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Term Definition
Real Estate

Also called "real property."

Land and anything permanently affixed to the land, such as building, fences and those things attached to the buildings, such as light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures, or other such items that would be personal property if not attached.

May refer to rights in real property as well as the property itself.

Real Estate Agent

Salespeople who assist buyers and sellers in the purchase and disposition of property are real estate agents. Most states require that prospective agents take a number of classes and pass a licensing exam in order to function in this role.

Real Estate Broker

Experienced real estate agents can become licensed as real estate brokers (also known as “principal” or “qualifying” brokers) so they can manage or own their own brokerage. Brokers usually must pass a state exam on real estate law to qualify.

Real Estate Owned (REO)

Properties that revert to a lender, typically a bank, after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction are Real Estate Owned. Banks commonly become owners of foreclosed properties because properties for sale at auctions often are worth less than the total amount owed to the bank via the mortgage. The minimum bid — the outstanding loan amount — is above market value. Banks try to sell REO properties at lower prices on their own or through an agent.

Realtor

A real estate broker or an associate holding active membership in a local real estate board affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.

Recision

The cancellation of a contract. With respect to mortgage refinancing, the law that gives the homeowner three days to cancel a contract in some cases once it is signed if the transaction uses equity in the home as security.

Recording

The noting in a public office of the details of a legal document - such as a deed or mortgage - affecting the title to real estate. When such an instrument is properly recorded, it is considered to be a matter of public record. Legally, that means that all subsequent purchasers are deemed to have constructive knowledge of that information.

Recording Fees

Money paid to the lender for recording a home sale with the local authorities, thereby making it part of the public records.

Reinsurance

A contractual relationship between two insurance companies under which one insurer assumes a portion of the risk of the insurance policy written by the other.

Release

To relieve from debt or security or abandon a right, such as the release of a mortgage lien from a part or all of the land mortgaged.

The instrument effecting a release.

RESPA

Short for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. RESPA is a federal law that allows consumers to review information on known or estimated settlement cost once after application and once prior to or at a settlement. The law requires lenders to furnish the information after application only.

Restrictions

Limitations on the use of property imposed or created by deeds or other documents in the chain of title. A restriction, for example, may prohibit the placement of trailer or the construction of a commercial structure on the property.

Reverse Annuity Mortgage (RAM)

A form of mortgage in which the lender makes periodic payments to the borrower using the borrower's equity in the home as Satisfaction of Mortgage: The document issued by the mortgagee when the mortgage loan is paid in full. Also called a "release of mortgage."remier" mortgage.

Riparian Rights

The rights of owners of lands bordering watercourses which relate to the water and its use.

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