

NONFREEHOLD ESTATE -- A leasehold estate in land.

NOTARY PUBLIC -- a properly appointed public officer whose duties are to attest and certify to the authenticity of documents and the signature(s) upon them.

NOTE -- see promissory note. An executed piece of commercial paper acknowledging indebtedness by the signatory and promising payment.

NOTICES -- Notification by one of the parties to an agreement or relation of intention of terminating it at a specified time. The condition of being warned.

NOVATION -- Substituting a new contract or obligation for the old one.

NUISANCE -- An offence to the senses that violates the laws of decency or obstructs the use of realty; inference with one's interest in private use and enjoyment of the realty.

OCCUPANCY AGREEMENT -- Contract giving the cooperative tenant the right to solely use and possess his or her unit within the cooperative and mutually share in the rest of the cooperative.

OFFER -- The first step in making a contract, whereby the offeror promises to do something in exchange for something else from the offeree. It is always looking for acceptance.

OFFEREE -- Party to whom an offer is made.

OFFEROR -- Party who makes an offer.

OFFSET -- Something that serves to counterbalance or to compensate for something else.

OIL, GAS & MINERAL RIGHTS -- The rights of an entity is valuable assets of real property, other than the use of the surface rights.

OMNIBUS CLAUSE -- Clause in a will or decree of distribution passing all property not specifically mentioned.

OPENING STATEMENT -- Each attorney's speech, which opens a trial, about why his or her client should win the case; usually includes summary of the evidence to be presented subsequently.

OPEN LISTING -- A listing contract in which the broker is paid a commission only if he or she and not another broker or the seller, secures a ready, willing, and able purchaser.

OPINION -- The conclusion and judgment of a skilled person as to something.

OPTION -- The right to acquire certain real property under specified terms, during a specified period of time.

OPTION TO RENEW LEASE -- The tenant must affirmatively inform lessor that he or she wishes to extend his or her lease for a like period pursuant to the terms of his or her lease.

OR MORE PROVISION -- A clause in a note, mortgage, or deed of trust allowing for additional payments to be made without penalty.

OWNER'S POLICY -- A policy of title insurance usually insuring an owner of real estate against loss occasioned by defects in, liens against, or unmarketability of the owner's title.

OWNERSHIP -- Rights to the use, enjoyment, and alienation of property, of the exclusion of others.

PARCEL -- A general term meaning any part or portion of land.

PAROL -- Orally, by word of mouth.

PAROL EVIDENCE RULE -- Rule of law and evidence requiring that when there is a final and complete writing, that such agreement may not be contradicted or supplemented by evidence of prior agreements or expressions.

PARTITION -- A lawsuit between joint owners of real estate in which the courts either divides the property between them or orders the property sold and divides the proceeds between them.

PARTNERSHIP -- A business enterprise of two or more persons as the proprietors, which does not insulate them from personal liability; when it owns realty, owns it in severalty.

PART PERFORMANCE -- Doctrine that lifts a contract or lease out of the statute of frauds, which requires in writing, by affirmative conduct that markedly changes the performing party's position.

PARTY -- One who is bound by a contract to perform.

PARTY WALL -- A wall built along the boundary line of adjoining properties and shared by the respective property owners or tenants.

PARTNERSHIP -- An association of two or more persons to carry on as co--owners, a business for profit.

PATENT -- Land grant from the federal government; also, used in defects meaning a discoverable, not hidden or latent, defect.

PAYMENTS -- A amount required to satisfy a debt in partial amount over a period of time.

PAYOFF -- The payment in full of an existing loan or other lien.

PER AUTRE VIE -- A life estate measured by the life of another person rather than the life tenant's life.

PER CAPITA -- Distribution of estate wherein heirs of different degrees take property on representative basis.

PERCENTAGE INTEREST -- The proportionate share of the condominium's common areas as are owned by each unit owner of condominium property.

PERCENTAGE LEASE -- Commercial lease based on the landlord's receiving a portion of the tenant's gross sales on the premises.

PERIODIC TENANCY -- Lease based on periodic payment, renewal, and termination by year, month, or week.

PERMISSIVE COUNTERCLAIM -- Defendant's option to sue plaintiff for any claims he or she has against him or her not arising out of the same transaction or occurrence.

