RAINIER TITLE

Experience the Difference

Glossary
of commonly used real estate industry terms

EARNEST MONEY: 
Advance payment of part of the purchase price to bind a contract for the sale and purchase of property. It is an evidence of good faith on the part of the purchaser. 

EASEMENT: 
An interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use, such as laying a sewer, putting up electric power lines, or underground utilities, or crossing the property. The right to use another"s land for a specific purpose such as a right of way. Created by grant or agreement for a specific purpose. 

EAVES: 
The lower part of a roof projecting over the wall. 

ECONOMIC LIFE: 
The period over which a property will yield a return on the investment, over and above the economic or ground rent (due to land). 

ECONOMIC OBSOLESCENCE: 
A loss in value due to factors away from the subject property but adversely affecting the value of the subject property. 

EFFECTIVE INTEREST RATE: 
The percentage of interest that is actually being paid by the borrower for the use of the money. 

EGRESS: 
The right to leave a tract of land. Often used interchangeable with access (see access). 

EMINENT DOMAIN: 
The power of the state to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation. The right of a governmental entity or other agency authorized by law to take private property for public use upon the payment or just compensation. The legal proceeding by which the government exercises this right is called "condemnation proceedings". The right of the government to do this, and the right of the private citizen to get paid, are set out in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

ENCROACHMENT: 
The intrusion of a structure, part of a building, or obstruction over or upon a highway, sidewalk, easement or the property of another. 

ENCUMBER: 
To burden a parcel of land with a lien or charge such as a mortgage or deed of trust. 

ENCUMBRANCE: 
A claim, lien, charge or liability attached to and binding upon real property, such as a judgment, mortgage, deed of trust, mechanics lien, lien for unpaid taxes, right-of-way. 

ENDORSEMENT: 
A written change or modification of a commitment or policy. Also, writing one"s name, either with or without additional words, on a negotiable instrument or on an attachment thereto. 

EQUITY: 
The interest or value, which an owner has in real estate over and above the liens against it. 

EQUITY OF REDEMPTION: 
The right to redeem property during the foreclosure period such as a mortgagor"s right to redeem prior to foreclosure. 

EROSION: 
The wearing away of land by the action of water, wind or glacial ice. 

ESCALATION: 
The right reserved by the lender to increase the amount of the payments and/or interest upon the happening of a certain event, i.e. due on sale etc… 

ESCALATION CLAUSE: 
A clause in a contract providing for the upward or downward adjustment of certain items to cover specified contingencies. 

ESCHEAT: 
A reversion of property to the state in those cases where an individual dies without heirs or devisees and without heirs or devisees and without a will. 

ESCROW: 
A procedure whereby a disinterested third party handles legal documents and funds on behalf of a seller and buyer. In real estate, a deed, monies, or other documents which are conditionally held by a third party, called the escrow agent, pending the performance or fulfillment of some act of condition. Generally upon written instructions called "an escrow agreement". 

ESCROW AGREEMENT: 
A written agreement between two or more parties whereby the grantor, promisor or obligor delivers certain instruments into the hands of a third party until the happening of a contingency or performance of a condition, and then to be delivered to the grantee, promises or obligee. When everything is deposited to enable carrying out the instructions, it is called a complete or perfect escrow. 

ESTATE: 
A person"s possessions. In real estate, it refers to the degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest, which a person has in real property; such as a fee simple absolute estate, or an estate for years. 

ESTATE OF INHERITANCE: 
An estate, which may descend to one"s heirs. All freehold estates are estates of inheritance except life estates, which are not "autre vie" (for the life of another). 

ESTATE OF LIFE: 
A freehold estate, but which is held by the tenant for his own life or lives of one or more other persons, or for an indefinite period which may endure for the life or lives or persons in being. 

ESTIMATE: 
To form a preliminary opinion of value. 

ESTOPPEL: 
A doctrine, which bars one from asserting rights, which are inconsistent with a previous position or representation. 

