A GLOSSARY OF REAL ESTATE TERMS

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Early Occupancy
The condition in which buyers can occupy the property before the sale is completed.
Earnest Money
The earnest money is the deposit money given to the seller or his agent by the potential buyer upon the signing of the agreement of sale to show that he is serious about buying the house. If the sale goes through, the earnest money is applied against the down payment. If the sale does not go through, the earnest money deposit will be forfeited to the seller unless the purchase contract expressly provides conditions for its return to the buyer.
Earnest money agreement
A document that lists the price, conditions and terms under which the buyer is willing to purchase the property. (Each of these means the same thing: offer to purchase, or purchase offer, or earnest money agreement, or contract of purchase, or deposit receipt.)
Ease of Ingress/Egress
Ingress - entrance; egress – exit.
A right-of-way created by grant, reservation, agreement, prescription or necessary implication which one has in land owned by another.
Economic Obsolescence
Impairment of desirability or useful life arising from economic forces, such as changes in optimum land use, legislative enactments which restrict or impair property rights and changes in supply-demand relationships. Loss in the use and value of property arising from the factors of economic obsolescence is to be distinguished from loss in value from physical deterioration and functional obsolescence.
Term used for an income-producing property, derived from the potential gross income, less a vacancy factor and a collection loss amount.
Ejectment
Action to regain possession or real property. This is a last-ditch effort that is used when there is no relationship between landlord and tenant.
Eminent Domain
A government right to acquire private property for public use by condemnation and the payment of just compensation.
Encroachment
Unauthorized intrusion of a building or improvement such as a wall, fence, etc. onto another’s land.
Encumbrance
A legal right or interest in land that affects a good or clear title and may diminish the land’s value. It can take numerous forms, such as zoning ordinances, easement rights, claims, mortgages, liens, charges, a pending legal action, unpaid taxes, or restrictive covenants. An encumbrance does not legally prevent the transfer of real property. It is up to the buyer to determine whether to purchase with the encumbrance.
Endorsement
Signing one’s name on the back of a check.
English common Law is an Anglo-Saxon legal tradition that bases law on past legal precedent.
Equity
a) Equity is the sale price minus selling costs and the remaining principal on the mortgage. The money you are left with after selling your home and paying off the mortgage, selling costs and any other liens.
b) The amount of ownership that one has in a home. Ownership value is built up by paying down the principal on your mortgage plus the increase in value (appreciation) of your home in the market place.
Escheat
Reversion of property to the State by reason of failure to find persons legally entitled to hold or lack of heirs. The State must try to find heirs.
Escrow
The deposit of instruments and/or funds into the care of a neutral third party with instructions to carry out the provisions of an agreement or contract once all instruments and/or funds have been deposited. Many closings are handled by escrow agents. In this situation, the seller deposits the deed and the buyer deposits the funds necessary with the escrow agent. Once all requirements of the purchase contract are in the control of the escrow agent, the money and deed are distributed accordingly.
Escrow Payment
That portion of a mortgagor’s monthly payment held in trust by the lender to pay for taxes, mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, lease payments and other items as they become due. Also known as "impounds" in some states.
Escrow Reimbursement
The buyer reimburses the seller for the current balance of his escrow (or impounded) funds.
Estate at Will
Possession of property at the discretion of the owner.
Estate for Years
Tenant has rights in real property for a designated number of years.
Estimated Closing Costs Statement
The statement which lists the financial settlement between buyer and seller and the costs each must pay. A separate statement for buyer and seller is sometimes prepared.
Estoppel Certificate
A legal instrument executed by the one taking out the mortgage (i.e., mortgagor). The owner of a property may require an individual leasing a property to sign an Estoppel Certificate, which verifies the major points (e.g., base rent, lease commencement and expiration) existing lease between the landlord and tenant.
An impediment to a law of action, whereby one is forbidden to contradict or deny ones own previous statement or act.
All of the valuable things an individual owns, such as real estate, art collections, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, investments, and life insurance. The value of a personal estate usually becomes very important upon the death of the person in question. Those in line for inheritance often have to pay an inheritance tax on the estate. This tax can be very large, forcing the beneficiary to sell some of the inherited assets in order to pay the tax bill.
Eviction (Actual)
Physical removal of a tenant either by law or force.
Eviction (Constructive)
The landlord or his agents disturb the tenant, rendering the leased space unfit for the tenant’s previous use.
Eviction (Proceeding)
A legal proceeding by the landlord to remove a tenant.
Exclusive Agency
Listing agreement in which only the listing office may sell the property and earn the commission. If the owner sells the house, the listing office would not receive any commission.
Exclusive agency listing
A listing contract in which the agent has the sole right to sell your home for you, though you are not bound to pay the commission if you produce the buyer.
Exclusive right-to-sell contract
A listing contract in which you give the real estate broker the sole right to sell; the person receives a commission, regardless of whom produces the buyer.
Exclusive Right-to-Sell
Listing agreement under which the owner promises to pay a commission if the property is sold during the listing period by anyone, even the owner.
Excess Interest/Spread
Interest received from repayments that are greater than the interest on the certificates. It is defined as the difference between the interest paid on the mortgage loans (net of servicing fees) and the interest accrued on the certificates.
If the Loan Purpose is Refinance, identifies the remaining principal loan balance of the existing note to be refinanced.
Excess Interest/Spread
Interest received from repayments that is greater than the interest on the certificates. It is defined as the difference between the interest paid on the mortgage loans (net of servicing fees) and the interest accrued on the certificates.
Expense Guidelines
Expense Reimbursements
Income received from the tenant as a reimbursement of expenses paid by the landlord. In a lease, an expense reimbursement clause stipulates that some or all of the operating expenses paid by the landlord are recoverable (reimburseable) from the tenant; also called expense recoveries, reimburseables, billables or pass-throughs. Recoverable expenses are deducted as expenses and (offsetting) recoveries are treated as separate revenue items in income and expense statements.
Extraordinary Capital Exp. (IE)
Actual major capital expenditures that were not anticipated; these expenses are typically non-recurring expenses and are generally normalized to zero.