|Abstract of Title. A summary or condensation of the essential parts of all recorded instruments which affect a particular piece of real estate, arranged in the order in which they were recorded.
Acceptance. The indication or manifestation by the offeree that the offeree is willing to be bound by the terms of the offer.
Acknowledgment. A declaration made by a person to a notary public, or other public official authorized to take acknowledgments, that the instrument was executed by the person and that it is a free and voluntary act.
Administrator. A person appointed by the court to administer the estate of a deceased person who died without leaving a will; that is, intestate.
Adverse Possession. The right of an occupant of land to acquire a superior title to the real estate against the record owner, where such possession has been actual, notorious, hostile, visible and continuous for the required statutory period (in Colorado, 18 years). The purpose behind this concept is to promote the productive use of land and to give title to the one putting the land to use.
Affidavit. A statement or declaration reduced to writing, and sworn to or affirmed before some officer who has authority to administer and oath or affirmation.
Agency. A legal relationship resulting from an agreement or contract, either expressed or implied, written or oral, whereby one person, called the agent, is employed by another, called the principal, to do certain acts in dealing with a third party.
Agent. Any person, partnership, association, or corporation authorized or employed by another, called the principal, to act for, on behalf of, and subject to the control of the principal.
Alienation. Transfer; the transfer of real property by one person to another.
Amenities. In real estate, amenities refer to such circumstances, in regard to location, outlook, or access to park, lake, highway, view or the like which enhance the desirability of real estate and which contribute to the pleasure and enjoyment of the occupants.
Amortization. The liquidation or gradual retirement of a financial obligation by periodic installments.
Appraisal. In real estate, an estimate of the quality or value of property; the process by which conclusions of the value of property are obtained; also refers to the report setting forth the estimate of value together with the basis for such conclusions.
Appreciation. An increase in value of real estate, due to economic or related causes which may be either temporary or permanent.
Appurtenance. That which belongs to something else; something adapted to the use of the real property to which it is connected or belongs, and which was intended to be a permanent addition to the land, and which passes as an incident to said land, as a house, barn, garage, right of way.
Assessment. In real estate, the listing and valuation of property for the purpose of apportioning a tax upon it. Special assessment: a charge against real property made by a unit of government to cover the proportionate cost of an improvement, such as a street or sewer.
Assignee. The party to whom a legal right has been assigned or transferred.
Assignment. A transfer to another of a legal right.
Assignor. The party who assigns or transfers a legal right.
Attachment. A type of encumbrance, permitted only under special circumstances, which is placed against the real estate of a defendant in a pending law suit for money damages.
Attorney’s Opinion. In real estate, the written opinion of an attorney-at-law regarding the marketability of title to real property based upon an examination of the abstract of title or the records in the county clerk and recorder’s office.
Balloon Payment. When credit is advanced by note or contract and payment is required in regular equal installments and the note or contract will mature before it is paid in full, a payment which may be larger that the regular payment will fall due. This larger payment is called a “balloon payment”.
Bargain and Sale Deed. Any deed that recites a consideration and purports to convey the real estate. A bargain and sale deed with a covenant against the grantor’s acts is one in which the grantor warrants that he or she has done nothing to harm or cloud the title.
Beneficiary. The person who receives or is to receive the benefits resulting from certain acts; one receiving benefits, profits or advantage; one for whose benefit a trust is created.
Bill of Sale. A written instrument by which one person transfers or conveys right, title or interest in personal property to another.
Blanket Mortgage. A single mortgage which covers more that one piece of property.
Broker. Any person, firm, partnership, limited liability company, association, or corporation who, in consideration of compensation by fee, commission, salary, or anything of value or with the intention or receiving or collecting such compensation, engages in or offers or attempts to engage in, either directly or indirectly, by a continuing course of conduct or by any single act or transaction.
Building Code. Regulations established by local governments setting forth the structural requirements of buildings.
Buyer Agent. A broker or salesperson who is engaged by and represents the buyer in a real estate transaction.
Caveat Emptor. Latin phrase meaning “Let the buyer beware.” Is duty-bound to examine the property he or she is purchasing, and accepts conditions which are readily known upon view.
Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV). Veterans Administration’s certified appraisal of value of real property.
Certificate of Taxes Due. A written statement or guaranty of the condition of the taxes on a certain property, made by the County Treasurer of the county wherein the property is located. Any loss resulting to any person from an error in tax certificate shall be paid by the county which such treasurer represents.
