Commonly Used Terms for Land Transactions

Glossary of Real Estate Terms

ACRE- A unit of measurement that equals 43,560 square feet

AGENT- One who acts for and with authority from another principal

AGREEMENT- An exchange of promises, a mutual understanding or arrangement, a contract

AMORTIZATION- the liquidation of a financial obligation or an installment basis; also, recovery over a period of cost or value

AMORTIZATION LOAN- a loan to be repaid, interest and principal, by a series of regular payment that are equal or nearly equal, without any special balloon payment prior to maturity

APPRAISER- one qualified by education training and experience who is hired to estimate the value of real and personal property based on experience, judgment, facts, and use of formal processes.

APPRAISAL- An estimate of the value of property resulting from an analysis of facts about the property. An opinion of value.

BILL OF SALE- written instrument given to pass title of personal property from vendor to the vendee

BROKER- A person employed for a fee by another to carry on any of the activities listed in the license law definition of a broker

CERTIFICATE OF TITLE- written opinion by an attorney that ownership of the particular parcel of land is as stated in the certificate

CLOSING- Process by which all the parties to a real estate transaction conclude the details of a sale or mortgage. The process includes the signing and transfer of documents and distribution of funds.

CLOSING STATEMENT- An accounting of funds made to the buyer and seller separately. Required by law to be made at the completion of every real estate transaction.

COMPARABLE SALES- Sales which have similar characteristics as the subject property and are used for analysis in the appraisal process

EARNEST MONEY- down payment made by purchaser of real estate as evidence of good faith- a deposit or partial payment

EASEMENT- a right, privilege or interest limited to a specific purpose which one party has in the land of another

LEGAL DESCRIPTION- a land description recognized by law; a description by which property can be definitely located by reference to government surveys or approved recorded maps

PLAT (of survey)- a map of land made by a surveyor showing boundaries, buildings, and other improvements

QUITCLAIM DEED- a deed to relinquish any interest in property which the grantor may have, without any warranty of title or interest

REIT- Real Estate Investment Trust is a business trust which deals principally with interest in land- generally organized to conform to the Internal Revenue Code

RIGHT OF WAY- a privilege operating as an easement upon land, whereby the owner does by grant, or by agreement, give to another the right to pass over owner's land, to construct a roadway, or use as a roadway, a specific part of the land; or the right to construct through and over the land

TIMO- Timberland Investment Management Organization

TRACT- an extended area

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