PERPETUAL RENEWAL -- Leaseholds capable of unending renewal.

PRESCRIPTIVE EASEMENT -- The granting of an easement by a court, based on the presumption that a written easement was given (although none existed), after a period of open and continuous use of land.

PERSONAL LIABILITY -- Responsibility of an individual on a debt or obligation. Usually required when a business (corporation) borrows money.

PERSONAL PROPERTY -- Movable property; all property which is not real property.

PER STIRPES -- Distribution of estate wherein child or children of deceased child share equally in the deceased child's portion.

PEST CONTROL REPORT -- A report by a qualified business or individual concerning the existence of bugs, and pests, on real property.

PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT -- One development in which many uses of land are for the good of all, usually involving single and multifamily housing, recreation, and limited commerce; and exception to the zoning code wherein the community allows the structures to cluster on less land but the same amount of land per the zoning code is used toward the whole of the development.

PLAT -- Recorded land subdivision with identifiable number.

PLAT MAP -- A map dividing a parcel of land into lots, as in a subdivision.

PLEADINGS -- Legal documents in which the parties to a lawsuit transmit to each other and the court the legal wrongs complained of and defenses thereto. Their purpose is to give the other party notice of the claims being made against him or her.

POINT OF SALE INSPECTION -- Ordinance requiring a structure pass a building inspection before a real estate purchase transaction can close.

POINTS -- A loan charge assessed to borrower by lender in points; one point equals one percent of the mortgage's principal amount.
POLICE POWER -- The power to enact laws and regulations necessary for the common welfare.

POLICY -- A general term used to describe all contracts of insurance.

POSSESSION -- Being in physical control of land or personal property, whether the owner of not. Possession may be lawful or wrongful.

POWER OF ATTORNEY -- A legal instrument authorizing one to act as another's agent or attorney.

PRECEDENT -- Principal of law declared by a court to serve as a rule for future guidance in same or analogous cases.

PREMIUM -- The amount payable for an insurance policy.

PREPAYMENT CLAUSE -- A writing in a legal instrument which requires the payment of a penalty if the debt is paid before it is due.

PREPAYMENT PENALTY -- A charge imposed against the mortgagor/borrower by the mortgagee/lender for the mortgagor's repaying the debt too early, as compensation for the mortgagor's lost interest; usually, this charge is a certain amount of points.

PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE -- Standard proof used in civil cases of "more probable than not."

PRESCRIPTION -- The gain of some right or interest in real estate through long and continuous adverse use, usually for a period prescribed by statute, such as the acquisition of an easement by the unlicenced and adverse use of a path, roadway, or utility lines across another property.

PRETRIAL -- Conference scheduled by court before trial attended by attorneys and parties to lawsuit and presided over by judge.

PRICE FIXING -- Two or more brokers agreeing between or among themselves not to take less than a certain agreed commission rate.

PRINCIPAL -- A sum of money owned as a debt upon which interest is payable. Also, a person who employs another to act as his representative or agent.

PRIOR APPROPRIATION -- Landowner who uses bordering water first, for economic purposes, obtains superior rights to the water.

PRIORITY -- That which comes first in time or importance. Regarding liens, the time of recording establishes priority.

PROBATE -- A legal procedure in which the validity and probity of a document, such as a will, is given.

PROBATE COURT -- State court that has exclusive jurisdiction over the disposition of estates; hears and determine cases regarding the validity of wills.

PROCEEDS -- The amount of funds received or available after the payment of a debt.

PROCURING CAUSE -- Originating a series of events without break in contiguity, which accomplishes the broker's purpose of enjoyment; producing a purchaser ready, willing, and able to purchase realty at the seller's terms. Meeting this test entitles the broker to the commission.

PROFIT A PRENDRE -- Permits one person to use another's realty for a particular purpose and to also remove things from the realty.

PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL -- Doctrine in contracts law that prevents a wrongdoing party from escaping from performing according to his or her promise because the contract lacked consideration.

PROMISSORY NOTE -- A written promise to pay or repay a specified sum of money at a stated time, or on demand, to a named persons, and in most instances, with a specified interest.

PROPERTY -- Something capable of being owned and controlled. Lands or chattels in which a person owns some right, title, or interest to the exclusion of all others.