ET. AL.: 
An abbreviation for et alius, meaning "and another" or "and others". 

ET. UX.: 
Abbreviation meaning "and wife". 

ET. VIR.: 
Abbreviation meaning "and husband". 

EVICTION: 
Dispossession by process of law; the act of depriving a person of the possession of lands, pursuant to the judgment of a court. 

EXCEPTIONS: 
A list of flaws, clouds, encumbrances or uncertainties, or other interests that title insurance will not guarantee that our insured has a priority over. 

EXCLUSIVE AGENCY LISTING: 
A listing whereby the owner appoints one real estate broker as his sole agent for a specified period of time. The owner may sell the property to a buyer, which he himself finds without paying the broker"s commission. 

EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL LISTING: 
A listing whereby the owner appoints one real estate broker as his sole and exclusive agent for a specified period of time. No matter who sells the property, including the owner himself, the broker is entitled to a commission. 

EXECUTE: 
To complete, to make, to perform, to do, to follow out; to execute a deed, to make a deed, including especially signing, sealing and delivery. To execute a contract is to perform the contract, to follow out to the end, to complete. 

EXECUTION: 
A writ issued by a court to the sheriff directing him to seize and sell property to satisfy a debt. 

EXECUTOR: 
See "Personal Representative". 

 

EXCEPTIONS: 
A list of flaws, clouds, encumbrances or uncertainties, or other interests that title insurance will not guarantee that our insured has a priority over. 

EXCLUSIVE AGENCY LISTING: 
A listing whereby the owner appoints one real estate broker as his sole agent for a specified period of time. The owner may sell the property to a buyer, which he himself finds without paying the broker"s commission. 

EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL LISTING: 
A listing whereby the owner appoints one real estate broker as his sole and exclusive agent for a specified period of time. No matter who sells the property, including the owner himself, the broker is entitled to a commission. 

EXECUTE: 
To complete, to make, to perform, to do, to follow out; to execute a deed, to make a deed, including especially signing, sealing and delivery. To execute a contract is to perform the contract, to follow out to the end, to complete. 

EXECUTION: 
A writ issued by a court to the sheriff directing him to seize and sell property to satisfy a debt. 

EXECUTOR: 
See "Personal Representative". 

FEE: 
An estate of inheritance in real property. 

FEE SIMPLE ABSOLUTE: 
Often called a fee or fee simple; the most comprehensive ownership of real property known to the law; the largest bundle of ownership rights possible in real estate. In modern estates, the terms "Fee" and "Fee Simple" are substantially synonymous. The term "Fee" is of Old English derivation. "Fee Simple Absolute" is an estate in real property, by which the owner has the greatest power over the title, which it is possible to have, being an absolute estate. In modern use, it expressly establishes the title of real property in the owner, without limitation or end. He may dispose of it by sale, or trade or will, as he/she chooses. It is also defined as the most complete ownership in land or as the most complete bundle of rights one can have in land. FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION: An agency of the Department of Agriculture. Primary responsibility is to provide financial assistance for farmers and others living in rural areas where financing is not available on reasonable terms from private sources. 

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC): 
Agency of the federal government, which insures deposits at commercial banks and savings banks. 

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK (FHLB): 
A district bank of Federal Home Loan Bank system that lends only to member savings and loan association. 

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK BOARD (FHLBB): 
The administrative agency that charters federal savings and loan associations and exercises regulatory authority over the FHLB system. 

FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA): 
An agency of the federal government that insures mortgage loans. FOOTING: The base or bottom of a foundation wall, pier or column. 

FORECLOSURE: 
The act of selling by legal proceeding real property to satisfy the obligations of the landowner to a third party. Procedure whereby property pledged as security for a debt is sold to pay the debt in event of default in payments or terms. 

FORECLOSURE CERTIFICATE: 
A list of the instruments affecting any interest in property subsequent to the recording of the encumbrance being foreclosed. Usually used to determine who must be notified before foreclosure can be completed. 