Chattel. Any item of property other that real estate, usually referred to as personal property; an item of movable property.
Closing. Point of real estate transaction when the seller transfers title to the buyer in exchange for the purchase price.
Cloud on the Title. An outstanding claim or encumbrance that, if valid, would affect or impair the title to the property.
Common-Law. The principals and rules of law, originating from usage and custom, sanctioned by the courts and which are not dependent upon legislative expression or enactment for their authority. Also that body of law, based on custom and usage developed and formulated by the old English courts.
Community Property. Property, real or personal, which by statute belongs equally to husband and wife; more specifically, property acquired by the husband and wife, or either, during marriage, by their industry and not by gift, said property belonging equally to husband and wife.
Condemnation. In real property law, the process by which property of a private owner is taken for public use, with compensation to the owner, under the right of eminent domain.
Condominium. A common interest community in which portions of real estate are designated for separate ownership and the remainder of which is designated for common ownership solely by the owners of the separate ownership portions. A common interest community is not a condominium unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in the unit owners.
Construction Mortgage. A short-term loan used to finance the building of a structure.
Contract. An agreement, enforceable at law, between two or more competent persons, having for its object a legal purpose, wherein the parties agree to act in a certain manner.
Conventional Mortgage. A mortgage securing a loan made by private investors without governmental participation; that is, which in not F.H.A. insured or V.A. guaranteed.
Conveyance. An instrument in writing by which some estate, interest, or title in real estate is transferred from one person to another, such as a deed or mortgage.
Counteroffer. A new offer made as a result of another offer, which cancels the original offer.
Covenant. A promise or agreement, usually in writing, whereby a party pledges or guarantees to another that something is done or shall be done, or stipulates to the truth of certain facts.
Cul-de-Sac. A passage way with one outlet. Streets in newer subdivisions are sometimes built in cul-de-sac fashion.
Deed. A legal instrument in writing, duly executed and delivered, whereby the owner of real property (grantor) conveys to another (grantee) some right, title or interest in or to real estate.
Deed Restriction. A provision in a deed controlling or limiting the use of the land.
Default. Non-performance of a duty; omission or failure to perform a legal duty; failure to meet an obligation when due.
Depreciation. The loss in value due to deterioration through ordinary wear and tear, action of the elements, functional or economic obsolescence.
Devise. A gift or real property by the last will and testament of a donor.
Discount Points. Additional charges made by the lender at the time a loan is made. These additional interest charges are paid at the time a loan is close to increase the rate of return to the lender so as to approximate the market level. One point = one percent.
Documentary Fee. A tax required by Colorado law of one cent per each one hundred dollars of consideration paid by the person recording an instrument of conveyance with the county clerk and recorder.
Dual Agent. A broker who, with the written informed consent of all parties to a contemplated real estate transaction, is engaged as a limited agent for both the seller and buyer or both landlord and tenant.
Due-On-Sale Clause. A provision in a mortgage or trust deed which allows the lender to call a promissory note immediately due and payable in full upon the sale or transfer of a secured property. Allows the lender to raise the interest rate or demand other changes in terms upon assumption of the loan.
Duress. Forcing action or inaction against a person’s will.
Earnest Money. Down payment made by a purchaser of real estate as evidence of good faith.
Easement. A right or interest in the real property of another. The right to use another’s land for specific purpose, as a right of way.
Equity. In real estate, the interest or value of the real estate over and above the amount of the indebtedness thereon.
Eminent Domain. The right of a government to take private property for public use upon the payment of just compensation. The legal proceeding by which the government exercises this right is called “condemnation”.
Encroachment. Illegal intrusion of a structure, part of a building, or obstruction over or upon a highway, sidewalk or the property of another.
Encumbrance. A claim, lien, charge, or liability attached to and binding upon real property, such as a judgment, mortgage, mechanic’s lien, lien for unpaid taxes, right of way.
Endorsement. Writing one’s name, either with or without additional words, on a negotiable instrument or on an attachment thereto.
Equity. The value of the interest of an owner of property less encumbrances on that property.
Escheat. The reversion of property to the state in the event the owner dies without leaving a will and has no blood heirs or relatives to whom the property may pass by lawful descent.