PROPERTY MANAGER -- A person who manages properties for an owner, including negotiating leases, collecting rents, repairing, maintaining, and operating the properties.

PROPERTY REPORT -- A report a developer must make available to most purchasers when he or she sells real property in interstate commerce subject to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act.

PROPRIETARY LEASE -- Cooperative tenant's lease for his or her unit of cooperative real estate, this is coupled with his or her proprietary stock interest in the cooperative.

PRORATE -- To divide, distribute, or assess proportionately.

PRORATION -- Clause within real estate purchase contract requiring the seller to pay all taxes, utilities, and charges on the real property covering up to title transfer date and the purchaser's paying them from that date forward.

PROTECTION CLAUSE -- A writing in a legal instrument which requires that certain condition to accomplished.

PUBLIC POLICY -- Legal principle that favors acts done for the public good.

PUBLIC RECORDS -- The records of all documents, usually at county level, which are necessary to give notice.

PUFFING -- Exaggerated sales talk on the positive qualities of real property, which are not misstatements of fact and, thus, not misrepresentation.

PURCHASE MONEY -- A real estate loan securing payment of all or portion of the Purchase Price of Real Property (security of equity). A mortgage given by a purchaser to a seller on the subject property to secure payment of a part of the purchase price.

PURCHASE MONEY MORTGAGE -- Mortgage given by purchaser to seller as part or all of the purchase price of real property.

PYRAMID ZONING -- Permits more than one type of realty use; once a new type of use is permitted, the old uses are retained too. For example, when single family is enlarged to multifamily and then commercial, all three uses can be built and retained in that zone.

QUADRANT -- A quarter section of a circle.

QUALIFIED FEE -- A freehold estate having the same characteristics as a fee simple absolute except it is capable of ending upon the happening of a stated event.

QUARTER SECTION -- One quarter of a section which usually contains 160 acres.

QUASI -- To some degree, almost, partially, somewhat. Also resembling by not quite being the thing in question.

QUASI CONTRACT -- Contractual obligations imposed upon parties by law when there is no actual contract.

QUIET ENJOYMENT -- One of the common law warranties. Assurance that one's title, possession, or use of real estate will not be disturbed or disrupted by a legitimate cause or adverse right.

QUIET TITLE ACTION (SUIT) -- A lawsuit brought by an owner of real estate for the purpose of cancelling, wiping out, and putting a quietus upon supposedly immaterial, inconsequential, and unenforceable claims and interest which cloud his title.
QUIT CLAIM DEED -- A deed operating as a release; intending to pass any title, interest, or claim which the grantor may have in the property, but not containing any warranty of a valid interest or title in the grantor.

RACE -- A nonwhite person as defined in the discrimination laws. For Section 1982 litigation in fair housing, race has been expanded to mean those persons not considered white in the year 1866.

RANGE -- A division of land in the government survey, being a six mile wide row of townships, running North and South, and used in legal descriptions.

RATIFICATION -- Approving another's act that, when done, was not authorized.

REAL ESTATE -- Land, including all inherent natural attributes and any man--made improvements of a permanent nature placed thereon.

REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT -- Law that gives both sellers and purchasers advance disclosure of closing costs; reduces the costs of closing by prohibiting illegal referrals and kickbacks; gives purchasers specific information about closing, and prescribes a standard form to be used as the closing statement.

REAL PROPERTY -- Land with its fixtures and improvements.

REALTOR -- A copyrighted trade name which can be legally used only by those persons belonging to the National Association of Real Estate Boards.

REALTY -- Land with its fixtures and improvements.

REASONABLE WEAR AND TEAR -- The opposite of waste. The deterioration a tenant is allowed to commit to the leased premises.

REBATE -- A discount or reduction in price of a product or interest, not given in advance, but handed back because of prompt payment or other reason.

RECEIPT -- A written acknowledgment or admission that something has been received.

RECEIVER -- A court appointed person who holds property which is either in dispute or cannot competently be handled by its owner.

RECONVEYANCE -- An instrument used to release a deed of trust. Executed by the trustee to the equitable owner of the real estate, when title is held as collateral security for a debt.

