Real Estate Glossary


Letter A

Absentee owner
Referred to a property owner who does not reside on the property and manages the property through the services of a property manager.
Absolute auction
Also known as "auction without reserve"; the property is offered without any limiting condition or amount and sold to highest bidder.
Absolute ownership
A type of real property ownership; when owners has the most rights, least limitations and are indefeasible; applicable in common law countries.
Abstract of title
A complete history of the property's ownership that includes summaries of transfers, conveyances, legal proceedings and other documents pertaining to the continuity of ownership and evidence of title.
Accelerated depreciation
A cost write-off method, which is used to depreciate the property faster for tax purposes usually in the early years of ownership.
Acceptance of Sale/ Sales Contract
A contract of purchase where by signing, both buyer and seller agrees on the details of the property transaction.
Accumulated over time; as in accrued interest.
The process by which a person acquires or owns a property.
Act of God
An unpreventable and uncontrollable natural event which excuses non- performance of a contractual duty.
Actual eviction
Removal of the tenant, usually by the landlord or property owner legally.
Add-on interest
An interest calculated based on the full amount of the loan for the entire loan period, which is then added to the principal loan amount
Adjustable Rate Mortgage
A loan with an interest rate that fluctuates depending on prevailing market conditions.
Adjustment Period
The time between the interest rate adjustments for adjustable rate mortgage; typically 1, 3, 5 or 7 years.
Affidavit of Title
A written statement, sworn before a notary public, by a seller of a real property, in which seller identifies himself or herself, indicates marital status, confirms possession of property and certifies that no defects are present since the date on the contract when title was examined.
Affordable housing
A term which encompasses both subsidized and non-subsidized housing provided for people with no means to buy or rent properties on the open market due to low income.
Formed through a written contract in which relationship based on trust exists between principal and agent; principal authorizes agent to act on his/her behalf and even accepts full liability.
Agent / sales associate
A state-licensed individual who acts in behalf of the principal or property owner in real estate transactions.
Agreement of sale
A written contract that is approved by both buyer and seller and contains approved details of the real estate transaction.
Alternative mortgage
Referred to home loans which differs from the traditional fixed rate mortgage.
A process of debt elimination, such as a mortgage, by making regular payments over a definite time; total payment covers both principal and interest amounts.
Annual Percentage Rate
The cost of a mortgage, including origination fee and interest mortgage insurance, calculated yearly and expressed in percentage.
A fixed sum received at fixed regular intervals by an investor/lender.
An opinion on the fair market value of a property given by a professional third party usually a licensed real estate appraiser.
Appraisal Fee
The amount paid to an appraiser for providing appraisal report.
Appraisal Report
A detailed, written report provided by the appraiser that contains information such as location, condition, etc., leading to the estimated property value and includes recent sales of comparable properties in the area.
Appraised value
Market value of a property at a given time based on an expert opinion.
Pertains to the increase of a property's market value over a period of time.
Asking price
Also known as list price; amount which owner/seller wants for the property.
The estimated official value of a property for tax purpose.