Escrow. In real estate, the state or condition of a money or deed held conditionally by a third party, called the escrow agent, pending the performance or fulfillment of some act or condition.
Escrow Account. Any identified checking, demand, passbook or statement account insured by an agency of the United States government maintained in a Colorado depository for money that belongs to others.
Estate. In real estate, it refers to the degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest which a person has in real property.
Exclusive Agency Listing. A listing whereby the owner appoints one real estate broker as sole agent for a specified period of time. The owner may sell the property to a buyer that the owner finds without paying the broker a commission.
Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing. A listing whereby the owner appoints one real estate broker as sole and exclusive broker for a specified period of time. Not matter who sells the property, including the owner personally, the broker is entitled to a commission.
Executor. The person named in a will to carry out its provisions.
“Fannie Mae”. The pronunciation of “FNMA” (Federal National Mortgage Association). Provides a market for government secured mortgages held by primary lenders and provides them with a ready market so as to permit a greater turnover of money for loans.
Fee Simple Absolute. (fee or fee simple); the most comprehensive ownership of real property under law; the largest bundle of ownership rights possible.
F.H.A. Insured Mortgage. A mortgage under which the Federal Housing Administration insures loans made according to its regulations by approved lenders.
Fiduciary. Person in a position of trust in relation to another party; or a person in a confidential or trust position; as an adjective, means confidential, as a fiduciary relationship between an agent and the principal.
Fixture. An article of personal property installed in or attached to land or a a building thereon in a permanent manner, so that it is considered to be part of the real estate.
Foreclosure. A termination of the rights of the mortgagor in the property covered by the mortgage; a court process instituted by a mortgagee or lien creditor to defeat any interest or equity of redemption which the mortgagor or debtor-owner may have in the property.
Homestead Exemption. Often called “homestead” or “homestead right”; a right given by statute to a householder or head of a family to designate real estate as their homestead and said homestead is exempt, up to a stated amount, from execution by creditors.
Indemnify. To insure; to secure against loss.
Installment Land Contract, (ILC) also land contract, or installment contract; an agreement for the purchase of real estate on an installment basis, the deed to the property is not given to the purchaser until either all or certain portion of the purchase price is paid.
Intestate. When a person dies without leaving a will.
Joint Tenancy. A type of co-ownership of real property, held by two or more persons with all co-owners being equally entitled to the use, enjoyment, control and possession of the land and with the right of survivorship.
Judgment. Final determination of the rights of the parties by a court in an action before it.
Land. Real property; the surface of the earth and that which is affixed to it permanently; that which is below it, and the space above it; synonymous with “real property”, “realty”, and “real estate”. Sometimes used to mean only the unimproved surface of the earth.
Landlord. A owner of an estate in land, who has leased it to a person called the tenant.
Lease. An agreement under which a tenant receives possession and use of real property for a certain period of time and the landlord receives the payment of rent and/or the performance or other conditions.
Leasehold. An estate or right in real property held under a lease.
Legal Description. A description recognized by law that is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony.
Lessee. Party who possesses a right or estate in realty under a lease; also commonly referred to as the tenant.
Lessor. Party who conveys a right or estate in realty to a lessee under a lease; commonly referred to as the landlord.
Lien. A right given by law to a creditor to have a debt or charge satisfied out of the real or personal property belonging to the debtor.
Life Estate. An estate or interest in real property held for the duration of the life of some certain person.
Lis Pendens. A public notice, filed against specific lands, that an action at law is pending that may affect the title to the land.
Listing. An agreement or contract of employment, either oral or written, whereby the owner authorizes the real estate broker to sell, exchange or lease real estate.
Market Value. The price which a ready and able buyer, not forced to buy, would pay and which a ready and willing seller, not forced to sell, would accept, assuming that both parties are fully informed, act reasonably, and have sufficient time to consider the transaction with due care.
Mechanic’s Lien. A lien created by statute which exists against real property in favor of persons who have performed work or furnished materials for the improvement of the real estate.
Metes and Bounds. A method of describing or locating real property; metes are measures of length and bounds are boundaries. This method starts from a well-marked point of beginning and follows the boundaries of the land until it returns once more to the point of beginning.
Mill. One-tenth of a cent. A tax rate of one mill on the dollar is the same as a rate of one-tenth of one percent of the assessed value of the property.