RECORDING -- The act of a recorder of receiving and transcribing, in a book, an index, or on film of the public records, instruments affecting the title to real estate.

RECOURSE -- Right to proceed legally against prior property owner.

RECTANGULAR SURVEY -- Federal government system of accurate land survey and description using base lines and principal meridians.

REDEMPTION -- The process of canceling a defeasible title to land, such as is created by a mortgage foreclosure or tax sale.

REDLINING -- Lending institutions denying mortgage loan money, or loaning it but under stricter terms, because the neighborhood of realties is experiencing racial transition.

REFORMATION -- Correction of legal instrument when by fraud or mutual mistake it fails to reflect the intent of the parties.

REGULATION Z -- Interpretation of the Truth in Lending Law by the Federal Reserve Board.
REINSURANCE -- Insurance insuring an insurer.

REJECTION -- In contracts, when the offeree turns down the offer.

RELATION BACK, DOCTRINE OF -- Legal fiction whereby deed placed in escrow by grantor, who subsequently dies before closing, is deemed to have been delivered to grantee.

RELEASE -- To relieve from debt or security or abandon a right, from a part or all of the land mortgaged. The instrument affecting a release.

RELEASE CLAUSE -- As used in the real estate purchase contract, it frees up the seller to proceed with a second purchaser if the first has not removed a condition.

RELEASE OF LIEN -- Freeing property from liens against it.

RELIEF -- What equity allows a wronged party to recover, usually an act compelled or stopped. For example, when the seller refuses to convey title, the court can force him or her to convey by specific performance.

REMAINDER -- An estate or interest in land which comes into being upon the termination of an existing estate or interest.

REMEDIES -- What the law allows a person subjected to a certain legal wrong to recover, typically in damages. For example, breach of contract allows the wronged party to recover money in the form of compensatory damages.

RENT -- Consideration paid for the occupancy and use of real property.

REO -- "Real Estate Owned". The real estate acquired, usually through foreclosure" by a lending institution.

REPLY -- A plaintiff's responsive pleading to a defendant's counterclaim; does the same thing for the plaintiff that the answer does for the defendant.

REQUEST FOR NOTICE -- An instrument, usually recorded by a subordinate lien holder, asking for notification when a primary debt is in default.

REQUEST FOR RECONVEYANCE -- An instrument issued by a beneficiary under a deed of trust authorizing the trustee to release and reconvey the deed of trust.

REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION -- Discovery device that forces a party to a lawsuit to take a position of truth or falsity regarding an evidentiary matter for the upcoming trial.

RES -- Real and personal property held in trust.

RESCISSION -- The act of canceling or annulling the effect of a document.

RESERVATION -- Limitation reserved to the grantor of some right in the conveyed realty, such as an easement.

RESPA -- "Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act". Federal statute which governs the operation of lending and settlement in real property transactions.

RESTRAINING ORDER -- Equitable relief, as ordered by court, prohibiting an activity.

RESTRICTIONS OF RECORD -- Limitations on how real property can be used by private control set forth on a deed, a plat, or a declaration of restrictions, as recorded in the county recorder's office.

RESTRICTIVE/COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, & RESTRICTIONS -- Provisions in a deed or other instrument whereby an owner of land prohibits or restricts certain use, occupation, and improvements on the land.

RESERVATION -- The right or an interest retained by a grantor in a conveyance.

RESTRICTION -- Limitations on the use and enjoyment of property.
RETALIATORY EVICTION -- Prohibited practice of landlord seeking to evict tenant after tenant has tried to get landlord to comply with the health or building codes by reporting landlord to the authorities.

REVERSION -- The return of an estate or interest to a grantor or lessor after the grant or lease has expired.

REVOCATION -- In contracts, the offeror cancels his or her offer before it has been accepted by the offeree.

RIDER -- An addendum attach to an instrument.

RIGHT -- A power, privilege, prerogative, estate, or interest incident to real estate.

RIGHT OF REDEMPTION -- A privilege to have authority or power to redeem, to obtain the property by payment of the amount owing, under foreclosure, and after the foreclosure sale has been conducted.

RIGHT OF WAY -- The right to pay over property owned by another, usually based upon an easement.

