Glossary of Real Estate Terms


A condensed history of the title to a parcel of real property consisting of copies of all documents from the public record that affect that parcel such as deeds, mortgages, encumbrances, easements, marriages, deaths, divorces, liens, etc.


A formal declaration by a signer before a notarial officer that the Electronic Document is: (A) signed by the signer for the purpose stated in the Electronic Document; or (B) signed by the signer in an authorized representative capacity for the individual or entity identified in the Electronic Document.

Audit Trail

This technology tracks and logs the viewing of, signing, and changes to an Electronic Document.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The yearly interest percentage of a loan, as expressed by the actual rate of interest paid. For example: 6% add-on interest would be much more than 6% simple interest, even though both would say 6%.


An opinion of value based upon a factual analysis. Legally, it is an estimation of value by two disinterested persons of suitable qualifications.

Appearance or Appear

For notarial purposes, a signer must appear before a notarial officer, which requirement may be satisfied by: (A) the signer and the notarial officer being present before each other in the same physical location; or (B) in the case of remote notarization, the signer and the notarial officer are present before and interact simultaneous with each other through the use of real time and two-way audio visual communication.


A non-recurring charge levied against property to meet some specific purpose portioned either by benefit derived to property or based on value of property (value for taxation).


The transfer of an interest in a bond, mortgage, lease or other instrument by writing.

Assumption of Mortgage

The act of acquiring title to property that has an existing mortgage and agreeing to be personally liable for the terms and conditions of the mortgage, including payments.


The legal seizure of property to force payment of debt.

Bottomline Figure

The amount of money the buyer must bring to the closing.

Building Line

A line usually shown on the plat map specifying how far a building must be set back from the lot line.

Building Restrictions

Limitations on the use of property or the size and location of houses that are established by governmental law or by covenant in deeds or plats.

Chain of Title

The succession of conveyances from some accepted starting point whereby the present holder of title to real property derives his or her title.

Clear Title

A title that is not encumbered or burdened with unacceptable defects.

Closing Statement

A listing of the debits and credits of the buyer and seller to a real estate transaction for the financial settlement of the transaction.


A title insurance term for the preliminary report issued before the actual title policy. It shows the condition of title (as revealed by a title search, a thorough search of the county records) and the steps necessary to complete the transfer of title. It is a written promise to insure a loan.


A form of property ownership providing for individual ownership of a specific apartment or other space not necessarily on ground level, together with an undivided interest in the land or other parts of the structure in common with other owners.


The actual price at which the property is transferred.

Constant Payment Mortgage

A systematic loan reduction plan by which the borrower pays a fixed amount each month, part to repay principal and part interest.

Contract for Deed

An agreement between the seller and the buyer for the purchase of real property. The purchase price is paid in installments over the period of the contract, with the balance due at maturity. When the buyer completes the required payments, the seller is obliged to deliver a deed to the buyer. Under the terms of the Contract for Deed, the buyer is given possession of the property, and he or she is said to have equitable rights in the property while the seller retains legal title.


The act of deeding or transferring a title to another.


A written instrument that passes interest in real estate from one person to another, including land contracts, leases, deeds, etc.


An agreement written into deeds and other instruments promising performance or nonperformance of certain acts or stipulating certain uses or non-uses of the property.

Credential Analysis

Credential analysis is a process or service through which a a third party affirms the validity of a government-issued identification credential through review of public and proprietary data sources.

Date of Policy

Date of recording of deed, mortgage or other interest being insured as evidenced by the later date search report.


An instrument in writing that, when executed and delivered, conveys an interest in real property.

Deed and Money Escrow

An agreement in which money is deposited with a third party to be delivered to the seller of real estate upon receipt of the deed to the property sold.

Deed of Trust

An instrument creating a lien on real property as security for a debt; a mortgage.

Deposit, Earnest Money

A sum of money or other consideration tendered in conjunction with an offer to purchase rights in real property.


Upon completion of closing, funds to be paid out to respective parties in conjunction with the RESPA and/or closing statement.

Digital Signature

A type of eSignature that uses additional encryption features to enhance security. Typically, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to match a signer’s secure “private” key to a “public” key held by a Certificate Authority (CA), who thereby authenticates the signature. Digital signatures are less widely used than basic, non-encrypted eSignatures because they are usually more costly and cumbersome. Dynamic Knowledge -Based Authentication KBA


The right to use or enjoy the land of another, such as the right of way or the right to receive air and light.

Effective Date of Commitment

Date of initial search report (i.e., date through which the records in the Recorder’s office that affect title to the property being transferred have been searched).

Electronic Document

A document that is created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means. There are two forms of electronic documents a a county recorder would receive: (A) Native Digital Document: This Electronic Document is created electronically on a computer and is electronically signed by a signer and a notary prior to its submission for eRecording. A native digital document is an original document in electronic form and never was a tangible piece of paper; or (B) Digitized Document or Scanned Image Document: This Electronic Document is a paper document with wet signed signatures and traditional notarization that has been scanned into a computer.

