Glossary

A.

Agent Commissions
This is the amount paid to a real estate broker and/or agent when a home is sold.

B.

Bank-Owned
These properties are owned by a lending institution and typically are sold through bank-owned auctions.

Bank-Owned Income Producing
These properties are owned by a lending institution and are rentals with paying tenants in place.

Bank-Owned Occupied
These properties are owned by a lending institution and may be occupied by the former owner or tenants. The new owner takes on the responsibility of managing the occupancy state once purchased.

Bank-Owned Vacant
These properties are owned by a lending institution and do not house tenants or owner-occupants.

Beneficiary
A beneficiary in real estate is typically the lender. When the legal ownership of property is transferred, it takes place with a deed of trust. The title is transferred to a trustee, which holds it as security for a loan between the borrower and lender. The borrower is referred to as the trustor, while the lender is referred to as the beneficiary.

Broker
Any person who acts as an agent, bringing two parties together for any type of transaction and earns a fee for his or her service.

C.

Cashier’s Check
A cashier’s check is a check guaranteed by a bank, drawn on the bank’s own funds and signed by a cashier. Cashier’s checks are treated as guaranteed funds because the bank, rather than the purchaser, is responsible for paying the amount.

Closing
If you buy a  property, the closing process includes the final steps in your transaction. The closing process may take anywhere from 30 to 60 days and the closing date will be set by the contract. Once complete, the property ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

COA
Condominium Owner’s Association

D.

Deed
A legal instrument that confirms the transfer of a property’s title.

Distressed Residential Real Estate
These are homes that are either in a pre-foreclosure state or have undergone the foreclosure process and are now bank-owned properties. They also may become short-sales, in which the lender agrees to sell the home for less than what is owed on it.

Due Diligence
Conducting due diligence involves thoroughly investigating a property before you buy it. It includes researching the estimated value, estimating repair costs, reviewing title reports, inspecting the property and researching the surrounding neighborhood.

E.

Earnest Money Deposit
A deposit placed by the buyer to let the seller know that the buyer is earnest or serious about buying the property.

Escrow
When the lender releases the home purchase funds around the same time that the deed is recorded to reflect the new ownership. Escrow opens when the buyer and seller sign a sales contract, commonly called a real estate purchase agreement.

Estimated Debt
This is the total estimated debt, plus court-imposed fees, unpaid interest and legal costs owed by the homeowner at the notice of foreclosure sale.

Est. Resale Value (ERV)
The Est. Resale Value (ERV) is derived from an automated value provided by a third-party. It’s based on comparable sales of similar properties that are very well maintained and with no deferred maintenance. The Est. Resale Value (ERV) is critical because it helps investors calculate the difference between the “as-is” value, or price they pay for a property and the resale value, the price they can potentially get when they sell the property. It gives investors an estimate of their profit margin after all necessary repairs are made.

F.

Financing
Financing is the act of providing funds or capital to a person or business with the expectation that the money will be paid back.

Foreclosure Sales
A foreclosure sale occurs when a lender attempts to sell a property to recover the balance of a loan.

Full Warranty Deed
A deed in which the seller guarantees that he or she holds clear title to a piece of real estate and has a right to sell it to the buyer.

G.

Gaining Possession of a property
When you purchase a property at a foreclosure sale, you typically can’t gain possession until you have a clear title, the deed is transferred into your name and the home is vacant. If the property is occupied, you may want to contact a real estate attorney for assistance.

H.

HOA
Homeowners’ Association

HUD
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD-1 Settlement Statement
This is a standard form which is used to itemize services and fees charged to the borrower by the lender or broker when applying for a loan for the purpose of purchasing or refinancing real estate.

I.

J.

K.

L.

Land
Property or real estate, not including buildings or equipment.

Landlord
Any person(s) that rents or leases property to an occupant.

Lease
A lease is a contractual agreement between a tenant and landlord that spells out the terms of tenancy. This includes length of time for occupancy, monthly rent to be paid, responsibilities and rules.

Limited Liability Company
A limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate structure whereby the members of the company cannot be held personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities.

M.

Manufactured Home
A manufactured home in the United States is typically a home built in a factory that complies with HUD code standards. These standards were developed in 1976 so manufactured homes in the U.S. have been built after that year. Manufactured homes can be placed on private land or in a community with other manufactured homes and mobile homes.

Mobile Home
A mobile home in the United States is typically a home built in a factory prior to 1976 before the HUD code was established. Mobile homes can be placed on private land or in a community with other mobile and manufactured homes.

Mortgage
A mortgage is a legal agreement that allows an individual to borrow money from a lender to buy property. Once the mortgage is paid off, the agreement becomes void.

N.

O.

P.

Postponed property
A foreclosure sale can be postponed for several reasons. Some of the more common ones include:When a homeowner files for bankruptcy protection, this results in an automatic stay being placed on the property. The bankruptcy doesn’t stop the foreclosure, but delays it until the homeowner resolves the debt or the lender gets approval from the bankruptcy court to proceed with the sale.The beneficiary (lender) can postpone the sale for any reason. It could be simply that the lender is not ready to sell the property.

Property Information Report
This report summarizes neighborhood schools, crime and environmental factors affecting the property.

Property Inspection Report
This report provides additional information about the property, neighborhood and may offer comparable sales. But it’s not an appraisal and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Q.

Quitclaim Deed
A quitclaim deed conveys the seller’s rights and interests in a property to the buyer. It does not, however, provide any warranties or covenants to the buyer.

R.

Real Estate Agent
An individual who sells and rents buildings for a client.

Redemption Period
A redemption period is a specific period of time during which foreclosed homeowners can buy back or “redeem” their property. If you purchase a property in a redemption state, you will not be able to evict the homeowner or tenant during the redemption period. Check your state’s guidelines to see if it offers a redemption period.

Rent
The amount of money a tenant pays a landlord to occupy a property, typically paid each month.

Rentals
A property that is rented out each month by a tenant.

Residential Property
Any non-commercial property such as single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, fourplexes, triplexes, duplexes and manufactured homes.

Residential Notes
A real estate loan that is secured by a residential property. There are two types: Performing (the owner is paying their mortgage) and Non-Performing (the owner has stopped paying their mortgage).

S.

Short Sales
When a homeowner owes more on their mortgage than the home is worth, the lender may agree to accept less than the amount owed. A short sale gives the owners a chance to walk away from their mortgage and the bank a chance to alleviate the expensive and time-consuming process of foreclosure.

Security Deposit
An amount of money held by a landlord during the term of a lease to cover non-payment or any potential future damages to the property.

Seller
The beneficiary or owner of a property who transfers ownership to the buyer in return for a payment.

SFR
SFR is an acronym for Single Family Residence.

T.

Tenant
Any person(s) legally allowed to occupy a rental property as part of a lease or rental contract.

Tenant-Occupied
A property that is leased or rented by tenants.

Title Report
A full title report shows exactly what is on the title and indicates if there are any liens for items like unpaid taxes or homeowner association dues.

U.

V.

W.

Warranty Deed
This is a deed that guarantees a clear title to the buyer of the property.

X.

Y.

Z.

Zoning laws
The basic purpose of zoning is to divide a municipality or county into residential, commercial and industrial districts (or zones) that are – for the most part – separate from each other.