RIGHTS OF SURVIVORSHIP -- The right of a survivor of a deceased person to the property of said decedent. A distinguished characteristic of a joint tenancy relationship.

RIPARIAN -- pertaining to the bank of a river.

RIPARIAN LAND -- Land that borders a stream or watercourse.

RIPARIAN RIGHTS -- Landowner's right to the ordinary or natural flow of water that borders his or her real property.

RISK -- Exposure to loss.

ROD -- Unit of measurement which equals 16.5 feet.

RUNNING WITH THE LAND -- When rights in land pass from owner to subsequent owner of real property.

SATISFACTION -- The payment of a debt of fulfillment of an obligation.

SEARCH -- A careful exploration and perusal of the public records in an effort to find all recorded instruments relating to a particular chain of title.

SECTION 1982 -- Fair housing law passed as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibiting private, racial discrimination in housing. It has a very broad definition of race.

SECURITY -- Assurance against the default or non--payment of a debt or obligation which makes the enforcement of a promise or an obligation more certain than the personal commitment of the debtor or obligation.

SECURITY AGREEMENT -- A term used to describe many different types of debtor--creditor relationships. Also, an instrument which attempts to cover all of the debtor--creditor relationship not covered by other instruments.

SECURITY DEPOSIT -- Deposit of money by tenant to secure his or her compliance under rental agreement and/or act as security for landlord in the event the tenant damages the realty.

SEISIN -- An Old English term meaning legal possession or the right to legal possession of real estate.

SELF-DEALING -- Occurs when a real estate agent/broker works for his or her own best interests, rather than his or her principal's best interests, in violation of the fiduciary obligation he or she owes the principal.

SELLER'S AFFIDAVIT OF TITLE -- A signed, sworn statement made by the seller, representing the condition of the title.

SEPARATE PROPERTY -- Property owned by a husband or wife in which the other has no legal ownership interest.

SERVICE OF PROCESS -- Delivering or somehow putting a defendant on notice that he or she is being sued so as to give him or her the constitutionally protected due process of law rights.

SERVIENT TENEMENT -- Land subject to an easement right of another parcel of land, called the dominant tenement.

SETBACK -- A zoning restriction that requires how far from the lot line a structure must be.

SETTLEMENT -- The process of adjust the financial matters of a transaction.

SEVERALTY -- One person, real or artificial, who owns real property alone and not in co-ownership.

SHERIFF'S DEED -- The type of deed given when the realty was sold by the sheriff pursuant to a court order to satisfy a judgment, such as from mortgage lien or mechanic's lien.

SIGNATURES -- The act of putting one's name on an instrument.

SIGN BAN -- Local law prohibiting real estate agents and sellers from posting "For Sale" and other signs on their listed realties.

SIGNED, SEALED and DELIVERED -- A phrase indicating that everything necessary to convey has been done by the grantor. Modernly, signed and delivered are still necessary, but the only seals commonly used are by governments, corporations, and notaries.

SINGLE AGENCY -- The real estate agent/broker only represents one party to a transaction, either the purchaser or the seller.

SITE -- An improved or improvable piece of land usually suitable for building.

SLANDER OF TITLE -- The making of malicious, untrue statements, regarding one's title or interest in property. The statements must be make to a third party and must cause injury to the party against whom the statements are made.

SOLAR ACCESS EASEMENT -- One parcel of land, the dominant tenement, receives solar energy from another parcel, the servient tenement.

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP -- Business organization where the owner simply puts up capital, conducts the business, and absorbs all profit, loss, and liability from that business.

SPECIAL ASSESSMENT -- Liens assessed against real property by a public authority to pay cost of public improvements which generally benefits the assessed property.

SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED -- A deed which warrants the title only with respect to acts of the grantor and the interests of anyone claiming by, through, or under him.

SPECIFIC LIEN -- Only a specific parcel of realty of obliged owner can be used to satisfy lien.

SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE -- A lawsuit in which the courts compels one of the parties to perform or carry out the provisions of a contract into which his has entered.

SPLIT CLOSING -- A transaction where two different title and escrow companies handle different parts of the transactions.  One title company will handle the sale portion of the transaction and the other title company will handle the laon portion of the transaction.

SPOT ZONING -- A community singling out a piece of real property for a use that bears no rational relationship to what surrounding realties are used for.

