Real estate terminology
Total unrestricted ownership of title.
The expressed agreement to the terms of an offer.
Additions to property made by deposits of soil OR other natural causes OR man-made cause, such as adding fixtures.
An addition to the earnest money agreement.(Addenda – plural)
Acquiring title to the land by actual, open, notorious, hostile, exclusive and continuous possession, for required statutory time period.
A property without land, such as a fourth floor condo unit.
The transfer OR conveyance of ownership (title) of real property, to another person or entity, as when selling OR gifting.
Bolts placed into concrete that hold beams in place.
Planning and designing buildings, or the style of construction, such as Tudor, Spanish, Georgian, Contemporary, or Rustic.
The person to whom an assignment is made.
The transfer of rights and obligation to another person.
The person who assigns a right to another person.
Average Cost per Unit
The total space area divided by the number of living units.
Sudden tearing away OR removal of land by water.
Heating source located at the base of outside walls. Usually electric or hot water.
Living space below the ground floor level.
The principal horizontal load carrying timber or steel member used between posts, columns, or walls.
A wall that supports a vertical load.
A contract where both sides MUST perform- a promise for a promise.
A term sometimes used for “earnest money”
A term for lumber that is under two inches thick.
In good faith, genuine, sincere, truthful.
A default by one of the parties, with NO legal excuse.
A facing of brick against the frame or wall of the building.
Supportive members to distribute the floor load .
BTU - British Thermal Unit
A measure of heating capacity.
Minimum standards regulation of construction methods and materials.
A type of roof that is composed of several layers of asphalt felt, saturated with hot or pitch.
A clause used when the seller receives a second offer to purchase that requires the first buyer to either waive OR conclude the contingency “to sell buyer's existing home” OR rescind the contract
Terminations of a contract, BUT previous contractual acts are NOT affected.
A mentally competent person, at least 18 years old.
The interior passageway with jambs and trim BUT without a door.
The material used to seal, fill and waterproof cracks and joints.
Also called settlement, the final accounting of ALL documents, recording and the disbursement of funds.
Code of Ethics
Rules that have an impact on the ethics, conduct, education, professional principles and practices of real estate agents.
A change in a will OR other document.
The beam connecting rafters above the wall plate.
A vertical supporting member.
A wall used jointly by two buildings as separation BUT NOT as a partition.
Roofing material composed of felt paper and hot asphalt topped with finely crushed gravel.
Compensation paid to a real estate broker for services in connection with a real estate transaction.
Competitive (or Comparative) Market Analysis
An estimate of value of a home to determine a fair listing price, by comparing recent sales and current listings of similar homes in the same or similar area.
The process used to take property by the power of eminent domain.
Conditional use permit
A permit that authorizes a special use for a property where it would otherwise be prohibited by the zoning, such as allowing a hospital in a neighborhood.
Piping or tubing in which wiring is drawn through and installed.
A contract clause that states that something MUST occur by a specific date, OR the contract will be void.
An agreement between competent parties to do OR NOT to do something in return for consideration.
Contract for forbearance
An agreement that certain things will NOT be done.
Contract of sale
A purchase agreement, also called a purchase contract.
Something of value, that is exchanged by the parties.
The corners reinforcement braces set into the studs of frame structures.
An ornamental crown molding at the top of a sidewall under the eaves.
A response to an original offer, BUT with modifications.
Used in metes and bounds - directions in terms of compass bearings.
The access space between the ground and the first floor.
Conveying property to the public without receiving consideration.
Lumber that is planed to two to five inches thick and up to twelve inches wide, used in framing.
A physical OR mental impairment that substantially limits one OR more major life activity.
Treating people differently on the basis of minority status such as age, gender, race, color, religion, disability, etc.
Used in metes and bounds to measure between boundaries.
A type of flyer, advertisement or notice that has an opening at the top so that it can hang from a doorknob.
Usually announcing an open house, a new listing or sale, or prospecting materials to list or sell homes.