FORECLOSRUE GUARANTEE: 
Guarantees the accuracy, a report listing all interests in real property, which are subordinate to the encumbrance to be foreclosed for purposes of a foreclosure. 

FOREIGN: 
Not of the state; in or of another state, e.g. foreign estate proceedings. 

FORFEITURE: 
Loss of money or anything of value, due to failure to perform a contractual obligation. 

FOUNDATION: 
The supporting portion of a structure below the first floor construction or below grade, including the footings. 

FRONTAGE: 
Land bordering a street. 

FRONT MONEY: 
The minimum amount of money necessary to initiate a real estate venture. 

GUARDIAN: 
One appointed by the court to administer the affairs of an individual not capable of administering his own affairs, e.g. a minor .

GENERAL LIEN: 
A lien on all the property of a debtor. 

GIFT DEED: 
A deed which the consideration is love and affection and where there is not material consideration. 

GOVERNMENT NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION (GNMA): 
Often called Ginny Mae. 

GRADUATED LEASE: 
Lease which provides for a varying rental rate, often based upon future determination; sometimes rent is based upon result of periodical appraisals; used largely in long-term lease. 

HABENDUM CLAUSE: 
The "to have and to hold" clause in a deed. 

HEIRS AND ASSIGNS: 
Terminology used in deed and wills to provide that the recipient receives a "fee simple estate" in lands, rather that a lesser interest. 

HIATUS: 
A gap or space unintentionally left between, when attempting to describe adjacent parcels of land. 

HOLDOVER TENANT: 
Tenant who remains in possession of leased property after the expiration of the lease term. 

INDEMNIFY: 
To secure; to secure against loss. To make payment for a loss. 

INDENTURE: 
A formal agreement between a group of bondholders and a debtor as to the terms of the debt. 

INDORSEMENT: 
The act of signing one"s name on the back of a check or note, with or without further qualifications. 

INGRESS: 
The right to enter a tract of land. Often used interchangeably with "access" (see access). 

INJUNCTION: 
A writ or order issued under the seal of a court to restrain one or more parties to a suit or proceeding for doing an act which is deemed to be inequitable or unjust or which may cause irreparable harm to the rights of some other party or parties in the suit or proceeding. 

INPUT: 
Data, information, etc., that is fed into a computer or other system. 

IN LIEU OF:
In place of, instead of. 

INSTALLMENT LAND CONTRACT: 
Often called land contract or an installment contract; an agreement for the purchase of real estate upon an installment basis. The deed to the property is not given to the purchaser until all or a specified portion of the purchaser price is paid. This type of contract is also known as a Contract for Deed or a Conditional Sales Contract. 

INSURANCE OF TITLE: 
Insurance that title to a designated parcel of real property is vested as shown in the policy, subject to those items shown therein as exceptions to coverage, such as taxes, easements, prior encumbrances or reservations of rights by others. INTER ALIA: (Latin) Meaning "among other things".

INTEREST: 
The charge in dollars for the use of money for a period of time. In a sense, the "rent" paid for the use of money. 

INTEREST RATE: 
The percentage of a sum of money charged for its use. 

INTERIM LOAN: 
A short-term loan until long-term financing is available. 

INTESTATE: 
A person who dies having made no will, or one which is defective in for in which case his estate descends to his heirs at law or next of kin. 

INTERSTATE: 
Between two or more different states, e.g. interstate commerce. 


INVULUNTARY LIEN: 
A lien against property without the consent of an owner. Examples: Taxes, special assessments, federal income tax liens, judgments, mechanics liens. 

IRREVOCABLE: 
Incapable of being recalled or revoked; unchangeable. 

IRRIGATION DISTRICTS: 
Quasi-political districts, created under special laws to provide for water services to property owners in the district; an operation governed to a great extent by law. 

JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITIES: 
Liability by two or more persons for the same obligation. Each person is legally liable for the entire obligation. 

JOINT NOTE: 
A note signed by two or more persons who have equal liability for payment. 