STANDARD OF PROOF -- The degree of evidence needed in a particular type of case. In civil cases, plaintiff needs to prevail by a preponderance of evidence, whereas in criminal, defendant needs to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

STANDING -- The ability of a person to sue based on whether the law deems he or she has been injured in an ascertainable way by the violation of a certain law.

STARE DECISIS -- Legal doctrine that occurs when court declares that a principle of law, as decided in an earlier case(s), serves a precedent and is to be followed by other courts in similar or analogous cases.

STARTER -- A title report which was issued as a basis, when updated to prepare a current title report.

STATEMENTS -- Usually referred to as settlement statements, instruments used to handle the financial accounting of a transaction. Also, the remarks, either written or verbal, given by a person.

STATEMENT OF RECORD -- A substantial disclosure form that a developer must file with HUD pursuant to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act.

STATUTE -- Written law, enacted by state or federal legislature, that declares, commands, or prohibits some act.

STATUTE OF CONVEYANCES -- Requires recording of certain real property instruments.

STATUTE OF FRAUD -- State laws requiring certain contracts to be in writing.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS -- A statute setting a time limit on the enforcement of a right or on the collection of a debt in certain cases.

STATUTORY LIEN -- A lien on real property placed by state or federal statute, such as a local tax lien, IRS lien.

STATUTORY REDEMPTION PERIOD -- After both the public auction and confirmation of sale, the debtor/mortgagor still has a set period of time to redeem the real estate--as much as a year or two.

STATUTORY SURVIVORSHIP TENANCY -- A way under state statute for two or more persons to hold title to real estate with one another, whereupon the death of any one of the tenants, the decedent's interest passes to the survivor(s).

STEERING -- The illegal practice of a real estate agent making housing unavailable or trying to influence choice of housing by racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, handicap, or family status factors.

STRAW MAN -- A person who acts in a transaction as if he or she was a principal party, but he or she is, instead, merely standing in for the real party, who is someone else.

STRICT LIABILITY -- When one is liable to another for a particular condition despite there being no intent to deceive nor even any negligent conduct.

SUBCONTRACTOR -- One who does work on or furnishes material for real property per the order of the general contractor; materialmen or laborer.

SUBDIVISION -- An area of land laid out and divided into lots, blocks, and building sites, and in which public facilities are laid out, such as streets, alleys, parks, and easements for public utilities.

SUBJECT TO MORTGAGE -- The purchaser obligates himself or herself to take the realty subject to the mortgage but does not assume primary liability to the lender/mortgagee for that mortgage. All payments are made by the purchaser to seller/mortgagor only.

SUBLET -- The tenant leases a portion of his or her term to another.

SUBORDINATION -- The legal doctrine under which the law substitutes one creditor or claimant for another.

SUBPOENA -- A written, legal command to appear in court to testify.

SUBROGATION -- The substitution of one person for another, so that the former may exercise certain rights or claims of the latter.

SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT -- In fair housing law this means that state law and/or a state agency are about the same as the Fair Housing Act and HUD and must, therefore, be used first.

SUBSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE -- An instrument which is recorded to change the trustee under a deed of trust.

SUBSURFACE -- Land ownership rights beneath the surface that extend to infinity.

SUMMONS -- Document served by a court upon a defendant summoning, or calling, him or her into court.

SUPREME COURT -- Highest appeals in court.

SURETY -- A person who agrees to be responsible for a debt or obligation of another.

SURRENDER -- Cancellation of lease by lessor's and lessee's mutual consent.

SURROGATE'S COURT -- State court having exclusive jurisdiction over the dispositions of estates.

SURVEY -- A map or plat containing a statement of courses, distances and quantity of land and showing lines of possession.

SURVIVORSHIP -- Type of ownership where on co-owner receives another co-owner's interest upon the other's death.

SWEATHEART CONTRACTS -- Long-term contracts the condominium developer entered into with his or her friends and relatives that were binding on the condominium unit owners' association even after the developer had lost control. These are now expressly outlawed by statute in many states.

TAXES -- A mandatory contribution of money to meet the expenses of a government, whether federal, state, or local.

TENANCY AT SUFFERANCE -- Lessee who occupies leasehold without any legal right to do so after his or her tenancy has expired.