Electronic Notarial Certificate

The part of, or attachment to, an electronic document that is completed by the notary, bears that notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal, and states the facts attested to by the notary in the electronic notarization.

Electronic Notarization

This process applies the notary’s Electronic Signature and notarial stamp/seal with an eCertificate to an Electronic Document. eNotarization may take place in-person or remotely online, depending on what state law allows.

Electronic Promissory Note

An eNote is set apart from other eDocuments because it requires special handling and storage. In order to provide the lender with the same rights and defenses available with a traditional paper note, there must be only one authoritative copy of the eNote and it must be stored in an “eVault”. When these conditions are satisfied, the eNote is deemed a “transferable record” and the lender is treated as the equivalent of a “holder” under the Uniform Commercial Code. See also the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7021 and/ or Section 16 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) as adopted by most states. An eNote must be eSigned.

Electronic Recording

This type of recording is an electronic transmittal and recording of an Electronic Document in the Public Records by submitting the document to the county recorder (or equivalent) in digital form.

Electronic Seal

This seal is attached to or associated with an Electronic Document by a notarial officer and contains information as to the notarial officer’s commission and generally corresponds to information in notary seals used on paper documents.

Electronic Signature

An electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an Electronic Document and executed or adopted by a signer with the intent to sign. An eSignature is applied by the signer to an Electronic Document in place of a traditional or “wet ink” signature. A displayed eSignature type typically comes in one of three forms: holographic (a/k/a hand-drawn), cursive typeface or standard typeface.

Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act

This federal act of June 30, 2000 provides a general rule validating Electronic Documents with electronic signatures for transactions in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce. Subject to certain exceptions, this validity results in Electronic Documents treated the same as paper documents under any statute, regulation, or rule of law when the consumer has affirmatively consented to such use of an Electronic Document.


An unauthorized invasion or intrusion of an improvement, fixture or other real property wholly or partly upon another’s property. Encroachments typically are either: (1) over building line, (2) over lot line, (3) over easement, or (4) onto the insured premises.


A secure, electronic, and certified storage facility or repository created to hold authoritative copies of eNotes.

Hybrid eClosing

This type of eClosing has some of the documents are in digital form and electronically signed, while some of the documents are in paper form and signed using pen-and- ink (often referred to as a “wet signing”). In a Hybrid eClosing, it is common to wet sign any documents that will be notarized or recorded with the county recorder and to eSign all other documents in the transaction. If the recordable documents are wet signed and notarized by traditional methods, then traditional recording methods and rules govern.

In-Person eClosing

This eClosing has all documents in digital form and electronically signed, but any documents requiring notarization are electronically signed on a computer or tablet device in the physical presence of a notary public who is authorized to perform in-person electronic notarizations. The notary public electronically notarizes the documents using the notary public’s electronic signature and electronic notarial seal.

Insurability Matrix

This First American online database is located at and contains underwriting rules associated with eClosings andany particular state and county requirements for recording eDocuments for the jurisdiction where the land is located.

MERS eRegistry

Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) acts as a ledger for eNotes to be registered and uniquely identified. Used to track and verify ownership and the location of eNotes in an eVault

Papering Out

This process, if allowed under state law, is the printing of an Electronic Document containing an electronic signature and submitting the printed version for traditional recording procedures. Depending on state law requirements, this process may require a certification that the printed document is a true and correct copy of the original Electronic Document.

Remote Online eClosing

This eClosing has all documents are in digital form, but any documents requiring notarization are electronically signed during an interactive, online audio-video session with a notary public who is authorized to perform remote online notarizations (RON). The notary public electronically notarizes documents using the notary public’s electronic signature and electronic notarial seal.

Revised Uniform Law of Notarial Acts

One of the Uniform Acts drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) with the intention of updating and harmonizing state laws regarding the electronic notarization of Electronic Documents.


This technology adds fields to Electronic Documents where dates, eSignatures, and a signer’s initials of the eClosing signing event are incorporated into the Electronic Documents.

Tamper Evident

This feature safeguards the integrity of an Electronic Document by disclosing if an Electronic Document has been altered.

Uniform Electronic Transactions Act

One of NCCUSL’s uniform acts with the intent of harmonizing state laws for the treatment of Electronic Documents the same as wet-signed documents.

Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act

This uniform act drafted by NCCUSL harmonizes state laws with principles of UETA by providing a framework for the of electronic recording of Electronic Documents.

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Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
Office: (305) 934-6911
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FL Title & Escrow

1801 S Ocean Dr, Suite H
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
Office: (305) 934-6911
    (888) 784-1723
Fax:  (888) 865-2970