Text Box: Glossary of Terms

A
Abandonment
The voluntary relinquishment of rights of ownership or another form of interest (an easement) by failure to use the property over an extended period of time. 
ABR
The Accredited Buyer Representative designation idicates a real estate agent specializing in representating buyers in the real estate transaction. 
Abstract (Of Title)
A summary of the public records relating to the title to a particular piece of land. An attorney or title insurance company reviews an abstract of title to determine whether there are any title defects which must be cleared before a buyer can purchase clear, marketable, and insurable title. 
Acceleration Clause
Condition in a mortgage that may require the balance of the loan to become due immediately, if regular mortgage payments are not made or for breach of other conditions of the mortgage. 
Acre
A measure of land, equal to 160 sq. rods (43,560 sq.ft.). An acre is approximately 209' x 209'. 
Acknowledgment
A formal declaration before an authorized official (usually a notary public) by a person who has executed a document, that he did in fact execute (sign) the document.
Addendum
Something added. A list or other items added to a document, letter, contract, escrow instructions, etc. 
Adverse Possession
A method of acquiring title by open and notorious possession usually vary with each state. 
Agent
Acts of behalf of another, representing that person's interests and serving as an intermediary. 
Agreement of Sale
Known by various names, such as contract of purchase, purchase agreement, or sales agreement according to location or jurisdiction. A contract in which a seller agrees to sell and a buyer agrees to buy, under certain specific terms and conditions spelled out in writing and signed by both parties. 
Alienation Clause
A clause within a loan instrument calling for a debt in its entirety upon the transfer of ownership of the secured property. Also called a "due on sale" clause. 
Amortization
A payment plan which enables the borrower to reduce his debt gradually through monthly payments of principal. 
Appraisal
An expert judgment or estimate of the quality or value of real estate as of a given date. 
Assessed Value
Value placed on property by the tax assessor. 
Assignment
A transfer or making over to another the whole of any property, real or personal, or of any estate or right therein. To assign is to transfer. 
Assumption of Mortgage
An obligation undertaken by the purchaser of property to be personally liable for payment of an existing mortgage. In an assumption, the purchaser is substituted for the original mortgagor in the mortgage instrument and the original mortgagor is to be released from further liability in the assumption, the mortgagee's consent is usually required.
Attachment
Seizure of property by court order, usually done in pending law suit to make property available in case of judgment.