A gable structure for a room or space built out from a sloping roof.
The wall covering material that does NOT require water as sheet rock does.
A promise that the broker will use effort and diligence to find a buyer
Due on sale
A clause that does NOT allow the buyer to let another person assume the existing loan and states that the loan must be paid in full upon a sale.
Forcing, compelling or manipulating a person to do something against their will by use of threats, pressure, or coercion.
House, apartment OR residential building. Includes residential building lots.
Good faith deposit by the buyer to be applied to the purchase price at closing, OR forfeited as liquidated damages to seller, if the buyer defaults.
The overhang from the lower part of a roof that protects the exterior wall.
A scale drawing of all sides of a building to show a reference of the height above the earth’s surface.
The power of the government to take private property for public for fair compensation.
Person working under the direction and control of another, usually paid salary or wages.
A contract that has legal recourse and binds the parties to obedience.
An interest or security held by the purchaser of real estate until absolute title.
Loss of land due to water, wind OR other natural causes.
The use of zoning in local governments, to inhibit housing projects.
Exclusive Agency Listing
A listing with ONLY one broker, who earns a commission if he/she sells the property, BUT may NOT if the seller sells it him/herself.
Exclusive Right to Sell Listing
The broker has earned a commission on the sale of the property if sold during the listing period, no matter who was the procuring cause.
A listing contract that has NOT been renewed before the end of its term, and may be now be listed by another agent.
Items assembled in a plant or construction facility and then transported to the site.
The discrimination of families based on whether they live with children, minors under 18 years old, OR based on pregnancy, adoption OR custody of a child.
A method of real estate prospecting that involves staking out a certain neighborhood, territory, or area and continuously staying in touch with the people by mail, phone calls, flyers, or door hangers.
Wood nailed to the ends of protruding rafters.
Earth or dirt used to raise the ground to a certain level.
The block or stop in a wall between studs, designed to prevent a fire from spreading.
First Right of Refusal
The first opportunity to “meet or beat” the terms of an offer made by a third party OR to meet the terms of a listing before it is sold to anyone else.
Impervious material (usually sheet metal), used in roof and wall construction to prevent rain or other water seepage.
The space in a chimney that smoke, gas, or fumes escape.
The broad protecting base supporting the foundation wall, pier, or column.
The structure of the walls, floors, ceilings, and roof that gives it shape and strength.
Deliberate misrepresentation of a material fact OR an act intended to deceive a person into entering into a contract, and the act harms the person.
Common term used by real estate agents that means “for sale by owner” Pronounced fiz-bo.
The walls inside the slopes of a roof.
A long-term comprehensive development plan implemented by local zoning and other laws.
General real estate taxes
Annual taxes based on the value of the property OR “ad valorem” and levied against real property for the payment of general government services.
The installation of glass.
A system to describe a parcel that is NOT in a regular section in a government survey system.
A trough attached to the edge of a roof, to collect and direct water from precipitation.
An actual, implied OR record of a physical OR mental impairment that substantially impairs one OR more major life activities, BUT does NOT protect persons with illegal addiction of controlled substances.
(The Department of Housing and Urban Development) a federal government agency that oversees public housing and rehabilitation projects.
The horizontal support of the load over an opening, such as a window or door.
The floor that extends outside the fireplace into the room and is usually made of decorative tile or brick.
A reversible refrigeration system that can heat or cool a building.
Person who works for another but has control over the manner of completing the job, rather than following detailed instructions and is usually paid a commission.
Offering incorrect information with NO intention to deceive.
A contract to finance as well as an agreement to purchase.
Also called a “land contract”.
Material used to resist heat, cold, noise, or electrical shock. Measured in R- values or R- factors.
The top and sides of a door or window frame that touch the door or sash.
Put together on site with available materials.
The parallel framing members that support floor and ceiling loads.
The piece of property which is pivotal to the success of the development.
Gratuitous payment made to a person for a referral of business.
Material attached to the structure frame as a base for applying plaster.
