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:: glossary

ADVANCE FEE - A fee charged by a broker to a seller to cover all or a portion of the broker's costs of promoting the property.

AMORTIZED LOAN - A loan that is completely paid off, interest and principal, by a series of regular payments that are equal or nearly equal. Also called a Level Payments Loan.

APPRAISAL - An estimate of value based upon a factual analysis of a property or home.

APPRECIATION - An increase in value of real estate.

ASSUMPTION OF MORTGAGE - The taking of title to property by a grantee, wherein he or she assumes liability for payment of an existing note secured by a mortgage or deed of trust against the property; becoming a co-guarantor for the payment of a mortgage or deed of trust note.

CLOSING - The date on which a property legally changes hands from seller to buyer.

CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE - A mortgage securing a loan made by investors without governmental underwriting, i.e., which is not FHA insured or VA guaranteed.

COUNTER-OFFER - A rejection of an offer by a seller along with an agreement to sell the property to the potential buyer on terms differing from the original offer.

DEED - Written instrument which, when properly executed and delivered, conveys title.

EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT - Deposit made by a purchaser of real estate as evidence of good faith.

EASEMENT - The right or privilege to use another individual's property.

ENCROACHMENT - A structure or portion of a structure built on another individual's property.

EQUITY - The interest or value which an owner has in real estate over and above the liens against real property.

ESCROW - The deposit of instruments and funds with instructions to a third neutral party to carry out the provisions of an agreement or contract.

EXPOSURE - The degree to which a property for sale is made noticeable to potential buyers, through advertising, multiple listing services, etc.

FHA LOAN - A loan which has been insured by the federal government guaranteeing its payment in case of default by the borrower.

FEE APPRAISAL - The act or process of estimating values of real estate or any interest therein for a fee.

HOME INSPECTION - A review of the physical condition of a home by an experienced individual.

LAND CONTRACT - A contract ordinarily used in connection with the sale of property in cases where the seller does not wish to convey title until all or a certain part of the purchase price is paid by the buyer.

LIEN - A legal claim against a property used to secure the payment of debt related to the property.

LOAN RATIO - The ratio, expressed as a percentage, of the amount of a loan to the value or purchase price of real property.

MARKETABLE TITLE - Merchantable title; title free and clear of objectionable liens or encumbrances.

MULTIPLE LISTING - Multiple Listing is the name given a service performed by the Local Board of Realtors (Multiple Listing Service). MLS provides necessary information to aid in the sale of listings. It is a marketing tool used by members of the Service to expose properties to a wider market base.

PERSONAL PROPERTY - Any property which is not real property (i.e. money, savings accounts, appliances, boats, etc.).

PROMISSORY NOTE - Following a loan commitment from the lender, the borrower signs a note promising to repay the loan under stipulated terms. The promissory note establishes personal liability for its repayment.

PURCHASE AGREEMENT - An agreement between a buyer and seller for the purchase of real estate.

REAL PROPERTY - Land and whatever by nature or artificial annexation is a part of it.

SPECIAL ASSESSMENT - Legal charge against real estate by a public authority to pay cost of public improvements such as: street lights, sidewalks, street improvements, etc.

TRUST ACCOUNT - An account separate and apart and physically segregated from broker's own funds, in which broker is required by law to deposit all funds collected for clients.

VA LOAN - A loan guaranteed by the Veteran's Administration insuring payment in case of default by the borrower. Available to qualified veterans.

VAPOR BARRIER - The material used to prevent moisture from penetrating walls or floors.

WARRANTY DEED - A deed used to convey real property which contains warranties of title and quiet possession, and the grantor agrees to defend the premises against the lawful claims of third persons.