Abstract: A written history of the title to a parcel of real estate as recorded in a Land Registry Office.
Acre: A measure of land equaling 10 square chains, 160 square rods, or 4,840 square yards, 43,560 square feet, or .4 hectares.
Adverse Possession: When an individual not the owner, takes actual possession of the property, hostile to, and without the consent of the owner.
Agency: The relationship between principal and agent written or oral, wherein an agent is employed and authorized by the principal to represent the principal in business transactions with a third party.
Agent: One who is authorized by a principal to represent the principal in business transactions with a third party. In the real estate profession it refers to a broker.
Agreement for Sale: An agreement for the purchase of real property wherein the purchase price is paid in installments and title is not conveyed to the purchaser until the purchase price is paid in full.
Agreement of Purchase and Sale: A contract by which one party agrees to sell and another agrees to purchase.
Agreement to Lease: A contract by which one party agrees to rent real estate to another party for a rental fee or other compensation.
Amortization: The gradual retirement of a debt by means of partial payments of the principal at regular intervals.
Appraisal: The act or process of estimating value.
Appurtenance: Something which is outside the real property itself, but belongs to the land and is joined thereto. It adds to greater enjoyment of the land. A right-of-way is an appurtenance.
Assessed Value: A valuation placed upon property as a basis for municipal taxation.
Assessor: An official who has the responsibility of determining assessed value for tax purposes.
Assumption of Mortgage: The taking of title to property by a grantee, wherein he assumes liability for an existing mortgage against a property and becomes personally liable for the payment of such mortgage debt.
Authority: The legal power or right given by a principal and accepted by the agent to act on the principal’s behalf in business transactions with a third party.
Caveat Emptor: " Let the buyer beware." The buyer must examine the goods or property he is buying and he, therefore, buys at his own risk.
Charge: The name given to a mortgage document when title is registered under the Land Titles Act.
Chattel: Personal property which is tangible and moveable.
Closing: See Date of Completion.
Cloud on Title: Any encumbrance or claim that affects title to real property.
Commission: Remuneration paid to an agent on sale or lease of property, usually as a percentage of the amount involved.
Commitment: See Mortgage Commitment.
Common Law: That part of the law formulated, developed and administered by the common law courts, based originally on common customs and mostly unwritten.
Compensation: Payment or reward for performance of service.
Compound Interest: Interest on both the original principal and on interest accrued.
Condition Precedent: A condition in a contract which calls for the happening of some event, or performance of some act, before the agreement becomes binding on the parties.
Condition Subsequent: A condition referring to a future event upon the happening of which the contract becomes no longer binding on the parties.
Condominium: The fee ownership of a specified amount of space (the unit) in a multiple dwelling or other multi-occupancy building with tenancy-in-common ownership of portions used jointly with other owners (the common elements).
Consideration: Something of value given by a promisee to a promisor to make the promise binding.
Construction Lien: See Mechanics’ Lien.
Contract: A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more capable persons for consideration or value, to do or not to do some lawful and genuinely intended act. If for the sale of real estate it must be in writing.
Conveyance: The transfer of an interest in property from one person to another.
Covenant: An agreement contained in a deed and creating an obligation. It may be positive, stipulating the performance of some act. It may be negative or restrictive, forbidding the commission of some act.
Creditor: A person to whom a debt is owed by another person termed the debtor.
Damages: Compensation or indemnity for loss owing for breach of contract, or a tort (civil wrong).
Date of Completion: The date specified in the agreement of purchase and sale, when the purchaser is to deliver the balance of money due and the vendor to deliver a duly executed deed and vacant possession of the property (unless otherwise agreed).
Deed: An instrument in writing, duly executed and delivered, that conveys title or an interest in real property.
Deed Restriction: An imposed restriction in a deed for the purpose of limiting the use of the land.
Default: Failure to fulfil an obligation.
Deposit: Payment of money or other valuable consideration as pledge for fulfillment of contract.
Depreciation: A loss in value due to any cause.
Description: A legal identification of land or premises.
Developer: One who engages in the subdivision or improvement of land.
Dominant Tenement: The estate (i.e. property) which derives benefit from an easement over a servient tenement, as in a Right-of-way.
Easement: A right enjoyed by one landowner over the land of another.
Economics: The study of how men and society choose resources which have alternative uses, to produce various commodities over time and distribute them for consumption, now and in the future, among various people and groups in society.
Encroachment: The unauthorized extension of the boundaries of land.
Encumbrance: Outstanding claim or lien recorded against property or any legal right to the use of the property by another person who is not the owner.
