Glossary of Real Estate Terms
Abstract of Title
A complete historical summary of the public records relating to the legal ownership of a particular property from the time of the first transfer to the present.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Also known as a variable-rate loan, an ARM is one in which the interest rate changes over time, relative an index like the Treasure Index.
Agreement of Sale
Also known as a Contract of Purchase, Purchase Agreement or Sales Agreement, according to location or jurisdiction. A contract in which a Seller and Buyer agree to transact under certain terms spelled out in writing and signed by both parties.
The process of reducing the principal debt through a schedule of fixed payments at regular intervals of time, with an interest rate specified in a loan document.
A professional appraiser’s estimate of the Market Value of a property based on local market data and the recent sale prices of similar properties.
The value placed on a home by municipal assessors for the purposes of determining property taxes.
The final steps in the transfer of property ownership. On the closing date, as specified by the Sales Agreement, the buyer inspects and signs all documents relating to the transaction and the final disbursements are paid. (Also referred to as the Settlement.)
The costs to complete a real estate transaction in addition to the price of the home. These may include: points, taxes, title insurance, appraisal fees and legal fees.
A clause in the Purchase Contract that describes certain conditions that must be met and agreed upon by the Buyer and Seller before the contract is binding.
An offer made in response to a previous offer that rejects all or part of it while enabling negotiations to continue towards a mutually acceptable Sales Contract.
A mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Government.
A ratio that measures total debt burden. It is calculated by dividing Gross Monthly Debt repayments, including mortgages, by Gross Monthly Income.
The money paid by the buyer to the lender at the time of closing. The amount is the difference between the sales price and the mortgage loan. Requirements vary by loan type. Smaller down payments (less than 20%) usually require mortgage insurance.
A deposit given by the Buyer to bind a purchase offer and which is held in escrow. If the property sale is closed, the deposit is applied to the purchase price. If the Buyer does not fulfill all contract obligations, the deposit may be forfeited.
Legal right-of-access to use of a property by individuals or groups for specific purposes. Easements may affect property values and are sometimes part of the deed.
The value of the property, less the loan balance and any outstanding liens or other debts against the property.
Funds held by a neutral third party (Escrow Agent) until certain conditions of a contract are met and the funds can be paid out. Escrow accounts are also used by loan servicers to pay Property Taxes and Homeowner’s Insurance.
A type of mortgage loan in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.
Professional inspection of a home, paid for by the Buyer, to evaluate the quality and safety of its plumbing, heating, wiring, appliances, roof, foundation, etc.
A claim or charge on property for payment of a debt. With a mortgage, the lender has the right to take the title to your property if you don’t make the mortgage payments.
The amount a willing Buyer would pay a willing Seller for a home. An appraised value is an estimate of the current fair market value.
Purchased by the Buyer to protect the lender in the event of default (typically for loans with less than 20% down). Available through a government agency live the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or through Private Mortgage Insurers (PMI).
The date, as specified in the Sales Agreement, that the Buyer can move into the property. Generally, it occurs within a couple days of the closing date.
A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that a buyer qualifies for a mortgage of a specified amount. It also shows a home seller that you’re a serious buyer.
The amount of money borrowed from a lender to buy a home, or the amount of the loan that has not yet been repaid. This does not include the interest paid to borrow.
A detailed, written document which makes an offer to purchase a property, and which may be amended several times in the process of negotiations. Which signed by all parties involved in the sale, the Purchase Offer becomes a legally-binding Sales Agreement.
The right to, and the ownership of, property. A Title or Deed is sometimes used as proof of ownership of land. “Clear Title” refers to a title that has no legal defects.
Insurance policy that guarantees the accuracy of the title search and protects the lenders and homeowners against legal problems with the title.
A historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of a property to determine if there have been any flaws in prior transfers of ownership or if there are any claims or encumbrances on the title to the property.
Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA)
Federal law that requires disclosure of a Truth-in-Lending Statement for consumer loans. The statement includes a summary of the total cost of credit.
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Your team did a great job selling our condominium. They put together a professional website, interfaced with prospective buyers and their agents, and negotiated effectively on my behalf.
Curt, Heather and the Joyner team are world class. This is our 3rd home purchase, and far and away y’all are the best realtor’s with whom I’ve worked. Great service from start to finish.
We are completely satisfied with the service and support provided by April. We would rate her a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. She was very friendly, very knowledgable , and always very professional. Due to her immediate responses to our needs we were able to select and close on our house in near record time. I would highly recommend her to anyone needing a realtor in the Richmond area.
April Lane is an EXCELLENT Agent, helped me buy a home in VA. while I lived in Maine (I never set eyes on the home totally relied on her) Very Honest and trustworthy. Need more agents like her. Will recommend her to everyone I know. GREAT JOB APRIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dear Blake and April, I can’t thank you both enough for all the hard and speedy work you both did in helping me and my ex-husband sell our former house in Kingsley. As you may know, we both spoke with several realtors over the past six months, and even last year. When I met Blake in 2013, I was impressed with his acute knowledge of the actual selling prices, days on market, asking vs. selling ratios, etc. for homes in my neighborhood, and my zip code. Of course, I came to find out that …
Good Morning Blake, Curt and April. Well – we’ve done it again! I cannot thank you enough for the assistance with my daughter’s first home. I apologize for the sheer number of properties she wanted to see but thank you very much for being patient with her as she accomplished something so huge! She was very stressed and you all made her feel safe making such a life changing decision. Also wanted to thank you for exhibiting the same patience and helpfulness with my parents. They ar…
Curt, Blake and Heather, It has been great working with you! We really appreciate you going the extra mile for us in every way. Jeremy and I are really happy with the way things have worked out! Thanks for the champagne, nice touch!
As the months have passed since the closing, we are now able to reflect upon the quality and assurance that Blake and his team provided. He more than adequately assessed with expertise the house, the neighborhood and the market to put us on a winning path. But the most important trait was his continual contact to keep us informed of the status. We would recommend Blake to anyone as a guide through the maze of selling a house. In fact, we already have recommended him. Enough cannot be written …
April Lane is one of the best realtors we have ever had the pleasure of working with on the sale of our home. She handled everything from start to finish in a responsible manner. She has the knowledge from the sellers point of view as well as the buyers point of view. A caring, friendly realtor ready to lend a hand in any way she can to CLOSE the Deal! Highly recommend her and her firm!
I am writing this in regards to the superior experience I had dealing with Ms. Lane in regards to selling not one but two of my properties. I first had the pleasure of working with April approximately eight years ago when my mother and I decided to sell the house we shared. Please understand, this was not easy for us as this house had been my grandfather’s and was therefore very personal to us. In addition, I had never gone through the process of selling any property and for my mother it ha…