HomeReal Estate Glossary

Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 202 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Closing costs

Expenses over and above the price of property that must be paid by buyers and sellers before title is transferred. Also known as settlement costs.

Closing statement

Written account of all expenses, adjustments, and disbursements received by the buyer and seller when completing a real estate transaction.

Cloud on title

Defect in the title that impairs the owner’s ability to market the property. This might be a lien, claim, judgment, or encumbrance.

Collateral

Something of value given or pledged to a lender as security for the repayment of a loan.

Commingle funds

Mixing of a clients’ funds, or escrow, with an agent’s personal funds in an account; considered to be grounds for the suspension or revocation of the broker’s real estate license.

Commission

Payment, or brokerage fees, given by the seller of a property to a real estate agent for services rendered. Usually paid at the closing.

Common elements

Parts of a condominium, cooperative, or private home association shared by all residents, so that each unit owner holds an undivided interest in, for example, the hallways, parking facilities, or swimming pool.

Comparables

Properties similar to a specific piece of property that are used to help estimate the value of that property.

Competitive market analysis

A method of determining home value that looks at recent home sales, homes presently on the market, and homes that were listed but did not sell.

Condominium

Type of housing where buyers own their units outright, plus an undivided share, or joint ownership, in the common elements of the building or community.

Consideration

Something of value, usually money, given to induce another to enter into a contract.

Construction loan

Type of loan where money is doled out as construction takes place; borrower must obtain a permanent long-term mortgage from another source to repay the construction loan. Also called an interim loan.

Contingency

A provision in a contract that keeps it from becoming binding until a certain event happens. A satisfactory inspection report might be a contingency.

Contract

A legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. To be valid, a real estate contract must be dated, in writing, include a consideration, have a description of the property, the place and date of delivery of the deed, and spell out all terms and conditions that were mutually agreed upon. It also must be executed (signed) by the buyer and seller.

Contractor

One who contracts to do something for another. For example, in construction, a specialist who enters into a formal construction contract to build a real estate structure or handle renovations, improvements, and additions to an existing structure.

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