Appraisal: An estimated value given to a property by a state licensed appraiser based upon sales of similar homes within an area over a given period of time.
Assessment: A levy or tax placed on a property for a specific purpose. Example, a new road may cause each homeowner to have a one time (or multiple) payment to help cover the costs of the new road and maintenance.
Broker: (Real Estate Broker) A person or company that contracts a licensed real estate agent to assist sellers and buyers in negotiating a real estate transaction and contract based on a fee or commission.
Buyer’s Agent: A licensed real estate agent representing and negotiating on behalf of the buyer in a real estate transaction.
By-Laws: A set of rules determined by and agreed upon by a board or committee binding the members of a set community to a specific set of standards.
Chattel: Personal property.
Closing: The time when the official transfer of property occurs between two parties based upon the previously agreed upon sales contract.
Closing Statement: Also known as a Closing Disclosure. An account of all financial aspects (funds received and disbursed) in a real estate transaction.
Commission: A payment to the broker for their efforts in providing a service to sell real estate.
Comps: Otherwise knowns as Comparables or sometimes a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Sales of a similar property based on size, condition, amenities and possible unique aspects.
Contingency: A specific condition that may relieve one party from contract if not met properly.
Contract: A legally binding agreement between two (or more) parties. The contract must be signed by all parties involved before it is considered a binding contract.
Counter-offer: A new offer with at least one new condition made in regards to an initial offer.
Deed: A written instrument showing interest in a real property.
Deed Restriction: A limitation of land use as it appears in the deed.
Dual Agent: A licensed agent that works on behalf of both the seller and buyer in a real estate transaction.
Due Dilligence: Investigation of a property to ensure it is fit for one’s purpsoses. This may include investigating a potential legal liability to the home or a background check on the surround area of the home.
EMD: Earnest Monedy Deposit. Sometimes called a good faith deposit. A sum of money given in a real estate transaction showing the true intent to purchase real estate.
Easement: A non-possessory right to a use of land.
Encroachment: Invasion of property that is not owned by a structure or other object.
Escrow: A state where consideration, benefits, legal rights, document or sum of money is held by one party in trust for another assuring performance of an agreement. This is often a title company, attorney or broker holding an EMD in a real estate transaction.
Exclusive Agency Agreement: An agreement between broker and client showing broker representation of the client within a real estate transaction. This agreement binds the client to broker during the process. Client may be released from agreement with written notice and authorization between client and broker.
Exclusive Right To Sell Agreement: An agreement between broker and seller designating the broker as the seller’s only representative for the purpose of selling a property for a commission/fee. This agreement does not prevent the owner from arranging a sale but does not eliminate them of their commitment to commission/fee due to broker.
Fixture: A permanent structure attached to the home.
Lease: A written agreement between two parties to rent a property or portion of property.
Listing Agent: A licensed real estate agent that is hired by a seller to market and sell a property for a paid commission or fee.
Lot: Measured section of land
Master Deed: Often used in a condominium community. It is the master deed that legally establishes the condominium. Sometimes referred to as condominium declaration.
MLS: Multiple Listing Service. The central service system for listings used by all licensed members. Note, not all real estate agents pay for membership.
Pre-Approval: A fully approved application to acquire a mortgage once a home is found and placed under contract. This process should include but not limited to a full credit check, verification of funds to close, assets required by a lender and verification of employment.
Pre-Qualification: A qualification given to a prospective buyer based on non-verified information given to a lender.
Realtor: A licensed real estate agent who also belongs to National Association of Realtors (NAR) and most likely a local real estate board. This agent must uphold a higher ethical standard as well as follow a Code of Ethics provided by the board. Not every agent is a Realtor and it is a distinction worth asking your agent about.
Right of First Refusal: A condition of a contract that gives the holder of this right the option to lift a condition of a contract before the owner/seller can enter a new contract with a third party.
Seller Contribution: Also called a seller’s concession. An amount or percentage of a sale the seller is willing to contribute to the buyer. Typically this is an amount contributed toward closing costs on a purchase or an amount toward a repair necessary on the home.
Title: The official document showing ownership to property. Often, title and deed are used interchangeably during a real estate transaction.
Walk Through Inspection: An inspection occurring prior to closing reviewing the property to ensure all conditions are met and the same as stated in the Purchase Agreement.
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