Mortgage. A conditional conveyance of property as security for the payment of a debt or the fulfillment of some obligation. Upon payment of the debt or performance of the obligation the mortgage becomes void.
Mortgagee. The party to whom property is conveyed under a mortgage as security for the repayment of a loan or fulfillment of some obligation.
Mortgagor. The party who, gives a mortgage conveying their interest in the property to the lender as security for the obligation to repay a loan or fulfill some obligation.
Multiple Listing Service. An arrangement among real estate brokers whereby they share their listings. The commission is divided, according to previous agreement, between the listing broker and the selling broker.
Note. A written instrument acknowledging a debt and promising payment.
Offer. A promise to act in a certain manner provided the other party will act in the manner requested.
Offeree. One to whom an offer is made.
Offeror. One who makes an offer.
Origination Fee. A fee charged the borrower by the lending institution.
Party Wall. A wall erected on a line between adjoining properties for the use of both properties.
Percolation Test. A test to determine if soil will take sufficient water seepage for use of a septic tank.
Personal Property. All that is not real property; things of a temporary or movable nature.
Power of Attorney. A legal instrument which authorizes another person to act, either a specifically or generally, in place of the person drawing the instrument.
Principal Note. The promissory note which is secured by the mortgage or trust deed.
Property. The rights of ownership; the right to use, possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing in every legal way and to exclude everyone else from interfering with these rights. Generally classified into two groups; personal and real.
Quitclaim Deed. A deed in which the grantor warrants nothing. It conveys only the grantor’s present interest in the real estate, if any.
Realtor©. A copyrighted trade name which can be used only by those persons belonging to the National Association of Realtors.
Recording. The act of writing or entering an instrument in a book of public record, usually in the office of the county clerk and recorder. Recording constitutes notice to all persons of the rights or claims contained in the instrument. This presumption of knowledge is called “constructive” or “legal” notice.
Release. The relinquishment or surrender of a right, claim, or interest.
Release of Lien. The discharge or release of specific property from the charge or lien of a judgment, mortgage or other claim.
Restrictive Covenant. A clause in a deed limiting the use of a property.
Right of Survivorship. A characteristic of a joint-tenancy; upon the death of one of the tenants, their rights in the property pass automatically to the surviving tenant(s).
Right-of-way. An easement or right of passage over another’s land; also the strip of land used as roadbed by a railroad or used for a public purpose by other public utilities.
Special Warranty Deed. A deed in which the grantor warrants or guarantees the title only against defects arising during the grantor’s ownership of the property and not against defects existing before the time the grantor accepted title.
Subdivision. Area of land that has been divided into smaller plats, suitable for building.
Survey. The process by which a parcel of land is measured and its area ascertained.
Tenancy-in-Common. A type of co-ownership of real property; a holding of an estate in land by two or more person, each being entitled to possession of the property according to their proportionate share; distinct from joint-tenancy in that there is no right of survivorship in a tenancy in common.
Testate. When a person dies leaving a will.
Time Share. An interval interest in real estate whereby ownership or occupancy rights circulate among the various interval owners. Ownership may be either fee simple (deeded) or “right-to-use” (contractual or membership).
Title. In real property, it is the right, or evidence of the right, to property.
Title Insurance. A policy of insurance which indemnifies the holder for loss sustained by reason of a defect in the title, provided the loss does not result from a defect excluded by the policy provisions.
Transaction-broker. A broker who assists one or more parties throughout a contemplated real estate transaction with communication, interposition, advisement, negotiation, contract terms, and the closing without being an agent or advocate for the interests of any party.
Treasurer’s Deed. A deed for property sold at public sale by the county for non-payment of taxes by the owner.
Trust Deed. A form of mortgage by which a borrower of debtor conveys title to a trustee, usually a public trustee, who holds the title for the protection of a lender or creditor as a pledge or as security for the repayment of the loan or debt described in the instrument.
V.A. Guaranteed Mortgage. A mortgage under which the Veterans Administration guarantees the payment of a percentage of the loans and pays the lender any loss sustained up to the amount of the guarantee.
Warranty Deed, (General warranty deed). A deed in which the grantor warrants or guarantees the title to real property against defects existing before the grantor acquired title or arising during the grantor’s ownership.
Zoning. Government regulation of land use; of such matters as height, bulk, and use of buildings and use of land intended to accomplish desirable ends.