Search topic

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y
A person who performs real estate activities while employed by or associated with a licensed real estate broker.
Sales contract
A contract containing the complete terms of the agreement between buyer and seller for the sale of a particular parcel or parcels of real estate.
Sale and leaseback
A transaction in which an owner sells her or his improved property and, as part of the same transaction, signs a long-term lease to remain in possession of the premises.
A document acknowledging the payment of a debt. Once filed, the collateral pledged (mortgage) is returned to the mortgagor for a “mortgage burning party.”
Secondary mortgage market
A market for the purchase and sale of existing mortgages, designed to provide greater liquidity for mortgages; also called the secondary money market. Mortgages are originated in the primary mortgage market.
A portion of a township under the rectangular survey system (government survey method). A township is divided into 36 sections numbered 1 to 36. A section is a square with mile-long sides and an area of one square mile, or 640 acres.
Self-proving will
A will in which the witnesses give their testimony at the time of signing. This testimony is preserved in a notarized affidavit to eliminate the problem of finding the witnesses at the maker’s death and to assist in the probating procedure.
Separate property
The real property owned by a husband and wife prior to their marriage.
Servient tenement
The land on which an easement exists in favor of an adjacent property; also called a servient estate.
The amount of space local zoning regulations require between a lot line and building line.
The ownership of real property by one person only; also called sole ownership.
Short sale
A sale of secured property that produces less money than is owed to the lender, but in order to expedite the sale and avoid foreclosure expense, the lender releases its interest so the property can be sold.
The personal preference of people for one area of land over another, not necessarily based on objective facts and knowledge.
Sovereignty of the soil
The beginning of the record of ownership of land by conveyance from the sovereign or the state. Historically, this is known also as a patent.
Special assessment
A tax or levy customarily imposed against only those specific parcels of real estate that will benefit from a proposed public improvement, such as a street or sewer.
Special warranty deed
A deed in which the grantor warrants or guarantees the title only against defects arising during the period of his or her tenure and ownership of the property and not against defects existing before that time, generally using the language “by, through, or under the grantor but not otherwise.”
Specific lien
A lien affecting or attaching only to a certain, specific parcel of land or piece of property.
Specific performance suit
A legal action brought in a court of equity in special cases to compel a party to carry out the terms of a contract. The basis for an equity court’s jurisdiction in breach of a real estate contract is that land is unique, and mere legal damages would not adequately compensate the buyer from the seller’s breach.
Sponsoring broker
A duly licensed real estate broker who employs a salesperson. Under law, the broker is responsible for the acts of her or his salespeople.
Squatter’s rights
Those rights acquired through adverse possession. By “squatting” on land for a certain statutory period under prescribed conditions, one may acquire title by limitations. If an easement only is acquired, instead of the title to the land itself, one has title by prescription, or easement by prescription.
Statute of frauds
The part of a state law that requires certain instruments, such as deeds, real estate sales contracts, and certain leases to be in writing to be legally enforceable.
Statute of limitations
That law pertaining to the period of time within which certain actions must be brought to court.
Statutory lien
A lien imposed on property by statute, for example, a tax lien; in contrast to a voluntary lien, which an owner places on his or her own real estate, for example, a mortgage lien.
The illegal practice of channeling home seekers to particular areas or avoiding specific areas, either to maintain or to change the character of an area, or to create a speculative situation.
Stigmatized property
A property regarded by some as undesirable because of events that have occurred on the property, like murder or suicide, or present paranormal activities. Sometimes, proximity to undesirable property causes a property to become stigmatized, too.
Straight-line method
A method of calculating depreciation for tax purposes computed by dividing the adjusted basis of a property less its estimated salvage value by the estimated number of years of remaining useful life.
An agent appoints a subagent to help the agent in a specified transaction and to act on the principal’s behalf.
A tract of land divided by the owner, known as the subdivider, into blocks, building lots, and streets according to recorded subdivision plat that must comply with local ordinances and regulations.
The leasing of premises by a lessee to a third party for part of the lessee’s remaining term.
A relegation to a lesser position usually in respect to a right or security.
Subordination agreement
An agreement that changes the order of priority of liens between two creditors.
The substitution of one creditor for another, with the substituted person succeeding to the legal rights and claims of the original claimant. Subrogation is used by title insurers to acquire the right the sue from the injured party to recover any claims they have paid.
An appraisal principle stating that the maximum value of a property tends to be set by the cost of purchasing an equally desirable and valuable substitute property, assuming that no costly delay is encountered in making the substitution.
Suit for possession
A court suit initiated by a landlord to evict a tenant from leased premises after the tenant has breached one of the terms of the lease or has held possession of the property after the expiration of the lease.
Suit for specific performance
A legal action brought by either a buyer or a seller to enforce performance of the terms of a contract.
Suit to quiet title
A legal action intended to establish or settle the title to a particular property, especially when there is cloud on the title.
Summation appraisal
An approach under which value equals estimated land value plus reproduction costs of any improvements after depreciation has been subtracted.
The amount of goods available in the market to be sold at given price. The term often is coupled with demand.
Surety bond
An agreement by an insurance or bonding company to be responsible for certain possible defaults, debts, or obligations contracted for by an insured party; in essence, a policy insuring one’s personal and/or financial integrity. In the real estate business, a surety bond generally is used to ensure that a particular project will be completed at a certain date or that a contract will be performed as stated.
The process by which boundaries are measured and land areas are determined; the on-site measurement of lot lines, dimensions, and positions of buildings on a lot, including the determination of any existing encroachments or easements.
A combination of two or more persons or firms to accomplish a joint venture of mutual interest. Syndicates dissolve when the specific purpose for which they were created has been accomplished. Real estate terms that begin with T
Second Mortgage
An additional mortgage on a property.