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Beating down, removal, or diminishment of something.  For example, tax abatement refers to diminishing taxes in exchange for something a developer give the community.  Rent Abatement, the incentive offered by a landlord, including free rent, early occupancy, or reduction of fees.

Absorption Rate
Rate at which residential space is filled.

Abstract of Title

A condensed history / summary of all transactions affecting a particular parcel of real estate, including the original grant, all conveyances and encumbrances affecting the property, and the abstractor’s certification of the history’s accuracy

Acceleration Clause

A clause in a mortgage that gives the lender the right to require payment of the entire principal balance if the borrower defaults on an installment payment or other covenant


An offeree’s consent to enter into, and be bound by the terms of, a contract


The right to enter and exit a parcel of land from a public way, including the right to enter and exit via land belonging to others


The confirmation by which a party executing a legal document confirms his signature and agreement with the terms of the document, made before an authorized officer of the Court or notary public, who “acknowledges” the signature.


43,560 square feet of land

Adjusted Sales Price
Adjusted sales price is the price on the contract less all credit concessions by the seller.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage or ARM
An ARM is a loan that has a varying interest rate and payment based on an adjustment period. This loan is also known as a variable rate mortgage.

Adjusted Basis

The total of the original cost of a property and the value of any capital expenditures for improvements done to it, minus any depreciation taken. Generally used for tax purposes.

Adjustment Date

The date on which the interest rate changes for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)

Adjustment Period

The period of time which the interest rate changes for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)


A person appointed by a probate court to administer the estate of an individual who has died without a will

Adverse Possession

A claim made against the land titled to another person, by virtue of open and hostile possession and use of the land to the exclusion of the titled owner

Affidavit of Title

A sworn statement that is made in writing under oath by a seller of real property, and certified by a notary public, in which the seller identifies himself or herself, indicates marital status, certifies that no defects have occurred in the title since the examination of the title on the date of the contract, and confirms someone is in possession of the property


The relationship between persons where the agent is authorized to act on behalf of another person in a Real Estate Transaction


A person or company that acts on behalf of another, most times for paymentAir Rights
Legal ability to use or control the space above a property.  Air rights can be sold, rented or leased to another party.


The act of transferring property to another, voluntarily (by a sale), or involuntarily (by adverse possession)

Alienation Clause

In a mortgage or deed of trust which states the lender’s option to require that the balance of the secured debt becomes immediately due and payable if the property is sold by the borrower. Assignment is then only possible with the approval of lender.

The periodic payment of principal and interest on a liability (including a mortgage), or the write-off of a non-depreciable asset over a scheduled term.

Annual Percentage Rate or APR
The actual effective rate of interest charged on a loan expressed on a yearly basis and represents the full cost of all elements associated with obtaining a full mortgage into a single formula.  The APR is a useful device for making comparisons between mortgage products.

Evaluation of a property by a licensed appraiser on its price based on previous sales of similar properties.  The appraised value is used by a bank to determine the lending limit on a given property.  A seller may also have a property appraised to determine the offering price during a sale.


Increase in value of property due to a variety of causes


Entities attached to or used by a piece of property that will be conveyed to a new owner


Adjustable or variable rate mortgage

Levy against property and can be an extraordinary payment called for by the board of directors of a cooperative or condominium for the purpose of making a capital improvement or to provide some other essential service for which funds in the reserve account are inadequate.


(Tax) Person who evaluates a property for the purpose of taxation

Something that is owned that has value.

Process by which a right or contract is transferred from one to another.

(Assignor is transferring the right. Assignee is accepting the right.)

Assumable Mortgage (also known as a “wrap around”)

A mortgage which can be transferred to a new owner

A person appointed to perform legal acts for another under a power-of-attorney.

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