JOINT TENANCY: 
Co-ownership of real property by two or more persons who share equally the right to use, possess and enjoy all the property, and the right of survivorship. Upon the death of any joint tenant, the right of survivorship operates to vest title to that tenant"s interest equally in any remaining joint tenants and wholly in the sole surviving joint tenant. Joint tenancy must be specifically designated in an instrument of conveyance and is never presumed without such a designation. 

JOINT VENTURE: 
Two or more individual or firms joining together on a single project. Similar to a partnership, with some variations. 

JUDGEMENT: 
A decree of a court. Upon recording, the judgment becomes a lien or charge upon the property of the judgment debtor. The final determifation of a court of competent jurisdiction of a matter presented to it. Money judgments provide for the payment of claims presented to the court, or are awarded as damages, etc… 

JUDGMENT LIEN: 
The charge upon the lands of a debtor resulting from the recoding of a decree of a court properly entered in the judgment docket. A legal claim on all of the property of a judgment debtor that enables the judgment creditor to have the property sold for payment of the amount of the judgment. 

JUNIOR MORTGAGE/DEED OF TRUST: 
A mortgage/deed of trust lower in priority to previous mortgage/deed of trust, i.e. a mortgage/deed of trust recorded after another mortgage/deed of trust is recorded. 

LEASEHOLD ESTATE: 
A tenant"s right to occupy real estate during the term of the lease. This is a personal property interest. 

LEGAL DESCRIPTION: 
A description recognized by law, which is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony. Often called the "Legal." A description recognized by law; a description by which property can be definitely located. 

LEGAL ENTITY: 
A person or group of people whom the law recognizes as having the power, to own, sell, or encumber real property. Common examples are corporations, joint ventures and partnerships. 

LESSEE: 
The party who holds an estate by virtue of a lease; the tenant of a landlord. 

LAND: 
Real property; the surface of the earth and that which is affixed to it permanently, that which is below it, and the space above it; synonyms with "real property", "realty", and "real estate". Sometimes used to mean only the unimproved surface on the earth. 

LOAN APPLICATION: 
The loan application is a source of information on which the lender bases his decision to make the loan. It defines the terms of the loan contract; gives the name of the borrower, place of employment, salary, bank accounts and credit references; and describes the real estate that is to be mortgaged. It also stipulates the amount of loan being applied for, and repayment terms. 

LOAN CLOSING: 
When all conditions have been met, the loan officer authorizes the recording of the Deed of Trust or Mortgage. The disbursal procedure of funds is similar to the closing as a real estate sales escrow. The borrower can expect to receive less that the amount of the loan, as title, recording, service and other fees may be withheld, or he/she can except to deposit the cost of the items into the loan escrow. This process is sometimes called "funding" the loan. 

LOST INSTRUMENT BOND:
Surety Bond issued to the Public Trustee by an insurance company as a substitute for the lost original note.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Linda Richardson, her team and Ann Birrittier are such a great closing team at Rainier Title. I have used them for years whenever I have the opportunity. Linda is so knowledgeable and Ann does a fantastic job with signing the Buyers/Sellers. Thank you. 

"

Tracy  O.,  Seattle, WA
2/22/2019

I feel that this review has been earned by Jennifer Gradin and her team. I work with escrow closers and escrow teams day in and day out, as a loan processor. Jennifer and her team are one of the best. Their communication and attention to detail are like none other. I highly enjoy working with Jennifer, and appreciate her great attitude on top of all else. You can tell that she not only truly cares about the clients and all parties involved, but she also takes the utmost pride in her job and representing her team at best. Thank you Team Gradin for your hard work on each file that I have closed with you in the past! Cheers to files in the future, and helping people get into homes!. :)

"

Always does a phenomenal job. Never once dropped the ball on dozens of transactions I have had with them.

"

Pamela F., Puyallup, WA
2/22/2019
Jamae  H., Federal Way, WA
02/20/2019

Experience the Difference

Copyright © 2018, Rainier Title & Escrow All Rights Reserved.

Created by Emily Dir

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon