Abstract of Title
A condensed history of the title to land, consisting of a summary of the various links in the chain of title, together with a statement of all liens, charges, or encumbrances affecting a particular property.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
A mortgage in which the interest rate can fluctuate according to a specified index and timetable.

Adjustment
Increase or decrease an appraiser or broker makes when computing market value of a comparable property to account for a feature that the property has or does not have, which sets it apart from other comparables.

Amenities
Those settings or improvements to a property that increase the desirability or enjoyment rather than the necessities of the residents.

Appliance Service
Preparing items (such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers) for transporting, disconnecting, blocking, etc. Carriers generally charge extra for this service.

Appraisal
An appraiser’s impartial written opinion of the value of a property, at a specific time or during a specified time period. It describes the process for determining the estimated value of a property and the justification of the value. Based on the data the appraiser collects and interprets, three types of appraisals can be made: assessed value, insurance value, or market value. Generally, a “relocation” appraisal is a market-value appraisal that also requires the appraiser to forecast a property’s value for a specific period of time.

Appraisal Variance
The difference between two or more appraised values of a property. The variance is generally expressed as a percentage of the values provided in each appraisal.

Arm’s Length Transaction
The submission of a bona fide contract of sale on a property being marketed by associate or purchaser with all of the parties being well informed and acting in what they consider their own best interests. 

Authorization
The process by which the client informs Capital Relocation of a transferee who is eligible to receive relocation benefits. Generally includes contact information and checklist of services to be offered.

Bridge Loan (Interim Financing)
Temporary financing arranged to allow the purchaser to close the new home purchase before sufficient funds have been received either from the mortgage or from the sale proceeds of the former residence Also known as a swing loan.

Broker (Real Estate)
Any person, partnership, association, or corporation who, for compensation or valuable consideration, sells or offers for sale; buys or offers to buy; or negotiates the purchase, sale, lease, or exchange of real estate. Brokers must be licensed.

Broker Market Analysis (BMA)
A marketing analysis of a property by a real estate broker. Based on comparable sales, recent listings, and knowledge of the local real estate market, the BMA reflects the best estimate of a value by a broker.

Buyer Broker Fee
A fee that the destination broker charges to help a buyer find a home. The company does not pay this fee.

Capital Gains
Gains realized from the sale of capital assets. Generally, the difference between the cost and selling price, less certain deductible expenses. Used mainly for income-tax purposes.

Capital Improvements
An expenditure that adds to the value or useful life of property and is considered a permanent investment to be added to the cost basis of the property. Capital improvements are different from the cost of maintenance and repairs.

Closing
A meeting among the parties to the sale contract and their representatives. When all the details have been settled and the terms of the contract complied with, the seller signs and delivers the deed to the buyer. Buyer authorizes payment to the seller.

Closing Costs
Costs arising out of a sale or purchase of real estate which are above and beyond the sale price, such as points, origination fees, title fees, appraisal fees, etc.

Comparables
Properties that are similar to the subject property, which are used to establish Fair Market Value.

Concealed Damage
Damage to the contents, but without apparent damage to the package externally.

Concessions
Item(s) granted to a buyer that are outside of the original terms of the listing agreement, i.e., closing costs, mortgage-discount points, etc.

Contingency
An event which may or may not happen. A provision negotiated in a sale agreement which, if not met, voids the contractual agreement unless all parties agree to renegotiate.

Conventional Mortgage
A fixed-term rate mortgage, with level payments that fully amortize the mortgage after a specified period of time. A mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the FHA or VA.

Deed
A written instrument which, when properly executed and delivered conveys title.

Disclosure Statement
Information the seller must disclose to potential buyers as to seller’s knowledge regarding general condition of property.

Discount Points
In the mortgage industry, one point is equal to one percent of a loan. Discount points are the sum of money charged by a lender to reduce the interest rate of any particular loan. That is, the lower the interest rate, the higher the points that must be paid. The company does not reimburse discount points.

Earnest Money
A deposit; a token sum, the payment of which constitutes a binder.

Equity
The interest or value which an owner has in real estate over and above the existing liens against it.

Equity Advance (Loan)
A sum of money borrowed against the equity on a homeowner’s home. The equity loan is used to assist a relocating associate in purchasing a new home before the sale of the present home.

Escrow Account
Account to which disbursements are made with instructions to carry out disbursements of payments usually covering taxes and insurance. Such account is normally held by a lending institution and is required in the mortgage documents.

Escrow Waiver Fee
A fee charged by the lender or the borrower if the borrower opts not to have an escrow account. The company does not cover this fee.

Exclusive Right to Sell Listing
A written agreement between owner and agent that gives the agent the right to collect a commission if the property is sold by anyone, including the owner, during the term of his or her agreement.

Fair Market Value
The “most probable price” that a willing and well-informed buyer would pay, and a willing and equally well-informed seller would accept, for a property placed on the market for a reasonable period of time (i.e., 90-120 days).

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
A division of Housing and Urban Development that insures mortgage loans. 

Fixed-Rate Mortgage
A mortgage in which the interest rate is constant for the entire term of the loan.

Garnishment
Money withheld from an individual’s paycheck and remitted to another party.

Good Faith Estimate
Document the lender must provide to the borrower within three days of loan application detailing estimated closing costs.

Gross-Up
An amount added to gross income to compensate associates for some of the income tax they incur on relocation expenses.

Home Finding
Assistance provided to relocating associates during their house-hunting trips.

Home Inspection
A report from an independent technician rendering an opinion on the condition of a property. Such reports might include termite, well, septic, plumbing, heating, electrical, structural, roof, radon or geotechnical exploration. An inspection report may be required on a property at any state of the home sale process. 

Home Marketing Assistance
A service where the associate is given professional assistance in finding a buyer for his or her home in the departure location.

Household Goods
The personal effects and property transported from one residence to another.

HUD-1 Settlement Statement
A document which details the buyer’s and seller’s final costs in a real estate transaction.

Interest Rate
The percentage of a sum of money charged for its use. Most commonly seen in mortgages as “return on investment.”

Land Contract
An installment contract for the sale of real property. The seller retains legal title. 

Lien
A form of encumbrance usually against property as security for the payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation. Examples: judgments, taxes, mortgages, deeds of trust.

Listing
Contract between a principal (seller) and an agent (broker) authorizing the agent to secure a person to buy, lease, or rent the principal’s property.

Listing Agent
Real estate broker or agent responsible for marketing the sale of real estate.

Loan Commitment
A written provision by a lender to make or insure a loan for a specified amount and on specified terms.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)
The ratio that the outstanding principal of a mortgage loan bears to be mortgaged property’s appraised value. It usually is expressed as a percentage, as “98% LTV.”

Lock Extension Fee
A fee charged by the lender if the borrower wants to extend his locked interest rate beyond the established time frame. The company does not cover this fee.

Market Value (Real Estate)
An estimate of the price to be paid for a property by a typical buyer based on current forecasted market trends. The highest price that a ready, willing, and able buyer pays and the lowest price that a ready, willing, and able seller accepts in the home-sale transaction.

Mortgage
An instrument recognized by law, by which property is pledged to secure the payment of a debt or obligation. Procedure for foreclosure in event of default is established by statute.

Mortgagee
The lender in a mortgage transaction.

Mortgagor
The borrower who pledges property as a security for a debt.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
A system real estate brokers use that consists of a list of homes for sale in a particular community, including descriptions and facts about the areas. Brokers must be members of the National Association of Realtors to participate in the services.

Origination Fee
A one-time fee for the cost of a mortgage application. This fee is usually known as a loan origination fee but sometimes is called a “point” or “points.”  It covers the lender’s administrative costs in processing the loan. Often expressed as a percentage of the loan, the fee will vary among lenders. Generally, the buyer pays the fee, unless otherwise negotiated. The company does not reimburse this expense.

PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance)
Used to indicate what is included in a monthly payment on real property. Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance are the four major portions of a usual monthly payment.

Power of Attorney
A written instrument authorizing a person, the attorney-in-fact, to act as agent for another person to the extent indicated in the instrument.

Pre-Approval
Confirmation from a lender that a borrower is approved up to a specified amount.

Prepaid Expenses
Escrow items such as property taxes and insurance that the borrower is required to pay at closing.

Pre-Qualification
Information from a lender that a borrower appears to be qualified for a loan.

Principal
The remaining amount due on a mortgage, not including interest.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Insurance the borrower pays the lender to protect the lender from loss on a mortgage if the property goes to foreclosure. Usually added to your mortgage if borrower has less than a 20% down payment.

Promissory Note
A financing instrument that states the terms of the underlying obligation is signed by its maker and negotiated (transferable to a third party).

Proration of Taxes
The balanced division of taxes between a buyer and a seller based on closing date.

Purchase and Sales Agreement
An agreement between a buyer and seller of real property, setting forth the price and terms of the sale.

Real Estate Agent
A salesperson responsible for listing, selling, and closing the sale of real estate. Real estate agents are generally certified or licensed and work for a real estate broker.

Real Estate Broker
Any person, partnership, association, or corporation who, for compensation or valuable consideration, sells or offers for sale, or negotiates the purchase, sale, lease or exchange of real estate. Brokers must be licensed.

Real Estate Commission
A payment to a broker for services rendered, such as in the sale or purchase of a home. The commission is traditionally a percentage of the selling price.

Recording Fee
A charge for filing public records such as deeds, liens, mortgages, and bills of sale.

Referral Fees
A fee that is a portion of the broker’s commission on a property that is paid to the party that provided either a listing prospect or selling prospect to the broker.

Reimbursement
Approved expenses repaid to the associate after the conditions set forth in the Policy have been me and the associate has incurred the expense.

Revenue Stamps
The Revenue Act of 1940 requiring revenue stamps on the conveyances of real estate has been rescinded. Some states have substituted similar state acts as a source of income.

Sale Fall Through
When a buyer fails to perform according to the terms of a contract of sale.

Storage-in-Transit (SIT)
Temporary storage of goods, at origin or destination. The mover is responsible for the goods during this time.

Survey
The measurements of the boundaries and area of a parcel of land. Also, the map showing the results of a survey.

Title Fees
The fees charged for an examination of the official books and documents made to ensure that an individual has clear title to a home.

Title Insurance
Insurance written by a title company to protect interested parties against loss if title is imperfect.

Title Search
An examination of public records, laws, and court decisions to disclose the past and current facts regarding ownership of real estate to discover if there are any mortgages, judgments, tax liens, or other encumbrances upon it.

Transfer Tax
A charge made by some states to raise revenue on the conveyance of real estate.

VA Funding Fee
For cold War Veterans (post-Korean), the VA requires an additional one-half-of-one percent of the loan amount, called a “funding fee,” which is paid to the VA at closing. Either the buyer or seller may pay the fee or it may be included in the loan amount. This fee is not covered by the company.

Vacate Date
Date the associate and family move out of the property with their belongings.

Warranty Deed
A deed used to convey real property which contains warranties of titles and quiet possession. Grantor agrees to defend the premises against the lawful claims of a third person. Title insurance policies have reduced the importance of warranty deeds.