An addition to a structure which share a common wall.
The age a person attains legal competence.
Real estate firm which represents the seller in marketing the home.
An employment agreement in which a seller hires a broker to represent the seller in the sale or rental of real property.
An advance agreement of a remedy that provides full compensation if one party defaults.
Houses built after 1976 that are built to HUD code, on a frame system in a construction facility and moved to a site.
Meeting of the minds
An agreement of mutual intentions and mutual approval of ALL parties entering into a contract.
Metes and bounds
A system to describe property by reference to monuments, courses, and distances.
A person under the age of legal competence;
Also referred to as an “infant”.
People OR persons who are identified by their race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability OR familial status OR by any characteristic that is prohibited by federal, state, OR local fair housing law.
Usually refers to a manufactured home built before the enforcement of HUD code in 1976.
A “stick built” home or structure, built to UBC code in a construction facility and moved in major sections and assembled on a foundation or basement on site. NOT a manufactured home.
A practical or decorative strip of wood used to conceal surface or angle joints.
Natural or artificial marker used in a survey or metes and bounds legal description.
M.L.S. - Multiple Listing Service
An organization of local brokers who share computerized information on all their listings with other brokers-members, so that they all can sell from a huge inventory of listings.
Agreement to the terms of a contract, also referred to as a meeting of the minds
Not legal in Washington - based on a net selling price to the seller, and any amount received over and above is kept as commission to the broker.
Allowing a use to continue that was previously legal, BUT because of a new zoning ordinance would be considered technically illegal.
The substitution of a new contract for the original, or the substitution of new parties to the original contract, releasing the original parties of ALL liability.
A willingness to contract under definite and certain terms.
The person who receives an offer.
The person who makes an offer.
A listing where the owner agrees to pay the agent ONLY if the named party buys the property.
A method of prospecting used by agents to meet buyers and show prospective sellers their professional services.
A non-exclusive listing- Commission paid to the broker ONLY if the broker is responsible for bringing a ready willing and able buyer.
Agreement to keep an offer open for a specified time to purchase or lease property at a set price within the specific time period.
The person who is given the option.
The person who gives the option.
The interior wall that subdivides the space inside the building.
The first grant of conveyance in a chain of title issued to a private owner by the government.
Includes individuals, corporations, legal representatives, trusts, partnerships, trustees, receivers, fiduciaries, and other associations OR organizations.
A column of masonry or field stone used to support other structural members.
The inclination of a slope.
A cross-section drawing of the structure to be built.
Sand and lime, mixed with cement, that can be trawled on interior or exterior walls.
Horizontal members that provide bearing for the walls, joists, ceiling and rafters.
A system to describe subdivided or platted-subdivision lots using numbers for the lot and block on a plat map.
Point of beginning
Used in metes and bounds description as the starting point- can be a monument or point measured from a monument.
State government rights to regulate use of private property for the protection of the public safety, health, welfare, morals, and general welfare.
The vertical structure that rests on a footing or foundation and supports beams and trusses.
Components built in a construction facility, moved to a site and assembled on a foundation or basement.
Prima facie evidence
“Proof on its face”. Evidence that establishes proof.
Used in government survey system- is the main north-south line in a grid as the starting point to number ranges and township tiers.
The person who is responsible for directly or indirectly bringing a bona fide offer.
Purchase and sale agreement
A receipt for earnest money and a binding contract between the buyer and seller of real property.
Right that a tenant (typically) or an owner has to the use of the property without interference or possession of others.
A transfer of all one's interest, as in a parcel of real estate, especially without a warranty of title.
A unit to a measure the resistance to heat loss.
The supporting parallel structural members of the roof.
Used in the government survey system- north and south tier of land six miles wide.
Real estate brokerage
Business of bringing a buyer and seller together and negotiating sales contract between the two parties.
A land description land is divided into townships- townships are divided into 36 sections- each section is one square mile.
Credit discrimination in making real estate loans on properties in certain neighborhoods based on the racial OR ethnic composition.