TENANCY AT WILL -- Lessee who possesses leasehold until the lessor terminates the tenancy.

TENANCY IN COMMON -- An undivided ownership in real estate by two or more persons. The interest need not be equal, and, in the event of the death on one of the owners, no rights of survivorship in the other owners exist.

TENANT -- The person in possession of real property by right or title with the owner's permission.

TENDER -- The offer of money or performance in connection with a contract. If unjustifiably refused, places the party who refuses in default and gives rise to an action for breach of contract.

TENEMENT -- Permanent holding of property.

TESTAMENTARY INTENT -- In wills, a showing that a disposition of property is to take effect only at death.

TESTAMENTARY INTENT -- In wills, a showing that a disposition of property is to take effect only at death.

TESTAMENTARY TRUST -- Trust that takes effect upon trustor's death.

TESTATE -- One who dies possessed of a will.

TESTATOR -- One who makes a will.

TESTING -- In fair housing, this is a way to monitor compliance by using (usually) a black person and a white person to pose a prospective purchasers with real estate agents to ascertain whether minority people are treated differently from nonminority people when trying to lease or sell real property. Also called auditing or checking, this is used as evidence in trials of fair housing cases.

THIRD-PARTY PRACTICE -- Occurs when the defendant sues another person who has caused his or her liability under the original complaint.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE -- Phrase that makes the element of time the most critical, vital part of a contract.

TITLE -- Evidence of a person's right or the extent of his interest in property.

TITLE COMPANIES -- Privately owned companies that sell insurance regarding defects that may existing the title to real property.

TITLE DEFECT -- The existence of another's right to make a claim upon the owner's right to title, possession, and ownership of realty.

TITLE GUARANTEE -- A title company issues this insurance policy guaranteeing the accuracy of the title examination subject to certain limitations, one of which is flaws that cannot be revealed by examination of public records.

TITLE INSURANCE -- Insurance against loss resulting from defects of title to a specifically described parcel of real property.

TITLE SEARCH -- Examination of public records to select any information that has bearing on which person has the right to title, possession, and ownership of real property.

TITLE THEORY JURISDICTION -- States who interpret the mortgage deed as a transfer of title.

TOPOGRAPHY -- The shape of the land.

TORRENS -- A system of issuing a certificate of title after land has been registered with public authority, the Torrens Registrar, which is conclusive evidence of ownership.

TORT -- A civil wrong, such as fraud, misrepresentation, and negligence.

TOTAL CONSIDERATION -- The amount paid.

TOWNSHIP -- A territorial division of land established by federal survey, being six miles square and containing thirty--six (36) sections, each section being one mile square.

TRACT -- A piece of land; a lot.

TRADE FIXTURES -- Objects that are fixtures under the fixtures' tests that are put in by a business tenant. The tenant has the right to remove them at the end of the tenancy.

TRESPASS -- Some physical invasion or unlawful entry upon real property whereby damages ensuing are direct and not consequential; one without title or right to possess makes entry onto land without consent, permission, or license.

TRESPASSER -- A person wrongfully on the realty of another.

TRIAL COURT -- Lower court wherein issues of fact are decided by judge or jury and judgment is rendered.

TRUST -- Real and/or personal property held by one person for the benefit of another.

TRUSTEE -- One appointed or required by law, to execute a trust. Also, one who holds title to real property under the terms of a deed of trust.

TRUSTOR -- The borrower under a deed of trust.

TRUTH-IN-LENDING LAW -- Federal law that requires meaningful disclosure of the terms of credit by a creditor to a prospective debtor. Triggered for real estate agents by their advertisements that offer credit or arranging of credit by the real estate brokerage.

UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW -- An unlawful activity that occurs when brokers/agents practice law upon their clients and customers instead of real estate.

UNCONSCIONABLE CLAUSE -- Clause in contract or lease that is so overly harsh to one party that a court can refuse to enforce it.

UNCONVENTIONAL FINANCING -- In addition to security of note and mortgage, there is also security of insurance by FHA or guarantee by VA.

UNDISCLOSED PRINCIPAL -- In contracts, one party to a contract does not know who the other party really is.

