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Everything To Know About Real Estate


More Common Definitions

Abstract of Title: A condensed historical summary of the ownership of a piece of property showing all recorded documents that affect the land including transfers of ownership and any right that persons other than the owner might have in the land.
Abstract Property: All property which has not been brought into the registered (Torrens) land system, and of which evidence of ownership is determined by examining an Abstract of Title. Evidence of ownership of this type of property is maintained in the office of the County Recorder for the county where the property is located.
Addenda: Separate writings that become part of the purchase agreement.
Appraisal: The estimate of value made by an impartial expert.
Arbitration: The process in which a dispute is decided by an arbitrator, whose decision is binding.
Assessment: Costs charged against property for public improvements that benefit the property.
Assumable: A mortgage the responsibility of payment for which can be taken on by a buyer.
Bill of Sale: A written agreement by which one person transfers his or her personal property to another person.
Broker: A person or entity licensed to represent buyers or sellers in the purchase or sale of real estate.
Cancellation of Purchase Agreement: Can be accomplished by a written agreement between all parties to the purchase agreement, or by following the requirements of Minnesota Statute Section 559.21 when the buyer has breached the terms of the purchase agreement.
Certificate of Title: A certificate maintained by a county Registrar of Titles that shows ownership of non-abstract real property.
Closing: The meeting for the sale of property at which the transfer is finalized.
Closing statement: An accounting of funds to the buyer and the seller at closing. (Also called a settlement statement or “HUD-1”).
Conciliation Court: Small claims court where parties can have claims valued at $7,500 or less decided quickly and inexpensively.
Condominium: Individual ownership of separate parts of a building plus joint ownership of the common elements.
Construction loan: A loan where money is advanced as construction takes place.
Contingency: A future event or action which must occur before the purchase agreement is valid.
Contract: A legally enforceable agreement to do or not to do a certain thing.
Contract for Deed: A contract that allows a buyer to take possession of property in exchange for monthly payments until the balance is paid off. The seller keeps legal title to the property until the final payment is made, at which time the seller conveys the land to the buyer.
Conventional loan: Real estate loans that are not insured by the FHA or guaranteed by the VA.
Counter offer: An offer made in response to an offer.
Deferred Special Assessment: Special assessment which has been levied but collection of which has been delayed.
District Court: The court of general jurisdiction in Minnesota.
Dual Agency: Representation of two or more parties in a transaction by the same real estate agent or broker.
Earnest Money: Money paid by a buyer to show the buyer’s good faith in making an offer to purchase property.
FSBO: For sale by owner (pronounced “fizbo”).
Homestead Tax: Property taxes paid by property owners who live on the property.
Levied Special Assessments: Assessments charged against the property following a hearing by the assessing authority and a determination of the dollar amount to be charged each property.
Listing Agreement: A written agreement allowing a real estate agent to sell a homeowner’s property.
Litigation: A lawsuit.
Loan Origination Fee: The fee a lender charges for processing a mortgage application.
Maintenance Fees: Fees paid by a property owner to the owner’s association for upkeep of the common elements.
Mortgage: The pledge of real estate as collateral in exchange for a loan.
Mortgage Discount Points: Prepaid interest on a loan; one mortgage discount point equals 1% of the total mortgage loan.
Note: A written promise to repay a debt.
Owner’s Duplicate Certificate of Title: A duplicate copy of the original Certificate of Title issued by the County Registrar of Titles to the owner of property under the Torrens System.
Pending Special Assessment: An assessment existing after an assessing authority’s order for an improvement to be made; the exact amount of this assessment is unknown (“pending”).
Purchase Agreement: A contract for the purchase and sale of real estate.
Quit Claim Deed: A deed that transfers to the buyer the rights of the seller in the land without promising that the seller has full title or that there are no liens against the land.
Special Assessment: Costs charged against property for public improvements that benefit the property.
Survey: A mapping of land boundaries and improvements and easements on real property.
Title Insurance: An insurance policy purchased for protection against most title defects.
Title Opinion: A lawyer’s written statement of the current condition of title for a parcel of land.
Torrens System: A state-sponsored method of registering and maintaining land titles. Record of ownership of this type of property is maintained in the office of the Registrar of Titles for the county where the property is located.
Warranty Deed: A deed in which the seller promises that the title to the land is good and complete.
Posted under Real Estate Terms

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