Concrete poured around steel bars or steel meshwork (such as Rebar).
Water receding from the high water mark, making new uncovered ground into adjoining land.
Termination or cancellation of a contract with a provision to restore the parties, to their previous status as nearly as possible.
A zoning ordinance amendment that changes the use of property resulting from a successful application for rezone by an owner who believed the property was improperly zoned.
The vertical steps between the stair treads.
Very slight slope to provide drainage.
Pitched with inclining sides.
Sides incline to a peak.
Flat on top, with the sides sloping downward from the outside edges of the roof.
Also called “salt box”; has ONLY one slope either from the front to back or side to side.
Barn style roof with bi-level slopes.
The installation of pipes, wires, etc. in the interior walls, making it ready to install fixtures at a future date.
One square mile and contains 640 acres. 36 sections are in a township.
Inner sub-covering that is placed beside the exterior studding or rafters.
The permanent exterior covering of the outside wall of a frame structure.
The bottom horizontal part of the frame of a structure, that rests on the foundation or the bottom part of a window or exterior doorframe.
Type of construction where the exterior frame cover is both the sheathing and the exterior wall cover.
A tax levied against property to pay for a local improvement project that benefits the property.
A court order forcing the defaulting party to carry out the terms of a contract.
The written description of the quality of materials and workmanship that are to be the standard for the project.
Sphere of Influence
A list of names of people with whom you have regular contact (family, friends, social and business contacts, past customers, etc) which can be referred to your real estate broker.
Statute of Frauds
State law requiring certain contracts to be in writing in order to be enforceable.
The illegal practice of directing prospective buyers OR tenants to OR from certain neighborhoods according to their race, religion, OR national origin.
The method of constructing the dwelling on site to UBC code.
Storm windows (Storm doors)
An extra window or glass door placed outside the other window to provide added protection from cold weather.
Cement type plaster applied as a covering to the exterior. Sometimes a more durable synthetic stucco such as Drivid is used.
Parallel vertical framing in walls and partitions commonly set 16 inches apart.
The material that is laid directly on the floor joists during construction, before the finished floor is laid.
Tape and texture
The process used on drywall to cover seams and texture the wall before painting.
An unconditional offer or tender made by a party showing willingness to perform their part of the contract.
Someone posing as a renter OR buyer, for the purpose of gathering evidence against any unlawful practices of discrimination.
Sawed wood 4x4 or larger in dimension .
Time is of the essence clause
Clause used to make meeting the deadlines in the contract a legal obligation.
Title is NOT a document. It is the ownership of property with ALL of its rights.
Tongue and groove
Boards that have a groove on one side and a tongue on the other side to slide together, to make the floor look as though there are no seams.
Six miles square and contains 36 sections - used in the government survey system.
The finish work such as moldings, sills, railings, casing, baseboards, and other trim items applied.
Trusses give support over wide spans, such as floors and roofs.
Using pressure, OR taking unfair advantage of person’s distress, need, OR weakness.
An otherwise valid contract that cannot OR will NOT be enforced by legal action.
A contract between parties where ONLY one party is obligated to perform.
Enforceable contract containing ALL the necessary elements.
An authorization from zoning officials to conduct a land use that is prohibited in a zoning ordinance to eliminate undue hardship for the property owner.
A contract that lacks an essential element, or contains illegal actions and is legally unenforceable - without force or effect.
Not void until the innocent injured party takes action to rescind the contract.
Deed used to convey real property and contains warranties of title and quiet possession and by which the grantor agrees to defend the property against the lawful claims of third persons.
Collective rights to guarantee a supply of water, source of water, or access to a body of water.
X An individual that cannot write may execute a signature with a mark or an X.
The return on an investment expressed as a percentage which is arrived at by taking the annual net income from the property and dividing it by the cost or market value of the property.
Zero lot line
Municipal zoning category wherein a building or structure may abut the neighboring property line.
Police power that regulates and controls the uses of property.