Glossary of  Real Estate Terms
by Donna Earl

ARM - Adjustable rate mortgage, where the lender can lower or raise the interest rate of a loan based on a predetermined index.
Broker - An independent person who runs a real estate office, hiring employees, and supervising their activities.
Buyer Agent - An agent who represents the buyer in a real estate transaction.
CRS - Certified Residential Specialist; A professional title given to agents who complete an advanced course of study in residential real estate and are proficient in sales and production; they are members of the Residential Sales Council.
Closing Costs - Costs associated with the sale or transfer of real estate from one party to another. These costs are paid by either the buyer or the seller or both, depending on what is negotiated or required.  Costs include legal fees, document preparation fees, title research, commissions, etc. A competent REALTORŪ can explain these costs in detail.
Commission - Compensation paid to a real estate agent (usually by the seller) for services rendered including the sale or lease of property
Deed - A legal document which transfers ownership of a property from one party to another.
Dual Agent - An agent representing both the buyer and seller in a transaction. Dual agents should always get written consent of both parties.
Donna Earl - REALTORŪ known for getting results for both buyers and sellers of real estate.
Equity - The difference between the current market value of a property and the unpaid portion of a mortgage.
Escrow - The closing of a real estate transaction through a neutral third party who holds funds and documents until specific conditions have been met.
Fannie Mae - Federal National Mortgage Association; a purchaser of home mortgages, thus serving as a source of funds for mortgage lenders. It is a privately owned corporation whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is subject to supervision by HUD.
Federal Fair Housing Law - Refers to Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, and stipulates that discrimination based on race, color, sex, familial status, handicap, religion, or national origin is illegal in connection with the sale or rental of most dwellings
Foreclosure - The termination of a mortgage where the bank or lender attempts to recover the balance of the loan by forcing the sale of the property.  This can occur when a home owner stops making payments on the home.
HUD - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; a federal department active in a variety of national housing programs including urban renewal and public housing
Lien - A charge or claim by one party on the property of another as security for the payment of a debt.
MLS - Multiple Listing Service; a means by which agents are informed of the properties offered for sale by other agents
Mortgage - A legal document pledging property as security for the payment of a loan.
Origination Fee - A lender's charge for establishing and processing a new mortgage loan. It is generally computed as a percentage of the loan and may be tax deductible
Owner of Record - The person named in the public record as the owner of a property or mortgage.
Points - A one-time charge paid to the lender for issuing a loan. A point equals 1% of the loan amount.
Principal - The amount of money upon which interest is paid.
RealtorŪ - A registered trade name that may only be used by members of the National Association of Realtors.
REO -  A bank (lender) owned property for sale, which was previously foreclosed but unable to be sold at auction.
Short Sale - The selling of real estate where the selling price is less than the balance due on the mortgage as agreed upon by the bank.
Title - Legal document showing ownership of property.
VA Loan - A loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA loans are made to honorably discharged veterans or their un-remarried widows or widowers. Such loans require a minimal or no down payment and offer lower interest rates

*disclaimer: These real estate terms are used for reference only and should not be used as legal definitions.  I assume no responsibility for interpretation of any terms listed on this site. Current property listings for Donna EarlPotential Buyer's Tips Contact Donna Earl
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