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Real Estate Glossary

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Appraisal (top)
The process of determining the value of a property. This value is not always the same as the final purchase price of the home.

Asking Price (top)
The price a property is listed for sale by the seller. Also referred to as the 'list price'.

Appraised Value (top)
The estimated value of a property completed by a certified appraiser for mortgage financing. There is usually a fee to have an appraisal done.

Agent (top)
More commonly referred to as a real estate representative, an agent is a real estate professional who has met and satisfied specific licensing qualifications under the Real Estate Act. The agent or representative can negotiate and act on behalf of another in a real estate transaction in exchange for a service fee.

Adjustment Date (top)
The adjustment of property taxes, rents, interest, and other items on an agreed date by both parties to the real estate transaction.

Amortization (top)
The period of time required to pay off a loan through periodic payments of interest and principal. Amortization periods are most often 15, 20, or 25 years long.

Appreciation (top)
The amount an asset such as real estate, a vehicle, or other asset has increased in value.

Assessment (top)
An appraisal of real estate primarily for tax purposes.

Assign (top)
To transfer a property title or interest to another individual, for example, to assign property in one’s will to another.

Assumable Mortgage (top)
The purchaser may assume or take over the responsibilities and obligations of the existing mortgage from the vendor.

Assignment (top)
A commercial agreement conveying the leasehold interests, including the financial responsibilities, from one tenant to another. Not synonymous with Sub-lease.

Arbitration (top)
A legal method for settling disputes between a landlord and a tenant using a mutually agreed upon third party. Often used as a means of avoiding court actions.

Absentee Owner (top)
A landlord that is based in a city other than the one where the property is located.

Balance Due Completion (top)
The amount of money the purchaser will be required to pay the vendor to complete the purchase once all the adjustments have been made.

Balloon Payments (top)
A payment or payments made to the principal over and above the required payment(s).

Blended Payments (top)
A loan which is repaid through equal and consecutive installments that include interest and principal.

Brokerage Fee (top)
A fee charged a mortgage broker to arrange for a loan.

Build To Suit (top)
In commercial terms, the construction of a building to meet the specific requirements of a large tenant or anchor tenant who has previously agreed to lease the premises.

Closing Date (top)
A specified date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner can take possession.

Caveat (top)
A notice registered against the title by a person claiming an interest in the land which can potentially prevent all dealings with the land.

Ceiling Price (top)
The maximum price a purchaser is willing to pay for a property.

Closing Costs (top)
Addition costs involved in the purchase of a home, such as legal fees, transfer fees, and disbursements, that are payable on the closing date. Closing costs typically range from 2%-4% of a home's selling price.

Closing Statement (top)
A statement showing the amount to be received or paid out by the purchaser or vendor.

Completion Date (top)
The date the vendor is entitled to the net proceeds of the sale and the purchaser is able to obtain the title.

Commission (top)
The remuneration agreed to by the seller and the real estate broker/agent as stated in the listing agreement. It is payable to the broker/agent on closing and shared, if applicable, with the co-operating agent(s).

Conditional Offer (top)
An offer to purchase the home that is subject to certain conditions. These conditions typically include financing; approval of strata documentation, home inspections or in some cases the sale of another home. There is usually a time limit in which the specified conditions must be satisfied.

Conveyance (top)
The transfer of an interest in land from one person to another. Also includes assignments, leases and mortgages.

Common Area (top)
The area of a commercial building or residential complex that is used by the tenants and their guests or customers. Common areas can include the lobby and hallways, and the cost of maintaining parking areas, sidewalks, landscaped areas, public washrooms, and loading facilities.

Deed (top)
A document used to transfer an interest inland from one person to another.

Dual Agent (top)
A real estate broker or salesperson who acts as agent for both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction. Both buyer and seller are the agent's clients.

Debt Service (top)
The repayment of a mortgage including the interest, principal, and any other additional charges.

Encumbrance (top)
A judgment, lien or mortgage, or other claim registered against the title to land.

Equity (top)
The difference between the value of the property and the amount owing (if any) on the mortgage.

Easement (top)
The right of use over the property by another as allowed through an agreement or necessary implication. Common examples include easement for the purposes of access to adjoining land and access to public utility services/equipment.

Foreclosure (top)
A legal procedure in which the lender/creditor obtains ownership of the property if the borrower defaults on the mortgage loan.

Interest (top)
The cost of borrowing money for a specified period of time. Interest is typically paid to the lender in installments along with repayment of the principal loan amount.

Industrial Space (top)
A type of real estate best suited to the needs of a manufacturing, assembly, warehousing or distribution type of business.

Lessee (top)
The tenant, as it pertains to a lease agreement.

Lessor (top)
The landlord or property owner, as it pertains to a lease agreement.

Mortgagor (top)
The property owner borrowing the money, secured by a mortgage.

Mortgagee (top)
The person or financial institution lending the money, secured by a mortgage.

Management Fees (top)
The fees paid out to a company that manages the property for the landlord.

Offer (top)
A legal document outlining the terms under which the buyer agrees to purchase a vendor’s property. If accepted by the vendor, it forms a legally binding contract subject to the terms and conditions stated in the document.

Property Manager (top)
An individual or agent who manages and supervises the day-to-day operations of a property according to the landlord or management company.

Real Estate Board (top)
A non-profit organization representing local real estate brokers/agents, salespeople, which provides services to its members and maintains and operates a MLS® system in the community.

Realtor® (top)
The trademark name for a real estate representative who is an active member of an organization of professionals in the real estate industry, for example, the Canadian Real Estate Association or Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Rent (top)
The amount of rent paid to the landlord during the term of the lease.

Second Mortgage (top)
An secondary mortgage on a property that already has an existing or first mortgage.

Seller's Market (top)
When there are more buyers searching for homes than there are properties for sale. In such a market, house values usually increase and homes sell in considerably less time than slower markets.

Survey (top)
A document that verifies a property’s boundaries, measurements, the location of any buildings on the property, and confirms the existence of any easements or encroachments.

Security Deposit (top)
The amount of money the tenant will pay the landlord before the tenant takes up occupancy in the new leased or rented space.

Square Footage (top)
The length of a room or premises times width. This is usually measured in feet.

Sublet (top)
When a tenant allows a third party to take over their space and rent out the premises, usually with the consent of the landlord.

Zoning (top)
The division of a city, town or municipality into districts in which construction is limited to a stated type of building and land usage, in accordance with legislative act.