Clear Lake and League City Information

Glossary of Real Estate Terms

Glossary of commonly used words in the real estate industry that are also found on this site with their definition.  Link the corresponding words in the website to the definition shown below.


Appraisal—An opinion of value based upon a factual analysis.  Legally, an estimate of value by two disinterested persons of suitable qualifications.

Cashier’s Check—A check drawn by a bank on itself rather than on an account of depositor.  A cashier’s check is generally acceptable to close a sale without waiting for the check to clear.

Closing—(1) In a real estate sales, documents are executed and or recorded, and the sale (or Loan) is completed.  (2) A selling term meaning the point at which the client or customer is asked to agree to the sale or purchase and sign the contract.

Closing Cost—Expenses incidental to a sale of real estate, such as loan fees, title fees, appraisal fees, etc.

Community Property—Property owned in common by husband and wife, which was not acquired as separate property.  A classification of property peculiar to certain states.

Contingency—commonly the dependence upon a stated event which must occur before contract is binding.  For example:  the sale of a house, contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing.

Escrow Officer—an escrow agent.  One who has, through experience and education, gained a certain degree of expertise in escrow matters.

Fiduciary—one acting in relationship of trust, regarding financial transactions.

Funds—Money available for a qualified purpose, such as a loan funds for F.H.A. insured loans, conventional loan funds, etc.

Homeowner’s Insurance—Includes the coverage of Hazard Insurance plus added coverage such as personal liability, theft away from the home (items stolen from the insured’s car), and other such coverage.

Home Warranty Insurance—Private insurance insuring a buyer against defects (usually in plumbing, heating, electrical) in  the home he has purchased.  The period of insurance varies and both new and used homes may be insured.  Read the policy for coverage!

Listing Agent—A real estate agent obtaining a listing.

Loan—A lending of a principal sum of money to one who promises to repay said sum, plus interest.

Loan Officer—One who for a fee, brings together a borrower and lender, and handles the necessary application for the borrower to obtain a loan against real property by giving a mortgage or deed of trust as security also called a mortgage broker.

MLS—Multiple Listing Service

Mortgage—(1) To hypothecate a security, real property for the payment of a debt.  The borrower (mortgagor) retains possession and use of the property. (2) the instrument by which real estate is hypothecated as security for the repayment of a loan.

Mortgage Broker—One who for a fee, brings together a borrower and lender, and handles the necessary application for the borrower to obtain a loan against real property by giving a mortgage or deed of trust as security by giving a mortgage or deed of trust as a security also called a loan broker.

Option—a right, which acts as a continuing offer, given for consideration, to purchase or lease property at an agreed upon price and terms, within a specific time.

Option Fee—money given with an option for a specific time

Option Period—the prescribed length of time that buyer has given consideration (money) to the seller for the unrestricted right to terminate a contract.

Option Term—The time during which an option may be exercised

Ownership— right to the use, enjoyment, and alienation of the property, to the exclusions of others.

Possession— Being in physical control of land or personal property, whether the owner or not.

REALTOR®--A designation given to a real estate broker or sales associate who is a member of a board associated with the National Association of REALTORS® or with the National Association of Real Estate Board.

Real Estate—land and anything permanently affixed to the land, such as a building, fences and those things attached to the building, such as a light fixture, plumbing, and heating fixtures, or other such items which would be personal property if not attached.

Realty—real estate

Selling Agent—The real estate agent obtaining the buyer. The listing and selling agent may be the same person or company.

Settlement Statement—A statement prepared by escrow or lender, giving complete breakdown of cost involved in a real estate sale.  A separate statement is prepared for the seller and buyer.

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