Equity: The interest an owner of real property has in its total assets after allowing for encumbrances and creditors’ claims.
Equity of Redemption: The right of the mortgagor to reclaim clear title to the property upon full repayment of the debt.
Escheat: The reversion of property to the state in the event the owner thereof dies leaving no will and having no legally qualified heir to whom the property may pass by lawful descent.
Estate: An interest in land.
Estoppel: A bar to alleging or denying a fact because of one’s own previous actions or words to the contrary.
Ethics: Rules of behavior made and accepted by business to provide fair and moral practice.
Exclusive Listing: The giving of the sole right to offer the described property for sale according to the terms of the agency agreement.
Express Authority: Authority delegated by the principal which clearly sets forth in exact, plain, direct and well-defined limits those acts and duties which the agent is empowered to perform on behalf of the principal, e.g. an exclusive listing.
Expropriation: Taking of private property by the state for public use, with fair compensation to the owner, through the exercise of the right of eminent domain.
Marketable Title: A title which a court of equity considers to be so free from defect that it will enforce its acceptance by a purchaser.
Market Value: (Formal Definition) The highest price in terms of money, which the property will bring to a willing seller if exposed for sale on the open market allowing a reasonable time to find a willing purchaser, buying with the knowledge of all the uses to which it is adapted and for which it is legally capable of being used, and with neither party acting under necessity, compulsion or peculiar and special circumstances.
Mechanics’ Lien (Construction Lien): A claim filed in the land registry office by an individual, or company, for labour or material, or both, supplied for the improvement of the property.
Metes and Bounds: A system of land description whereby all boundary lines are set forth by use of terminal points and angles – mete referring to a limit or limiting mark, and bounds referring to boundary lines.
Metropolitan Area: That area which includes not only the entire chief urban core of a city (the central city) but also the outlying suburbs which are appended thereto.
Mill: One-tenth of one cent, a measure used to indicate the property tax rate, e.g. a tax rate of one mill per dollar is the same as 0.10 per cent of the assessed value.
Minor: A person who is under the age of legal competence, which is eighteen years in Ontario.
More Or Less: Term often found in a property description intended to cover slight, unimportant or unsubstantial inaccuracies of which both parties are willing to assume the risk.
Mortgage: A conveyance of property to a creditor as security for payment of a debt with a right of redemption upon payment of the debt.
Mortgagee: The one to whom property is conveyed as security for the payment of a debt; the lender or creditor.
Mortgagor: The one who gives the mortgage; the borrower or debtor.
Mortgage Commitment: A formal indication, by a lending institution that it will grant a mortgage loan on property, in a certain specified amount and on certain specified terms.
Multiple Listing: An arrangement among brokers who are real estate board members, whereby each broker shares information regarding his listings with the other members, who may negotiate the transaction.
Offer and Acceptance: The basic requisite of any contract is a proposal by one party, called the offeror, to another party, called the offeree, to accept the basic terms of the agreement. If the offeree indicates his assent to the proposal, there is an acceptance and the contract will bind both parties to its terms.
Open Listing: A listing given to any number of brokers without liability to compensate any except the one who first acquires a buyer ready, willing and able to meet the terms of the listing, or secures the acceptance by the seller of a satisfactory offer; the sale of the property automatically terminates the listing.
Option: A right given by the owner of property to another (for valuable consideration) to buy certain property within a limited time at an agreed price.
Real Estate: "Real Estate" includes real property, leasehold and business whether with or without premises, fixtures, stock-in-trade, goods or chattels in connection with the operation of the business. (Real Estate and Business Brokers Act)
Real Estate Broker: A person who represents a principal in real estate trade. (See more formal definition in the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act.)
Real Property: The combination of the tangible and intangible attributes of land and improvements. Value-wise, it is the sum of the value of the real estate, considered as land and structure and, for example, the tangible value arising by reason of a favourable lease. The real estate, plus the rights that go with it.
Realtor: A registered word which may only be used by an active member of a real estate board affiliated with the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Rent: The compensation paid for the temporary use, and/or occupation of real estate.
Restricted Area By-law: See Zoning By-Iaw.
Restrictive Covenant: A limitation placed upon the use of property, contained in the deed.
Sub-agent: An agent authorized by the listing agent to assist in transacting the affairs of the principal (with express or implied consent of principal).
Survey: The accurate mathematical measurement of land and buildings thereon, made with the aid of instruments.
Syndicate: An association of individuals formed for the purpose of owning, operating and managing large parcels of real property for the mutual benefit of all, and organized as a corporation limited partnership or joint venture.