Glossary of Terms
Abstract of Title - A
condensed history and summary of the title to land.
A valuation or a determination as to the value of
real property which is often used in connection with
assessing property taxes.
Appraisal - An estimate to
determine the value or worth of real property.
Binder - Sometimes called a Title
Commitment. A written memorandum of important terms
of the contract, which gives temporary protection to
the insured, pending further investigation of risk
or until the title policy is written.
Chain of Title - The report of all
owners, encumbrances and liens affecting the history
of title to a tract of land.
Clear Title - Real property
ownership, clear of liens, encumbrances, defects or
Closing - The day all costs are
settled between parties involved in the sale of real
estate and the real property transfers to the new
Closing Costs - All costs to be
paid by the Buyer or Seller the day of closing.
These costs are in addition to the purchase price of
Closing Statement - A statement
which sets forth the sales price, all transaction
and closing costs, loan proceeds, downpayment, and
the funds due from Buyer and net proceeds due to
Deed - A conveyance of real
property which is signed by the Grantor ("Seller")
whereby title is transferred to the Grantee
Deed Restriction - A provision in
a deed which insures restrictions or limits on the
use or occupancy of real property.
Easement - A right of way granted
to a person or company over or through a personís
Encumbrances - Matters of record
against real property, such as liens, mortgages,
easements, claims, unpaid taxes or the like.
Escrow - Funds held by an Escrow
Agent with special instructions when to transfer
from one party to another.
Grantee - The party who is the
Buyer or recipient of the deed.
Grantor - The party who is the
Seller or giver of the deed.
Joint Ownership - Where two or
more parties are involved in the ownership of real
Judgment - The judgment of a court
against a certain person(s) or company(s) that can
cause a lien on the title. In most cases judgments
must be satisfied.
Lenderís Policy - A title
insurance policy which protects the Lender against
title defects as of the closing date, only to the
extent of the Lenderís loan amount. This policy does
not protect the Owner.
Metes and Bounds - A land
description in which boundaries are described by
directions, courses, distances, and monuments.
Ownerís Policy - A title insurance
policy which protects the Owner of the real property
against title defects as of the closing date for as
long as such Owner owns the property.
Refinance - Obtaining a new loan
for a property already owned.
Survey - A measurement of
boundaries of real property done by a licensed
Tax Lien - Claim on property from
a taxing authority due to unpaid taxes.
Title - The ownership of land or
Title Commitment - See Binder.
Title Insurance - An insurance
policy protecting the Owner (Ownerís Policy) or a
Lender (Lenderís Policy) against loss if there is a
defect or claim against the title to the property.
Title Search - An examination of
the public records to determine how title to
property is held and to determine all other
encumbrances, liens or other matters of record
affecting title to the real property.