UNDIVIDED INTEREST -- A partial interest by two or mor people in the same property, whether the interest of each is equal or unequal.

UNDERWRITER -- The title insurance company. Also, the person in an insurance company who determines the risk of the transaction.

UNDUE INFLUENCE -- A ground for setting aside a contract or will when one party has been pressured into the contract by the other party, especially if the party being pressured suffers from a disability.

UNENFORCEABLE CONTRACT -- A contract in which one party makes a promise in exchange for an act done by the other party.

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE -- Statutory law for the regulation of personal property transactions in almost all states, including the financing of fixtures.

UNILATERAL CONTRACT -- A contract under which one party makes a promise in exchange for an act done by the other party.

UNIT -- In condominiums, the apartment or house within the condominium property that only the unit owner owns, not all condominium property owners.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT -- Federal trial court found in different geographical locations throughout the country.

UNIT OWNER -- In condominiums, one who has common ownership interest in the condominium property with all other condominium owners and an individual interest in his or her own unit.

UNIT OWNERS' ASSOCIATION -- In condominiums, all owners of condominium property belong to this organization, which meets annually, elects a board of managers/directors and administrates the condominium property.

UPLANDS -- Land bordering bodies of water, but above the high water mark.

USE -- One of the many ways real property can be developed and then utilized. For example, residentially, commercially, industrially.

USURY -- The charge of a greater rate of interest for the loan of money than is permitted by law.

VALID -- Legally binding. Properly carried out in accordance with legal procedures.

VA LOAN -- A mortgage loan secured through a lending institution and guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.

VALUATION -- What price a piece of real property is worth.

VARA -- A Spanish or Portugese unit of measurement of approximately 33 inches.

VARIANCE -- A use of land that is permitted even though not in strict compliance with the zoning code because of undue hardship or practical difficulties.

VENDEE -- Purchaser or buyer, especially on a land contract.

VENDOR -- The person who transfers property by sale. Another work for seller.

VERBAL INSTRUCTIONS -- Commands received by voice. There is always the problems of common understanding, and the verification that the instructions were actually given.

VEST -- Given an immediate right to enjoyment to property.

VESTING -- Present ownership rights, absolute and fixed.

VOIDABLE CONTRACT -- Capable of disaffirmance by either party; potentially one party can opt out of performance.

VOID CONTRACT -- Lacking essential elements necessary for formation; of no legal force and effect.

VOLUNTARY LIEN -- Lien placed against realty to which the owner has consented, as in a mortgage lien.

WAIVER -- A relinquishment or abandonment of a right.

WAREHOUSING -- The depositing of loans by a lender such as a mortgage company, in a bank, for sale at a later date. The mortgage company then borrows against these loans.

WARRANT -- To legally assure that title conveyed is good and possession will be undisturbed.

WARRANTY -- Grantor's assurance of protection of grantee's right and title to real property.

WARRANTY DEED -- A deed with the greatest protection as the grantor warrants good, marketable title that he or she will stand behind.

WASTE -- Life tenant's wrongful, permanent diminishment of the value of the realty; for nonlife tenants, there are two categories of waste: (1) intentional waste, such as breaking all the windows, and (2) permissive waste, such as not repairing broken windows.

WATER STOCK -- Ownership in a water company which allows the owner to certain time use of water in a ditch, canal, or pipeline.

WILL -- A written expression of the desire of a person as to the disposition of that person's property after death.

WILL CONTEST -- Probate court proceeding to determine whether the writing produced is the last will or codicil of the testator.

WORDS OF CONVEYANCE -- Words that follow the consideration in the deed instrument that state the grantor's intent to convey or transfer the real property.

WRAP-AROUND MORTGAGE -- A second or junior mortgage with a face value of both the amount it secures and the balance due under the first mortgage.

WRIT OF EXECUTION -- A swrit to carry out the judgment or decree of a court.


ZERO LOT LINE -- Owner possesses and owns exclusively his or her housing unit and other real property connected with it and also shares ownership and possession of common, connected real property with other zero lot line owners.

ZONING -- A division of a city or county by legislative regulations into areas (zones), specifying the uses allowable for the real property in these areas.

ZYGOCEPHALUM -- In civil law an inaccurate measurement of land. The area of land a yoke of oxen could plow in one day.

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