Glossary of Terms

 
Abstract of Title - A condensed history and summary of the title to land.

Assessment
- 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 claims.

Closing
- The day all costs are settled between parties involved in the sale of real estate and the real property transfers to the new Owner.

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 the property.

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 Seller.

Deed
- A conveyance of real property which is signed by the Grantor ("Seller") whereby title is transferred to the Grantee ("Buyer").

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 real property.

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 property.

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 surveyor.

Tax Lien
- Claim on property from a taxing authority due to unpaid taxes.

Title
- The ownership of land or property.

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.