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Term Definition
Certificate of Title

A certificate issued by a title examiner stating the condition of a title.

Chain

In real estate measurements (surveying), a chain is 66 feet long or 100 links, each link being 7.92 inches. The measurement may change when used in fields other than surveying.

Chain of Title

The successive ownerships or transfers in the history of title to a tract of land.

Claim

An adverse right or interest asserted by one party against another or against an insurer or indemnitor. Claims may arise from unpaid debts or taxes, as well as from hidden title defects such as fraud, forgery, missing heirs, etc.

Clear Title

Real property ownership free of liens, defects, encumbrances or claims.

Closing

Also called 'settlement.' A meeting of all parties involved in a property transaction during which the transaction is consummated.

Clouded Title

An irregularity, possible claim or encumbrance that, if valid, would adversely affect or impair the title.

Coinsurance

Two or more policies of title insurance issued by different insurers, each covering a portion of the same risk, which together provide total coverage of the risk.

Commission

The sales commission from a real estate transaction, usually a percentage of the sales price, divided in some fashion among the buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent and the broker. The percentage of the sales price typically applied as commission varies by region and can be negotiated by the consumer.

Commitment

Also called "binder." A document issued by a title insurance company that contains the conditions under which a policy of title insurance will be issued.

Comparables

Recent sales data on similar properties close to the home being analyzed, used to help determine the market value of a property. Also referred to as “comps.”

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

An estimate of the value of property using indicators taken from sales of comparable properties, such as price per square foot, combined with expert market commentary and information on the importance of marketing a home properly. A CMA is not the same as an appraisal report of the market value of the subject property prepared by a licensed professional appraiser.

Condemnation

The taking of private property for a public purpose, with compensation to the owner under the right of eminent domain. Governmental units, railroads and utility companies have the right to condemn and take private property. The destruction by government of private property that imperils the life, health or safety of the public.

Conventional Loan

A loan secured by a mortgage or deed of trust for which the loan-to-value ratio is within an acceptable range for a particular lending institution.

Conveyance

The transfer of title to property from one person to another.

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