Real Estate Terms
Do you ever feel like your Realtor is speaking another language? We have all sorts of terms that can seem confusing at times. Here are some of the most used terms we use and what they mean. So the next time you’re out with your agent you will know exactly what they mean.
Detached property – is a permanent dwelling, usually set on a separate lot and includes ownership rights to the land on which it is situated. A detached home is almost always considered a single-family home, meaning all internal areas are shared and in common. Also called single detached dwelling.
Attached property – is a structure that shares a common wall or walls with another unit. Some examples of attached dwellings are; townhomes, condominiums, row houses, apartment buildings and high-rise residential towers. Many of this style of dwelling features common grounds, either shared or jointly owned.
Semi-detached property – is a single-family dwelling house built as one of a pair that shares one common wall. Often, each house’s layout is a mirror image of the other.
List Price — The price placed on the property for sale by the seller.
Attached Goods — An item that is attached to real property so as to form, in law, part of the land. Attached goods belong to the buyer and are also known as fixtures.
Buyer Brokerage Agreement — A written agreement between the buyer and the buyer’s associate, outlining the agency relationship between the two parties and the manner in which the buyer’s associate will be compensated. In Alberta, a buyer agency relationship arises automatically without a written agreement establishing the relationship.
CMHC — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A Crown corporation providing information services and mortgage loan insurance.
Commission — An amount agreed to by the seller and the real estate broker/associate and stated in the listing agreement. It is payable to the brokerage on closing and shared, if applicable, among those Associates
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) — The most widely used technique for REALTORS® to establishing the value of residential properties. It uses sales, competitive listings and expired listings to try to determine a probable selling price for the subject property.
Condominium Ownership — Shared ownership in a strata-titled property. Owners have title (ownership) to individual units and a proportionate share in the common property.
Fiduciary Duties — The duties of loyalty, disclosure, confidentiality, obedience, reasonable care and diligence, and full accounting that are required by law of any associate relative to his or her principal.
Listing Contract — The legal agreement between the listing brokerage and the seller, setting out the services to be rendered, describing the property for sale and stating the terms of payment. A commission is generally payable to the brokerage upon completion of a sale.
Purchase Contract — The document through which the prospective buyer sets out the price and conditions under which he or she will buy the property.
Real Property Report — The legal outline of the property and location of all buildings and improvements on the land (formerly called the Surveyor’s certificate).
Title — The legal evidence of ownership in a property.
Unattached Goods — Moveable personal property that goes with the seller (also known as chattels).
Foreclosure — A legal process by which the lender takes possession and ownership of a property when the borrower doesn’t meet the mortgage obligations.
High-Ratio Mortgage — A mortgage that exceeds 75 percent of the loan-to-value ratio; must be insured by either the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or a private insurer to protect the lender against default by the borrower who has less equity invested in the property.
Pre-Approved Mortgage — Tentatively approved by a financial institution for a specified amount, interest rate and monthly payment.
Mortgage Broker — A person or company having contacts with financial institutions or individuals wishing to invest in mortgages. The mortgagor pays the broker a fee for arranging the mortgage. Appraisal and legal services may or may not be included in the fee.